SEVERAL teachers in Fife have been the subject of abusive posts on social media platform TikTok.

In recent weeks, schools across the UK have reported a growing number of incidents where harmful and offensive videos have been posted on the internet making reference to schools or individual teachers.

The Professionals Online Safety Helpline has said the "recent viral trend" of targeting teachers was causing a great deal of concern.

David Farmer, spokesperson for the EIS union in Fife, expressed his concern and confirmed they have heard from teachers who have been affected.

"There have been issues in schools in Fife. We would not want to name any of these schools but there has been at least one secondary school in Fife affected," he said.

"We have given advice to a number of members in Fife schools about incidents that have happened to them. It's not people who have read press coverage and are worried that things might happen. This has happened to some of our members in Fife.

"Aside from the general unhappiness and hurt it causes, there is also a problem about teachers then having to go through a process of having these things taken down which can be very time consuming.

"They have posted anonymously then they will be in a situation thinking about who has done this. Is it someone in one of their classes or a former student? That just makes for a very difficult environment to work in. It breeds suspicion and distrust."

Mr Farmer said they would not be dissuading teachers or schools to contact the police if they felt it was necessary.

"Because of the relative slowness and lack of urgency sometimes from the social media platforms, then the police in the end are often the place that people go to," he added.

"We would not in any way disagree with that. If we are being informed about things that are serious then our first advice would be you need to go to the police."

Fife Council's head of Education and Children's Services Shelagh McLean said they take any abuse on social media very seriously.

"Abuse on social media is sadly an issue that affects many people – not just our school communities. Tik Tok is another platform, which brings with it the same issues as other social media channels," she said.

"Part of our job in schools is to equip children and young adults with the knowledge and skills to help them make good life choices and understand the consequences of their actions.

"We start talking to pupils about personal safety and internet safety at a young age in primary school. As well as using specific advice and visits from agencies including Police Scotland and the NSPCC, the issues and risks around the use of social media are covered in the learning children receive in school.

"All our schools are aware of the issues social media can cause and have systems in place to deal with any incidents, including taking steps to remove any online abuse and making sure those responsible understand the impact of their actions on others."