Headteacher warns parents of possible legal action if they slate the school on Facebook

A head teacher has threatened parents with legal action if they make derogatory comments about her school on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Mary Ellen McCarthy, the head of Saxon Primary School in Shepperton, Surrey, put a letter on the school's website stating they would be 'likely to take action to protect the school and the staff team' if parents wrote negative things on social networking sites. She claimed that all such comments 'are always passed to our solicitors'.

Get Surrey reports that parents were outraged by Ms McCarthy's letter, with one unnamed woman alleging they had been told to send their children elsewhere if they did not like the rules.

Unrepentant Ms McCarthy said the school had the right to take action against parents who defied the ruling.

"A lot of headteachers in the area have been talking about this," she said. "This is not a particular incident, the letter is as a group of schools."

"Schools are having conversations about parents on Facebook use and the potential damage it can cause. I have no dispute with parents; it is making the boundaries clear," she added.

What do you think? Right to defend her school's reputation or an infringement of parents' rights?