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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22620
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
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I posted on my private facebook page links to two news articles

Customer Question

I posted on my private facebook page links to two news articles on demotivation in the work place and some joke posts on how to demotivate people. There was no reference to.anyone or anywhere. On Thursday at work I was reprimanded by my headteacher as one of my colleagues who is a friend on facebook printed off my page saying I was meaning my school. I was told off and ordered in no uncertain terms that I was not to post anything like that again. I was shocked, not just because someone had printed this off and tried to.get me into trouble, but how school.accused me of something despite school not being mentioned or even being anywhere on my facebook account. I now feel very compromised at work and really feel like I have been violated. Can they accuse me and tell me what I can and can't put on my facebook page, when it is not about anyone or anything and private
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 4 years ago.


Hello,
I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High Street practice. I
have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as
you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on
a variety of subjects. Because we are all in practice with clients and court
and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings
and weekends. Please bear with me in that case



It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today.

On
the contrary, Facebook is not Private by any stretch of the imagination, it is
public facing.



It
does not have to be about someone or about an organisation but if the average
man in the street thought that it could possibly be about (in your case) the
school, then the comments are probably defamatory and you could be subject
to a disciplinary. The school doesn't have to be named.



The
burden of compliance because of the job you do which appears to be a teacher, is
high and therefore a higher standard of conduct would be expected from you than
from anybody simply working in a factory for example.



I'm
sorry to disappoint you but I do think that they have grounds to discipline you
over this.



You
are quite correct in that they cannot tell you what you can and what you cannot
post on your Facebook page or anywhere else for that matter but they are able
to discipline you over it.



I
also disagree with you that there is a problem with anybody printing it off and
showing it. Clearly, the school has a problem with it because the fact remains
that you did it so the fact that someone printed it off and brought it to the
school's attention should be no problem whatsoever if you are actually proud to
stand behind what you say. That appears not to be the case.



Please
remember that I don't know who you are or know what the school is and I can only
base my answer based upon the facts that you give. I have no vested interest in
saying that you are blameless in this or totally at fault because it makes no
difference to me. Indeed, I have a higher chance of being positively rated and
hence getting paid for my answer if I tell you what you want to hear as opposed
to telling you what you don't want to hear.



However,
would be irresponsible of me to tell you that you have a genuine grievance here
and you should file it because I do not think that you have got a genuine
grievance.

 

I think you are faced with taking any reprimand on the chin and confirm
that you will not do this again.



Sorry

 





I am happy to
follow up any individual point you make

I am off-line
shortly until tomorrow but am generally online and off-line each day and most
weekends.



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