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TES Workplace dilemmas - Forum

If you’re looking for advice and support to help you deal with your workplace problems then join the TES Workplace Dilemmas group. Topics discussed include problems with parents, teacher bullying, stress and disciplinary procedures.

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Defamation of Character?

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    The past few months at work within my department have been quite unpleasant because of two of my colleagues have not been speaking to me in any capacity other than a professional one. The reason being because I noticed a problem with a scheme of work and asked for clarification. As a result of this they told the HoD that I had posted a bike ride on Facebook while I was off sick which was untrue and unfounded after investigation. I don't want to go to work because of this and I'm even uncomfortable around these colleagues in a professional capacity. SLT are aware of this situation and have spoken to me to get my side of the story but nothing has been done bout it. My issue is that if the allegation made against me had been true I would have been given a formal warning yet nothing has been done to reprimand these colleagues. What would you expect to happen? What would you do?
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    First step is to do some substantial Facebook trimming by the sounds of it.  This sounds relatively trivial, but I suspect there's a lot more to it than we see here. 

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    At this stage the best thing to do is keep a record of these events and any further events that crop up. Don't have private conversations with these colleagues on your own - it is wise just to stick to professional topics only - Don't use facebook -If anything does not seem right - take the question to a line manager and try to get anything that bothers you in writing or witnessed. I hope in time this uncomfortable situation will let up, but if it does not you will need to present clear facts in order to get more support. I think your line managers are not trying to throw more fuel on the fire of this fall out. They won't want to place you at further odds from your other colleagues.
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    I've been the victim of this sort of thing too. When I was being 'investigated' for allegedly harrassing a child (long story, wasn't true) I requested to see my entire personnel file as I suspected that the school held information I wasn't aware of.

    When I looked, I found printed out copies of my Facebook wall, showing a few occasions when I'd gone for a run and posted it to Facebook using the Nike+ running app. I have no idea what this was meant to prove, how they'd come by this information, or why it was relevant to anything. At first I thought...maybe they think I was out running when off sick, but I checked the dates and this wasn't the case (I didn't necessarily upload the runs to FB on the day of the run, so maybe they thought I was out enjoying myself after phoning in sick, but the dates didn't remotel co-incide.

    So I've got no idea, except to say that you say, of course, request to see your personnel file and ask for evidence of their claims. If nothing came of the investigation, make sure you get a letter in your file (and a copy for yourself) that the claims were false and no evidence was found to support them upon investigation. It might also be worth notifying your union of this incident, so that they are aware and should anything further happen, they've already got information.

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