First of all, please may I say that this thread is not directed at you quite as personally as it may seem?
As I mentioned above, there have been four separate threads about Tiffin that have been locked, 3 of them a long time before you registered on the Forum. It has been a volatile situation for a long time and by starting this thread my hope is that other Tiffin parents may read it before they post, and it could help to defuse the situation a little.
Perhaps unfortunately, as you are one of the main protagonists on the current Tiffin thread, your quotes (and Southby's) have been used to demonstrate the point. However, to answer the points you make in your first post.
I did object to the moderating yesterday because I thought it unfair.
When anyone registers for this Forum, they accept the following statement: You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time should they see fit.
Despite that statement, and unlike some Forums, we do offer a right of reply in most cases, "trolls" being the exception. We much prefer to use PMs to discuss the reasons we have moderated a post. Unfortunately our experience with Tiffin posts - for whatever reason - is that we have PMed people and they have not replied to us. Also, many of the posters are new members, who do not know how to retrieve PMs. That leaves us with very little choice than to communicate our reasons for moderating on the main Forum.
Regarding the difference between your posts and Southby's posts, I can only try to amplify what I said earlier. Where you state that you are "reporting an opinion
that is in the public domain", the question the Mods (and the lawyers) have to ask is: "Where is it in the public domain?" If it has been published elsewhere (such as in a local newspaper) then there is unlikely to be an issue with repeating it here. However, if the opinion
is merely "one that has changed hands frequently among Tiffin parents", then it is in potentially dangerous territory if you are the first person to put it in writing.
By contrast, Southby adds the magic word "presumably" to his statement, rather than using unequivocal and absolute statements such as: "... a mess they either willingly participated in or facilitated through neglect."
Southby has allowed for an element of doubt. Unfortunately, your statement gives less room for manouevre.
I recently advised a very new Forum member, after some troublesome replies to her initial posts, that judicious use of phrases such as: "perhaps", "in my opinion", "it could be that" will go a long way to appease other members. I am afraid that the same is even more true of libel lawyers.
Please use the Forum to impart information - as you have done so well, but please also exercise very careful judgement in the wording you use for named individuals. There have been occasions when a post on this Forum has resulted in a call from a libel lawyer within less than an hour.
I also suffered moderation by 5 moderators yesterday, mainly for complaining about the above moderation. I think this does raise issues of consistency.
I make it 3 Mods publicly, so could we split the difference on that? Your first post on the thread yesterday was made at 11.56am, and your last at 9.16pm. None of the Moderators - all volunteers with jobs and families - can possibly be here for the full 9 hours that would provide absolute consistency.
We do try to ensure that one person takes "ownership" of specific difficulties, but even then, problematic posts have to be moderated by whoever is available at the time.
Once again, I would like to point out that you are not the sole target of this thread lewarcher. There have been many Tiffin parents before you who have fallen foul of the Mods. Some have even vanished permanently from the Forum, because they were "trolling".
Your posts have been almost entirely constructive, and as informative as Southby's. I hope that you will continue to provide information and participate in the debate, because I feel that - slowly - we are beginning to find out what has happened at the school.
As a footnote
, I would ask all
posters about Tiffin to read and absorb the content of this thread.