Teacher Fired for Allowing 9-Year-Olds to Use TikTok, Violating School Policy

Primary school teacher fired for letting 9-year-olds use TikTok, violating safeguarding policies. Sued for unfair dismissal but tribunal rejected claims, finding her actions amounted to gross misconduct.

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Teacher Fired for Allowing 9-Year-Olds to Use TikTok, Violating School Policy

Teacher Fired for Allowing 9-Year-Olds to Use TikTok, Violating School Policy

Georgia Rogers, a primary school teacher at West Grantham Church of England Primary Academy in Grantham, Lincolnshire, has been dismissed for allowing her nine-year-old students to use the TikTok app, despite the app's age restriction of 13 years old. The school found that Rogers had violated safeguarding procedures by failing to report her pupils' underage use of the social media platform.

According to the school's investigation, Rogers not only permitted her year five students, who were around 10 years old, to access TikTok but also showed them how to properly perform a TikTok dance. When other students asked a different teacher if they could film a TikTok video and were denied, they responded that Rogers had allowed them to use the app.

Rogers acknowledged that she should have reported the students' use of TikTok as a safeguarding concern but failed to do so. In addition to the TikTok incident, Rogers was found to have sent "borderline unprofessional" messages to a student and her mother through the school's online platform.

Why this matters: This case emphasizes the significance of teachers complying with school policies and safeguarding procedures, particularly when it comes to shielding students from age-inappropriate content and potential online risks. It also highlights the necessity for clear guidelines and training for educators on navigating the challenges posed by social media and technology in the classroom.

Rogers sued the school for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination, claiming she was suffering from PTSD. However, an employment tribunal rejected her claims, finding that the school's decision to dismiss her was a reasonable response to the overall allegations. The judge acknowledged that while the investigation into the TikTok allegation was "flawed", Rogers' actions violated the school's safeguarding procedures and amounted to gross misconduct.

Key Takeaways

  • Primary teacher Georgia Rogers dismissed for allowing 9-year-olds to use TikTok
  • Rogers showed students how to perform TikTok dances, violating school safeguarding policies
  • Rogers also sent "borderline unprofessional" messages to a student and parent
  • School's decision to dismiss Rogers upheld by employment tribunal, despite flawed investigation
  • Case highlights need for clear social media guidelines and training for educators