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: (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Monday, October 17, 2016 at 14:11:40
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
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?
Ben M. @ ISR
International Educators Keeping Each Other Informed is what
International Schools Review is all about!
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