An Edinburgh teacher has discovered the curse of Twitter after she was singled out for abuse by one of Britain’s top rap stars and his fans.
Fed-up with work at St Thomas of Acquin’s High School one day, drama and guidance teacher Clare Kellywent on to the micro-blogging site to vent her frustration with some off-the-cuff remarks. She tweeted: “Born for better things...#work #cantbea**** #whensthenextholiday”.
But when she later challenged a tweet from rapper Professor Green about schools failing their pupils, his response left her facing a barrage of abuse from his 1.83 million followers.
The 29-year-old musician told his fans on the site that employing teachers like Ms Kelly was “one reason schools fail people”.
Her current and former pupils were among those to respond, accusing her of being “pure poison” and “a horrible teacher”.
One added: “This lady who wants the next holiday is a guidance teacher come media teacher who wants to be a wine tester.”
The rapper’s attack was in retaliation for a previous tweet in which he said he was about to reveal evidence of how young people are let down by schools, to which Ms Kelly responded: “There’s a sweeping statement. I’ll just bin that teaching degree it took me five years of study to get.”
The shell-shocked teacher has apologised to her bosses for her “error of judgement”.
Meanwhile, friends and colleagues have rallied to her defence.
Edinburgh College acting and theatre performance lecturer John Naples-Campbell said Ms Kelly’s messages had been taken out of context.
He said: “Clare was one of my own mentors and I have never seen anyone as passionate about theatre and drama education as she is.
“People are attacking her without knowing her. People forget that teachers are not products – they are human beings and they have feelings.”
Leaders at the General Teaching Council for Scotland said use of social media carried risks for staff.
A spokesman said: “Teachers can be vulnerable to unintended misuses of electronic communication. E-mail, texting and social media encourage casual dialogue – and very innocent actions can easily be misconstrued or manipulated.”
Education bosses said Ms Kelly had apologised and the matter was resolved.
A council spokesman said: “We expect all our staff to display the highest levels of professional conduct at all times and appropriate action has been taken.”
Ms Kelly declined to comment when contacted by the Evening News.
SINCE winning the inaugural JumpOff MySpace rap tournament in 2008, London-born Professor Green – aka Stephen Paul Manderson – has quickly established himself as one of the UK’s hottest urban music stars.
He has released two albums – Alive Till I’m Dead (2010), featuring guest vocals from Lily Allen, Emeli Sande and Example, and At Your Inconvenience (2011).
His third record, Growing Up In Public, will be released in October.