University of Nottingham English lecturer Tony Fisher has labelled several students as ‘semi-literate’ and ‘idiots’ on his public Facebook profile. He has also made explicit references about students’ essays, student welfare and labelled the University’s Human Resources department “intransigent, dogmatic… completely unreasonable” and “absolute arseholes”.

The Facebook statuses were made on a personal profile page visible to the public and date back as far as October. The comments were made by English Teaching Associate, Tony Fisher, who lectures in Linguistics in the School of English. Screen-shot-2014-02-04-at-13.12.01 The profile was made private this afternoon after students on the module approached the School of English with their concerns about Fisher’s comments.

Students are “Idiots” and “semi-literate”.

In one Facebook status, dated 13th January 2014, Fisher called his student ‘an idiot’ quoting a phrase from the third year linguistic essay he was marking. Anna Herron* who takes Fisher’s module said: “It’s one thing that he jokes about essay marking, but identifying students’ genders and calling them idiots is appalling. “It also means that the student might be able to work out if it is her essay he’s talking about”. In comments on the status, Fisher then identified the student as female, saying: “she’s an idiot, as the rest of her ‘essay’ (and I use the word advisedly) confirms”. Untitled-2 Further comments then explicitly identified other aspects of the individual’s essay: “She also said something about linguistic theory ‘consummating’ towards an understanding of interruption”. He commented that the points made in the essay were “the result of semi-literacy” and added: “She’s a creative genius!”

“Identifying students’ genders and calling them idiots is appalling”.

According to the module seminar sign-ups on Moodle, of the 59 students enrolled on Fisher’s sociolinguistics module, 49 are females. One student taking the module told Impact that Fisher’s specification of gender raises concerns that the student can be identified from the comments.

“It’s not looking good kid”.

On several occasions Fisher also disclosed students’ personal information, including direct quotations from exam scripts, the content of personal emails, and references to students’ welfare. While marking the exams of the third year sociolinguistics module, Fisher quoted the first question of the paper and a student’s answer, commenting: “First answer on the exam script – it’s not looking good kid”.

“He has drilled into us the importance of ethics in linguistics, and yet he himself personally targets students and ridicules their essays and exam answers”.

Third year English student on the module, Laura Walker*, stated: “Tony’s behaviour has been completely unprofessional. “Throughout the module he has drilled into us the importance of ethics in linguistics, and yet he himself personally targets students and ridicules their essays and exam answers. What a joke”. He also referred to the welfare of specific students and revealed personal details about the module mark of others. Untitled4 Asking the Facebook community, Fisher posted: “Does anyone know the name of over the counter herbal sweets that have a mild sedative effect?”, stating that it was not for him, but “for a student having panic attacks!”. Facebook friends of Fisher posted their comments on the status, with one suggesting that Fisher should “Tell him to have 4 pints and a spliff”. Fisher liked the comment. Fisher also mentioned private email conversations between him and his students, including a status complaining about “some of the crap [his students] come out with”.

“Email from one of my undergrads re proposal for essay – “how do I go about the research thing?”. How indeed”.

He stated his “favourite so far” was receiving an email “from a Chinese student who had missed class and emailed… to explain that he had been to ‘crazy party’”. Fisher ended the status with: “He failed the module and the re-sit”. This again raises concerns about the possibility of identifying the student from Fisher’s comments. Another email he quoted in a status was in relation to a student’s sociolinguistics essay he later complained about marking. It stated: “Email from one of my undergrads re proposal for essay – “how do I go about the research thing?”. How indeed. [sic]”.

The “marking fairy is a lazy bastard”. 

A student told Impact that Fisher had informed them that their essay feedback would be given to them prior to their exam on the 24th January 2014. Screen-shot-2014-02-04-at-13.09.22 But one of his statuses revealed that he had been “ignoring the 50 odd sociolinguistics essays”. Engaging with comments from Facebook friends below, Fisher joked that the “marking fairy is a lazy bastard” and “a fat, hungover, idle marking fairy – what good is that to anyone?”.

“Today has been a marking day. As a result of this, my bike is sparkling clean”.

Students on the module did not receive their essays before the sociolinguistics exam. Fisher also posted a status on the 19th January 2014 read: “Today has been a marking day. As a result of this, my bike is sparkling clean and has new tape on the handlebars, and we have not one but two fresh loaves baking in the oven.”

“The twats in HR”.

Fisher not only makes comments about students, he also publicly accuses the University’s Human Resources department of being “twats” and “absolute arseholes” in “refusing to release [him] from [his] contract at Nottingham a month early”. He will be leaving in March, one source told Impact, reportedly taking a position at the University of York St. John as a lecturer in Language and Linguistics. Impact approached Tony Fisher who said he preferred not to comment. Sarah Hall*, another student on the module, said: “His behavior has completely diminished my confidence in the professionalism of the School of English”.

Antonia Paget

@aepaget

*Names have been changed at the request of the students.

Follow Impact on Twitter and Facebook.

Update 3pm 5th Feb: Response from Tony Fisher:

On Tuesday 4th February, a number of students from the School of English complained that they had seen quotes from their work and derogatory remarks on my Facebook page. This was then picked up by Impact Magazine, which ran a piece in their online edition giving details of the Facebook posts in question. I fully understand that these comments have caused considerable distress to the students concerned, to their friends, and to other students and staff in the School of English, and for this I apologise unconditionally.

I would like to stress that I had been posting on Facebook in the belief that my profile page and comments were accessible only to friends, and indeed have a recollection of trying to alter my privacy settings in this way some months ago. Clearly, I made a mistake when altering my settings, and my profile page was in fact public all along. I fully accept that even in a private context, these comments are wholly inappropriate and, with the benefit of hindsight, I deeply regret posting them. However, it was never my intention that these comments should be seen by any other than a handful of personal friends. In this private context, the comments in question were not intended as criticisms of individual students, or of the student body as a whole. I can only describe them as a way of letting off steam when under pressure, usually due to marking deadlines. Of course, this is not how they appear, and the explanation I offer here in no way excuses me from responsibility for my actions. Nor does it erase the distress that my actions have caused.

I would like to point out that at no point did I, nor would I ever, name any individual students. I realise that the students in question must have been able to identify themselves from the comments posted, and that it must have been very upsetting for these students to see extracts from their work presented in this way. I hope to have an opportunity to apologise to these students individually at some point in the near future. To the rest of the student body at the University of Nottingham, and to the Union of Students, I would like to offer my assurance that the comments in question are in no way representative of my actual opinion of Nottingham students, or students at any university. I have always thoroughly enjoyed teaching at the University of Nottingham, and have undoubtedly learned as much from my students as I hope they have learned from me. I believe that I have, with this one notable exception, always acted with my students’ best interests at heart. I have always taken my responsibilities as a tutor very seriously and deeply regret that my relationship with my students has been undermined by Facebook posts and comments that were never intended for a public audience.

I very much hope that this explanation and apology go some way towards alleviating any anxiety and distress experienced by the students concerned, to whom I most sincerely apologise.

Response from the School of English:

The School greatly regrets this incident. It views the behaviour of Tony Fisher as completely unacceptable and wholly out of character with the teaching ethos of the School. The quality of student experience is our first priority. All student complaints are taken very seriously, and this complaint is currently being addressed. In the meantime, the School can reassure students that Tony Fisher will no longer be involved in any assessment procedures in the School; and all assessed work for the module in question will now be remarked. Tony Fisher’s contract with the University of Nottingham ends in March.

Image courtesy of “mkhmarketing” via flickr. License here.

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97 Comments

  1. .
    February 4, 2014 at 18:14 — Reply

    An example of how a lecturer’s own opinions and prejudices can negatively affect the grade awarded to students whose own opinions differ.

    • L
      February 4, 2014 at 23:04 — Reply

      No, it’s an example of how a lecturer might make unflattering remarks about the appalingly low standard of English he sometimes encounters in University students studying that language There are no remarks about opinion, only about the poor quality of language and argument in the essays he describes.

    • --
      February 4, 2014 at 23:45 — Reply

      I’m guessing you wrote the essay in the first quote, then? Tell me, now that I’m done asserting my power, how violated do you feel right now?

      • Anonymous
        February 5, 2014 at 12:34 — Reply

        prick.

    • Ghislaine Anderton
      February 5, 2014 at 15:54 — Reply

      Not really. The students’ misuse of terminology is not a matter of opinion.

  2. Chris Bull
    February 4, 2014 at 18:17 — Reply

    Legend.

  3. Anonymous
    February 4, 2014 at 18:28 — Reply

    Well, looks like he may get what he wants and be struck off a month before the end of his contract.

  4. Henry
    February 4, 2014 at 18:30 — Reply

    What an absolute legend. Long may he teach.

  5. Ed
    February 4, 2014 at 18:51 — Reply

    I want to marry him.

  6. Richard
    February 4, 2014 at 18:52 — Reply

    A bit too sensationalist.

  7. Anonymous
    February 4, 2014 at 18:56 — Reply

    PHWOOAAAAR how’s he going to get on at York St. Johns?

    • F
      February 4, 2014 at 22:55 — Reply

      Probably better, Yorkshire folk know when to laugh, others just take everything far too seriously. Get over it, he’s only showing humour in the face of adversity, one day you may do the same, if you ever get a sense of humour transplant.

      • Anonymous
        February 5, 2014 at 16:35 — Reply

        I believe the comment above was probably implying that the students at York St. Johns are over a lower calibre (BIGGER IDIOTS) than those who go to UoN.

      • E
        February 5, 2014 at 18:13 — Reply

        Wow calm down, dear.

  8. A
    February 4, 2014 at 19:10 — Reply

    Wow, bit of a shocker, but he’s taught me since first year and I really like him. I was in this module, but am not too bothered by the shit he posts on fb outside of uni-hope he doens’t get into too much trouble as I still have him for a module this term…

  9. Joe
    February 4, 2014 at 19:22 — Reply

    Legend!!

  10. Uh-Oh
    February 4, 2014 at 19:30 — Reply

    Maybe understandable if his facebook had been private, but this was on a public profile. Unprofessional doesn’t even cover it…

    • Anonymous
      February 4, 2014 at 22:47 — Reply

      Taking anything posted on Facebook as serious is a silly move, it’s why students don’t quote it as a source in essays. But do for lazy journalism.

    • L
      February 4, 2014 at 23:07 — Reply

      He thought it was private, but being in his forties, he was caught out by the changes Facebook made last year. I was too – my private account became public and I was targeted by some trolls.

      • .
        March 16, 2016 at 05:32 — Reply

        .

    • quentine
      February 5, 2014 at 14:00 — Reply

      he didn’t mention the name,did he?? not too unprofessional then.

  11. B
    February 4, 2014 at 20:05 — Reply

    Anybody fancy informing York about this? I would kindly do so

    • Richard
      February 5, 2014 at 11:33 — Reply

      Done

      • Anonymous
        February 5, 2014 at 14:40 — Reply

        Totally unnecessary. He doesn’t deserve to lose his job over this. Yes it was stupid, but he’s only human and he has a family to support. Don’t be a dick.

      • --
        February 5, 2014 at 17:33 — Reply

        Let York know that they’re hiring a human being instead of a robot? I’m not seeing why they’d care.

  12. F
    February 4, 2014 at 20:13 — Reply

    I am appalled, I was in this class and feel genuinely let down. Not sure he should be allowed to have the final say on our marks for essays/exams for this module

  13. Anonymous
    February 4, 2014 at 20:15 — Reply

    This seems less like the ravings of a madman and more like the legitimate frustration of a lifelong academic watching the gradual decline of higher education from a legitimate place for intelligent people to learn into the holding pen for middle class rich kids to put off getting a real job, get shitfaced and blag their way to mediocrity that it is right now.

    Obviously he’s had decades of watching things get progressively more terrible and now he’s like “fuck this you can have your sinking ship i’m out motherfuckers” and he’s just done the metaphorical mic-drop and stormed off stage.

    Which is fair enough, students are the worst.

    • j
      February 4, 2014 at 21:54 — Reply

      amen brother!

    • L.
      February 5, 2014 at 01:12 — Reply

      You think access to higher education in the past was based on merit as opposed to social position? My working-class ancestors would be surprised, especially the female and disabled ones.

  14. a PhD student
    February 4, 2014 at 20:47 — Reply

    But exam marking is a barrel of laughs! http://imgur.com/IuLIm54

    I also once marked a piece of coursework where the student had handwritten his own name wrong (I think he’d put Mattew when the list we had clearly said Matthew). I posted about that on Facebook, but it was visible only to my friends, and I didn’t post the student’s name (not even ‘Mattew’). I felt a bit bad a few months later when the time came to mark exams, and his script was one of the ones that has a sticker on it saying “this student has a specific learning difficulty; please do not unduly penalise for grammar and/or spelling errors.” But really, your own name…

    (And before anyone gets up in arms about the fact that exam scripts are supposed to be anonymous: they are during the actual marking process, but when marks are entered into the final marksheet, the sealed flap is opened so that the name can be cross checked against that in the marksheet, as a secondary check to the student ID. I have marked a lot of exams.)

  15. dczsc
    February 4, 2014 at 20:53 — Reply

    ‘legend’ is the sort of thing that a ‘bellend’ would write in response to this article.

    • F
      February 4, 2014 at 22:51 — Reply

      Lack of capitals there dcszc, You must be a grammatical ‘legend’.

      • E
        February 6, 2014 at 11:33 — Reply

        If we’re really going to get picky, I note your comma splice and inappropriate capitalisation.

  16. KC
    February 4, 2014 at 21:10 — Reply

    If only the University would let him leave early. This is disgraceful behaviour for which students on many courses would face disciplinary hearings. Everyone moans about their job, but the personal and public nature of the comments is unacceptable.
    The man is an embarrassment to Nottingham – good riddance.

  17. #
    February 4, 2014 at 21:23 — Reply

    Interesting we got told our essays wouldn’t be marked on time due to ‘unforseen staffing issues’ and not because he was too busy avoiding marking. All marks are surely compromised by his lack of professionalism. As a student of his I’m disgusted by this.

    • Ghislaine Anderton
      February 6, 2014 at 11:43 — Reply

      You’re a student of his? So you no doubt got the email which told you that second marking was the problem. I’ll just explain what that means – that Tony Fisher has marked the papers, but that they need to be marked by another member of staff before they’re returned. It would appear that no second member of staff was able to do it in time. I hope that’s aided your understanding of the issue.

  18. L
    February 4, 2014 at 21:54 — Reply

    Oh for god’s sake, is he not allowed to have a Christmas holiday? Who would be marking over Christmas and New Year?
    You’re all up in arms about stuff all lecturers say. He didn’t identify a single student and none of you would know who he was talking about. Who the fuck is stalking their lecturer’s facebook pages anyway!?

  19. Anonymous
    February 4, 2014 at 22:14 — Reply

    I am on this module and this is the email I received from him explaining why our essays would be returned late

    “I’m writing to let you knopw that, due to unforeseen staffing issues, I won’t be able to get your sociolinguistic essays second marked untill for another couple of weeks. All essays need to be second marked, and I’m afraid there is no one available to do this until 20th Jan.This means you are unlikely to receive them before your exam on the 24th”

    No mention of the idle, hungover, marking fairy.

    • L
      February 5, 2014 at 19:23 — Reply

      This means he marked them and he didn’t have a second marker to do the second part of the marking. The fact that you can’t comprehend this suggests that you may well be the illiterate student to whom he refers.

  20. A
    February 4, 2014 at 22:31 — Reply

    I’ve been Tony’s student and I’ve never found him to be anything less than supportive and a lecturer who cares a lot about his students (which can’t be said for others in English dpt at Nottingham). I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been frustrated and angered by some of the ignorant things my peers have said in my Linguistics classes, I can’t imagine what it must be like to encounter that day-in day-out. The article is so sensationalist it hurts and wouldn’t be out of place in the Daily Mail. It makes completely ridiculous statements with no actual point (identified as female?! could be most people on the course?) and it takes the content far too literally (who hasn’t procrastinated work ffs?!). It’s a shame that this content was available publicly, but what are doing stalking your lecturers on Fb anyway?! Seems quite sad to me.

  21. Ex student
    February 4, 2014 at 22:57 — Reply

    Is someone trying to cut their teeth as a legitimate journo?

    Paraphrasing this story, you could sum it up as ‘student snooping causes stress to lecturer who mistakenly let off steam on a page he thought to be more private than it was’. The poor guys needs to be cut some slack.

    Maybe I’m underestimating the story but there’s nothing in the article that gives it any more credence. This is journalism at its worst, I hope the author doesn’t become a career journalist. (Or at least not for a real paper, by all means work for one of the many glossies to which the word ‘editorial’ is just a multi-syllabic alternative for ‘LOLZ’). Sad face. Seriously.

  22. F
    February 4, 2014 at 23:08 — Reply

    When the chap has to deal with students who don’t know what ‘research’ is, or missed lectures because of some ‘crazy party’, I can see why the writer of this article changed the students names. After all, who’d put their hands up and admit they were the idiot students. The whole thing just sounds like mardy student bitching to me, and will do until one of his students has the balls to say ‘that was me.’ I shan’t hold my breath.

    • L
      February 5, 2014 at 13:40 — Reply

      Well said

  23. OG-Sama
    February 4, 2014 at 23:15 — Reply

    Lecturers are human beings, and not automatic opinionless teaching machines? Shocking news. Clearly he should be hung, drawn, and quartered for this heresy.

  24. F
    February 5, 2014 at 01:04 — Reply

    Antonia Padget must mourn the loss of the News of the World, such journalistic skills would of gone down well there. Hope she continues to troll lecturers G-Z in search of sensation.

    • Anonymous
      February 5, 2014 at 10:41 — Reply

      yep it’s all pretty pathetic isn’t it. maybe she’ll write one about students slagging off lecturers too. it’s all…self-righteous compensation culture innit

  25. Anastasha
    February 5, 2014 at 01:13 — Reply

    Oh my this is unbelievably rude and unprofessional. Yeah students are idiots but you know what us students even in frustration may complain about lecturers in general but never specifically about a certain professor on a public profile! Why? May be because we want to have grades and jobs and it’s interesting how this guy was not afraid for his job at all, so what if he leaves nottingham, now he is going to terrorise a different university. He should have at least a fine or a discplinary hearing of some sort or at least a serious warning in his next job. And no fed up as he is of his job does not mean he can complain on facebook about his marking work and show off how he never got it done, employees in all sorts of companies know that if they post online about how they are shirking work they will get fired, what does this idiot think his behaviour is ok? Don’t like your job, quit, leave with some diginity rather than as a pompous idiot.

    • --
      February 5, 2014 at 09:56 — Reply

      Terrorise? Get real. He made some private jokes about his job, big whoop.

    • A H
      February 5, 2014 at 10:44 — Reply

      Really? Calling for him to be fined or sacked? What on earth does that even achieve other than to appease those who get so worked up over something that doesn’t affect them?

      And how on earth did you make it all the way from the Daily Mail website to here?!?

      • Ghislaine Anderton
        February 5, 2014 at 16:02 — Reply

        No. Some students are idiots. Here are some examples of student idiocy. And your reading skills are nothing to boast of, are they? Why would he “be afraid for his job”? It clearly tells us in the article that he’s leaving anyway. So he has already quit his job with quite sufficient “dignity”, I would have said.

      • Ghislaine Anderton
        February 6, 2014 at 11:45 — Reply

        Top comment.

    • L
      February 5, 2014 at 22:38 — Reply

      Terrorise. Really?

    • Sav
      October 27, 2014 at 20:24 — Reply

      My god you’re in for a shock when you start work. The real world may not agree with you.

  26. UnderGrayed
    February 5, 2014 at 03:20 — Reply

    As unprofessional as the public nature of these comments are, I can’t help but feel this has a personal slant on it…

    Does it matter if he liked a crass joke? What happened to freedom of thought, something students are supposed to learn respect for…

    Why is his asking for panic attack treatments described as something cruel? If I cared about someone I’d do my homework too to see if I could help them…

    The writer of this article will probably have a fulfilling career with the daily mail, though 😉

  27. Student
    February 5, 2014 at 08:40 — Reply

    Is this what we are paying 9k for?!! Can I have a refund?

  28. .
    February 5, 2014 at 08:45 — Reply

    Having been taught by Tony Fisher for two years now, I can honestly say that he’s an excellent tutor. Although he should have been more careful with his Facebook privacy settings, I believe that this article has been written with the clear agenda of trashing Tony’s reputation. You quote the comments left by his friends on a status, and then feel it necessary to point out that he ‘liked’ one saying “Tell him to have 4 pints and a spliff.” I’m not sure why you thought this was important enough to highlight in your article – simply clicking the ‘like’ button does not mean he’s endorsing drinking and smoking weed – and even if he was, this is his Facebook page, not a blog connected to his role at the University.
    Tony is an engaging tutor, and the success of his seminars and lectures is definitely, to a large extent, down to his sense of humour. Most of these statuses clearly aren’t written to be taken seriously – see, for example, the statement about “ignoring the 50 odd sociolinguistics essays” throughout the Christmas period.” You’ve taken this as fact, despite the fact that Tony may well be exaggerating the situation for the sake of making his Facebook status funnier – from my experience, people tend to write exaggerated, humourous Facebook statuses, and I definitely wouldn’t take them at face value.
    Finally, the tone of your article, as has been mentioned in other comments, is rather hysterical. Yes, Tony should have managed the privacy settings on his Facebook account in a more professional way, but none of these statuses say anything that is truly incriminating or discriminating, and your article is rather lacking in balance. It would have made sense to weigh the situation up objectively and include comments supporting Tony, something that would have been easy as many of my peers on the English Studies course have come out in favour of Tony against the furore you seem to be wanting to create around him.

    • .
      February 5, 2014 at 10:33 — Reply

      Hi Tony

    • An actual student
      February 5, 2014 at 11:02 — Reply

      Referring to students as ‘idiots’ for the sake of a laugh is never ok. This guy sounds like he shouldn’t be around students/ young people if those are the kinds of opinions he carries. Students aren’t cattle, or imbeciles, but young people who are trying their best to learn, and do not deserve to be insulted by smug/ bitter tutors who clearly wish to be elsewhere. There are plenty of members of faculty who deal with some less than satisfactory work without slandering their students. To directly quote students work with the intent of ridiculing it is incredibly distasteful and something I’m sure a lot of tutors wouldn’t dream of, or at least feel inclined to do anywhere else than in private conversations.
      While using humour in seminars/ lectures is a fantastic way to engage students, to then twist that same humour into ridiculing/ shaming your students in front of all your friends in order to impress them, or be ‘funnier’ is pretty pathetic. I know people who took this course who genuinely really liked him as a tutor, but now feel incredibly let down having had a glimpse of his perception of them away from the classroom. I think the blame here shouldn’t be on the writer of the article, but on Tony for writing such incredibly crass/ insensitive comments in a place where they can easily be seen.

      • Sav
        October 27, 2014 at 20:33 — Reply

        The writer of an incredibly sexist and nonsensical femenist rant, a student who didn’t turn up because he was partying and a third year who didn’t know what research was. Are you sure you are so upset about a lecturer rolling his eyes about these bright young things?
        In your comment you’ve called him smug, bitter, pathetic, crass, insensitive and said he shouldn’t have his job. You presumably feel this namecalling is ok due to his conduct. How is this any different to his comments in reaction to his students’ conduct?

    • Yo
      February 5, 2014 at 11:40 — Reply

      It appears Tony has made a statement: see above

      • .
        February 5, 2014 at 17:48 — Reply

        I’m flattered that everybody thought I was Tony commenting earlier, but unfortunately not – I’m not sure he’d engage in such a narcisstic form of self-defence. I was in his lecture this morning (see The Tab) and thought his apology said everything it needed to – he accepted that he’d done wrong and said that he hopes this doesn’t jeapordise his relationship with his students. I apologise if my first comment was overly flattering of him but I was infuriated by the sensationalist tone of this article.

      • L
        February 5, 2014 at 19:27 — Reply

        Get real. As if Tony would waste his time writing anonymous messages on this thread.

  29. K
    February 5, 2014 at 09:33 — Reply

    I think he’s hilarious. I don’t think most people know how frustrating it is to come across stupid people and the most ridiculous things they say.
    I would probably have done the exact same thing but on private of course. At least his frustrations are quite witty, get over it guys. Students b**** about lecturers, teachers and the like ALL the time. Now that a lecturer has given you a taste of your own medicine, you should probably get off your high horse now.

    • L
      February 5, 2014 at 12:43 — Reply

      High horse? He is a teacher. Since when does teaching involve taking students work and ridiculing it on facebook? Students go to uni to learn. if you’re just going to label them stupid and laugh about it you’re clearly in the wrong job.

      • L
        February 5, 2014 at 19:27 — Reply

        They probably were stupid. Let’s be honest about it

  30. Josh F
    February 5, 2014 at 10:08 — Reply

    Every lecturer has their grievances against their students. We’re far from perfect; Antonia does address that. Furthermore, you’re going to land yourself in a heap of trouble if you badmouth your employers on it too.

    The point is that airing them online in the public domain is highly unprofessional. Do it in the pub amongst friends; not where the entire world can legally access it. And if you do insist on using Facebook for this kind of thing, check your privacy settings. It’s not a character assassination; he made his own bed.

    • L
      February 5, 2014 at 22:37 — Reply

      So a man who’s worked hard for 10 years to qualify for a job he loves and is good at should be made unemployed because he was mistaken about his Facebook privacy setting? Apart from Tony, no-one has actually been damaged by his remarks – certainly no-one was identifiable.

      With its distortions, non sequiters and lack of context, this article is nothing but a character assassination. The writer should be deeply ashamed.

  31. A H
    February 5, 2014 at 10:42 — Reply

    What utter garbage. I got into trouble in freshers after complaining about one of my block tutors on my facebook (which stupidly wasn’t private at the time) and I got slapped with a fine (and the threat of expulsion) by the hall warden.

    To use his Facebook as reporting material is utter horseshit, especially the section about the feedback; come on, it’s dated the 5th! It doesn’t take 19 days to mark something, and the fact he’d commented clearly shows he was in the process of doing it.

    And no, i’m not a student of his, i graduated (from a completely different subject) a couple of years ago, and it makes me rage when I see this kind of sensationalist crap pop up on my facebook.

    Why don’t you consider the legalities of posting things from his private profile in the public domain? I’m pretty sure he could snag you purely from using his profile picture, claiming copyright.

    Go do some decent reporting for once, like the tab……

    • Josh F
      February 5, 2014 at 13:36 — Reply

      His profile wasn’t private; it was in the public domain. It’s completely legal. As for his profile picture, that’s not how Facebook’s copyright laws work.

      The greater issue here is identifying students’ genders, discussing their exam papers, and commenting on their welfare. It’s a breach of confidentiality, and even worse considering how few people are on his module, and the split between men/women. You’re incredibly mistaken if you think that’s sensationalist.

  32. Anonymous
    February 5, 2014 at 13:05 — Reply

    poor guy. sensationalist bullshit.

  33. Adam L
    February 5, 2014 at 13:47 — Reply

    Ironic- calling other people idiots publicly on Facebook, to be easily found by the students who he seems to have the same amount of spare time as. It’s legal, just stupid, and horribly narcissistic to post that many statuses about it. It’s the teacher version of the student, “sooo hungover last night, #crisis #jagerbomb #yolo”.

    Douche

    • --
      February 5, 2014 at 17:39 — Reply

      I don’t like this man’s attitude! Take away his job!

  34. F
    February 5, 2014 at 14:01 — Reply

    Josh, do you seriously think it was direct quotes? Students essays are a source for pure comedy, and that’s all that was posted on Facebook, other than genuine concern for a students well being.
    Good luck to him on his new job, Yorkshire folk know when to laugh, others just take everything far too seriously. Get over it, he’s only showing humour in the face of adversity, one day you may do the same, if you ever get a sense of humour transplant.

    • Josh F
      February 5, 2014 at 15:42 — Reply

      I’m from Yorkshire. It’s a barrel of laughs up here.

  35. -
    February 5, 2014 at 14:18 — Reply

    This article highlights everything that is bad about journalism. The guy made a mistake but he’s not a villain and he is actually a really good lecturer who doesn’t deserve to be portrayed as some kind of monster. He made a mistake, a stupid one I admit, but he doesn’t deserve this level of shit.

  36. Student
    February 5, 2014 at 14:48 — Reply

    This is nothing new.

    Those with a longer memory may remember the Rod Thornton scandal where one leaked e-mail showed two academics gossiping about a Muslim student “bombing” his exams – if ever there was a case of a poor use of words.

    Academics from my department often tweet their favourite exam “gaffes” when marking. 🙁

    It is symptomatic of the low status afforded to teaching and the attitude towards teaching when it is ultimately research that determines promotion and rank.

  37. Laura
    February 5, 2014 at 15:40 — Reply

    I have no idea why my comment has not been allowed through as I didn’t say anything controversial.
    All you complaining need to get a grip. Every single lecturer takes the piss out of bad comments in essays. Just like every student makes judgments about lecturers and talks about it with their friends. Tony’s only crime is not understanding Facebook privacy settings. He is a nice kind guy and actually some of these comments are taken wayyyy out of context. The panic attack one, for example,has only screenshotted some of the comments. Not the comments where he was finding out about counselling avenues and talked about trying to support this student before his exam. Hardly the actions of a terrorist. You all need to get a grip. This is a terribly written article – I’d personally mark it at 48 for poor use of sources and then I might laugh about the poor writing style on my Facebook too.

    • A
      February 5, 2014 at 20:56 — Reply

      “I’d personally mark it at 48 for poor use of sources”

      I personally think 48 is too generous. Critical discourse analysis severely lacking…

  38. Laura
    February 5, 2014 at 15:43 — Reply

    Oh and if you think Tony would bother to write a comment under a fake name, you are deluded. He made a public apology, why would he bother to comment directly on this trash and pretend not to be himself. He’s probably spending time with his family – you know, the small children you hope to take food from the mouths of by virtue of a fine or trying to get him sacked from his new job. Assholes.

    • UnderGrayed
      February 5, 2014 at 16:39 — Reply

      “like” 😀

  39. FAB
    February 5, 2014 at 18:57 — Reply

    Tony’s informal and friendly teaching style has been something I have truly appreciated in him, therefore I felt like he was on the side of the students. I always found him approachable and he gave great advice for my project last term. To hear him then slate some of us behind our backs has made me lose faith somewhat in the English professors at The University of Nottingham. If they are ‘friends’ on facebook, then lord knows why nobody advised him to stop posting these statuses at an earlier date. I appreciate his response above, and hope he has learned a lesson here, if merely to ensure his facebook settings are entirely private.

  40. F
    February 5, 2014 at 21:52 — Reply

    Well done, you’re all getting your work remarked. I’ll bet your grades go down, but they’ll never be as low as my respect now is for Nottingham University and is shambolic semi-literate students.

    • N
      February 6, 2014 at 11:08 — Reply

      Yep, well done, getting work re-marked by other staff who feel *exactly* the same way as him but are more savvy with facebook privacy settings.

  41. J
    February 5, 2014 at 22:05 — Reply

    I’m 3rd year Linguistics at St John – word from the faculty is the job offer is probably gonna be withdrawn

  42. .
    February 5, 2014 at 22:09 — Reply

    You managed to get the story onto the Daily Mail site. Congratulations. You must be proud to have the approval of a publication you clearly so value.

    • N
      February 6, 2014 at 11:09 — Reply

      Actually it is an achievement, for the first time in history the Daily Mail comments are pretty much spot on…

  43. 123
    February 6, 2014 at 00:38 — Reply

    Wow, a new low for the ‘journalists’ at impact. Shameful character assassination. Can someone answer me – what good does this sort of gutter press garbage actually do anyone?

    • MrF
      February 6, 2014 at 16:06 — Reply

      Well, it’s probably got Antonia a Donut from the Daily Mail. Hopefully that’s all she’ll ever achieve with her sensational, shameful trolling of people.

  44. U.S. is even dumber
    April 9, 2014 at 18:22 — Reply

    Students nowadays are politically correct babies. To say they are retarded is an insult to retards worldwide. There’s nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade; or with calling a moron a moron.

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