How ISR Stands Up for You-An Example

  Not all schools and directors view a negative Review as an opportunity to improve their school. To the contrary, many react by contacting ISR demanding the offending Review be removed, often accompanied with the threat of “legal action” should we fail to comply. A few days ago, ISR received just such a threat.

We believe you have the right to know what goes on behind the scenes when you’re considering a particular school for a career move.  For this reason, when we receive threatening letters from schools/directors/attorneys we post these letters along with the reviews of the schools to which they pertain.

We’ve displayed the most recent threat below and exactly as we received it (through our contact us form) with spelling and grammatical errors in intact. We did remove the name of the school and director for purposes of the newsletter. This same letter is, however, posted along with the reviews of this school in the members’ area: 

Recent Letter to ISR Demanding Action

submitted by: (xxxxx@hotmail.com) on Monday, October 17, 2016 at 14:11:40

name: (withheld)

message: Im the Rector of one of the School, a comment was posted. I think it is very unfair to let people upload whatever commnet they want. They can affect the reputation of a school very fast. And I say its unfair because there a a lot of things that are not true. As a school we haven’t authorized to use the name of our organization in your website. So please contact us, if not then we will have to start a legal process.

Schools and directors who consistently take advantage of teachers are in the habit of getting their way. And they expect to get their way with ISR. A problem starts when they realize ISR stands up for its members and refuses to allow schools to manipulate how they are represented on ISR. We couldn’t sleep nights if we had any part in allowing you to make a career decision based on deceptive information. Our mission is to provide a safe venue through which teachers can share the honest truth about their experience with a particular school.

In response to such threats from schools we respond with a letter similar to the one seen below. Our hope is that schools and directors will see that negative Reviews can, and do offer them a rich opportunity to work with staff to correct grievances. Some schools and directors do proceed in a very positive way, and others escalate the threats directed at ISR to new levels. In the 13 years ISR has been on line we have never removed a Review from the site in response to a legal threat.

Any Review sites that alter, doctor, or even worse, removes (!) Reviews is no better than the schools that exploit educators for money. This recruiting season, as always, you can depend on ISR for School Reviews that contain what the author and/or teacher intended to share with you!

The ISR Response to Threats of Legal Action

Dear …..

Thank you for writing and pointing out the Review of your school you find objectionable.

Please understand that ISR is a public bulletin board. We function strictly as a third-party venue to provide a space where members can exchange information. As such, everyone is entitled to relate their experiences and naturally, not everyone has the same experiences.

The person, or persons, that posted a Review you find objectionable has obviously had an experience contrary to how you may perceive the situation from your position. ISR is not in a position to remove information from the site. We are not editors or publishers, and as such we strictly provide a venue.

There may well be two sides to a situation and from your letter it sounds like you have a different story to tell about how things are currently at your school. If you would like to compose a letter stating your version of the facts we can link it directly to the section of a Review you find objectionable.
.
You may want to post your own Review and identify yourself. This way readers can see two points of view, side-by-side. Membership is not required to post Reviews to the ISR web site and you will find a link on the home page through which you may post to the site.

May I recommend you see the following, which outlines a positive way to benefit from Reviews you consider unfavorable?
.
http://www.internationalschoolsreview.com/nonmembers/ethical-directors-what.htm

Sincerely,
Ben M. @ ISR

International Educators Keeping Each Other Informed is what
International Schools Review is all about!

Comments? Please scroll down

10 Responses to How ISR Stands Up for You-An Example

  1. mysterC says:

    Kudos to you for engaging these schools in such a thoughtful manner. The more that your site is a place for accountability and honest dialogue, the better we all should be, the schools included.

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    Honestly I think it is deplorable that IS are crying foul when something negative is written about their school. Do you know how many colleagues I have had that have been completely blinded sided by anonymous references on Search or ISS or Schrole. The teacher does not even have a clue it has happened unless someone either tells them or they keep getting to the reference part of the hiring process and not getting hired. Schools and directors and principals are all such hypocrites. They will happily give a bad reference anonymously because they are cowards and bullies and overall just lousy horrid administrators and human beings. But if one negative thing is written about their precious cash cow of a school they get all upset and threaten legal action. It is ridiculous. They at least know about the negative comments. Us poor teachers have no idea what was said or who said it and we can then really struggle to get a job or move schools. I hope these IS lose business and stop being able to recruit teachers because they demonstrate a blatant disregard for contracts, start and finish times to the school day, working on weekends or honoring health care coverage. Int teachers rights are so abused. We even get to put up with sexual harassment in the work place, all of this goes unchecked. I found intl teaching way too abusive and so I head back home where I have union and can file a lawsuit against any person who sexually harasses me and they can not change my contract or tell me I have to stay late because the principal decided on whim to have meeting till 5pm.

    Like

  3. Steven says:

    We, very much appreciate the fact that we can read good and some bad reviews on ISR. At Guangdong Country Garden School,Foshan Shunde,China.We were bullied and cheated out of pay so often that a Website was created to warn other teachers.

    Plenty of us wish we joined ISR sooner.

    Guangdong Country Garden Exposed at: http://countrygardenexposed.is.

    Like

  4. Anonymous says:

    I worked for a Head that used to have an end of year meeting with all the staff that were leaving. In that meeting he warned us against posting negative comments on sites like ISR and took great pleasure in telling us that he had successfully sued ISR for libel and as part of his settlement he was entitled to 10% of ISR profits each year. It saddens me that year after year he now gives that speech and comments about that school have not been made on ISR in over 5 years.
    He was quite a scary head!

    Like

  5. mautio1 says:

    What I am noticing is that there are not many new reviews for schools in Central America. I worked at a school there, reported the treatment I received from admin and was threatened to be fired. I have found out that if you post public comments on school websites, you are reprimanded and threatened. Every school i have worked for in the past five years have no new postings.

    Like

    • Miss Cautious says:

      I have noticed that about a couple of schools I worked at, too. What I think is that a school gets a few bad reviews. The school then threatens the teachers that they will be fired if they are discovered posting to ISR. When I see reviews abruptly stop coming for a school for a long period of time that’s my cue that the admin has done something to keep teachers from posting. I take a cut off of reviews for a school as a bad sign.

      Like

  6. Don McMahon says:

    Like most bullies, the directors,principals,administrators and lackeys who try and silence ISR with vague and inapplicable threats of legal action or similar strong-arm tactics end up melting away like snow in Florida. If a school has nothing to hide and is open to change and improvement….they usually won’t appear on ISR, however if they do and will take action to remediate their issues, then everyone wins. However the hardcore bullies and abusers aren’t interested in anyone but themselves ¨winning¨and will try any means to cover up their lacunae. Well done to ISR for standing up and facing down these cyber-cowards!

    Like

    • Been There says:

      You hit the nail on the head. ISR saved me from a terrible school that from recent accounts is on its way out! See the reviews of Dipont Education China then search them on Google. A complete disaster I avoided thanks to ISR

      Like

  7. got the T shirt already says:

    I, for one appreciate the fact that I can get the real low-down on these schools at ISR. I know that my school got their legal defense team (as they call it) to send letters to ISR demanding that reviews of our school be taken down. We got progress reports at our faculty meetings and the director and board chairperson made threats towards staff that dared to post reviews. In the end, and much to the surprise of our “beloved” director, ISR posted all his nasty, threatening letters, with his name attached, to be displayed along with the reviews of our school. The end result is that our director come across exactly as the abuser he was portrayed as in the reviews. Good going ISR. It’s nice to know I can depend on you for information I need.

    Like

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