Monday, October 20, 2014

Bullying of Teachers Pervasive in Many Schools

May 16, 2012 by twalker  
Filed under Featured News, Top Stories

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By Cindy Long

Workplace bullying is on the rise. About a third of American workers have been impacted by bullying in the workplace, either as a target or as witness to abusive behavior against a co-worker. Unfortunately, it’s even more prevalent in the field of education. In a recent survey of medium-sized school districts, 25 percent of employees reported that they had been bullied.

A teacher from Augusta, Maine, was so traumatized by her principal and superintendent that she didn’t want her name or school mentioned, but wanted to share her story because she believes the pervasive problem of workplace bullying has gone on unchecked for too long.

“I am sufficiently frightened enough by my former employers to fear that maybe they could still hurt me,” she says. “I need to get a new job but won’t be able to do so if I am unable to receive even one recommendation from an administrator.  I know it and so do they.”

After the Augusta educator resisted being transferred to a new school and new grade level, she began to be scrutinized by her administrators. First, they began examining her test scores, her communications with parents, and her relationships with colleagues. Then, with no explanation and no warning, the principal began interrupting her class to pull out students one-by-one to talk to them. When the educator asked the students why they were being pulled out, they told her they were instructed not to tell.

She was accused of not using technology in her class, even though each student had a laptop. She was criticized for relying on a literacy mentor, even though some of her students were struggling with reading. She was put on a behavior modification plan and was told to submit her lesson plans a week in advance for review by administrators. Her peers warned her that she was being targeted, and she began to believe it. Finally, she left her job after her health began to deteriorate.

It’s not just administrators bullying teachers, says Carv Wilson, a geography teacher at Legacy Junior High in Layton, Utah. He’s been an educator for 18 years, and has seen teachers bullying each other to get their way, as well as aggressive parents who fly off the handle and threaten and intimidate their child’s educators. But he says the worst case of ongoing workplace bullying he witnessed was by a principal.

“I was heavily involved in school leadership both as a Davis Education Association Rep and on the school representative counsel, and I heard about or witnessed first-hand the abuse of other teachers, staff, and students by this principal,” he says. “She specifically targeted individual teachers and the only thing that seemed to offer any protection was membership in our local association.”

Wilson says more than 60 percent of the educators were NEA members, and the other 30 percent “suffered dramatically at her hands.”  The number of transfers out of the school was higher than 50 percent each year of the eight years that she was principal of the school.

“She seemed to revel in people being driven out of education or to another school,” he says.  “The memories of that time still haunt me from time to time, but it solidified my belief that having representation both in school and in the local community through the association is critical. It’s the only defense against unfair and even punitive measures that are sometimes solely prompted by personality conflicts.”

Denise Mirandola is a union representative for the Pennsylvania State Education Association who holds trainings for members called “Bullying in the Workplace.”

“I presented it at an Education Support Professionals meeting and was surprised to see so many heads nodding,” she says. “I believe that the phenomenon has been overlooked far too long and should be brought to the surface quickly.”

Like Wilson from Utah, she says association representation is vital if you’re being targeted by a workplace bully. The first thing you should do, in fact, is contact your union representative. Then, document, document, document – save emails, letters, memos, notes from conversations, or anything that shows the mistreatment. She also recommends confronting the bully with a supportive ally, like a union rep – and to describe the offensive behavior you’re experiencing, and the change in behavior you’d like to see.

According to Dr. Matt Spencer of the Workplace Bullying in Schools Project, “the bully steals the dignity, self-esteem, confidence, joy, happiness, and quality of life of the targeted victim”. And when the target is an educator, it is a great “injustice” because the bully deprives students of a caring adult who is crucial to their education.

Currently there is no law in any state against workplace bullying, unless it involves harassment based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age or disability. Please support the Healthy Workplace Bill in your state. Go to www.healthyworkplacebill.org for more information.

See Also: Violence Against Teachers – An Overlooked Crisis?

Comments

869 Responses to “Bullying of Teachers Pervasive in Many Schools”
  1. Jonathan K. says:

    AND I WAS #500!

    KEEP POSTING!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  2. This information you shared was so helpful and we are losing top Teachers that are being bullied right out of their professions.
    We need to protect any kind of School Official, Parent, Staff and especially our children when coming forward on reporting school policies and unlaw treatment to others. Immediate consequences, accountablility should take place, besides restitution and written/public apologies should take place.
    People should step down and recalls need to take place within seconds of these corrupt PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOR AND CONTINUED ABUSE IN OUR SCHOOL SYSTEMS.

    Youtube: Bullyingwarrior
    Facebook: Bullyingwarrior
    Facebook: Bullying Teachers and Principals
    Twitter: Bullyingwarrior

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  3. Susan Nunes says:

    I understand that perfectly. You are talking about what is currently happening while I am talking about the fact public ed isn’t a business by definition.

    Two completely different things. I am perfectly aware of the attempts to turn public ed into a cash cow for hedge fund crooks, Bill Gates, Eli Broad, and all of the rest.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  4. Jonathan K. says:

    Yay!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. Jane D. says:

    This is an extremely debilitating problem as well as the reason schools are not reaching their full potential. It would be beneficial for any organization with merit to critically address the appalling problem of teacher on teacher and administrator bullies. When teachers and administrators have no regard for another adult human being one can only imagine how they would treat a child! I am a teacher and have worked in a toxic environment for numerous years. We have watched how teachers are targeted, their classes “stacked”, supplies disappear, and obstacles are created to ensure their demise. Excuses are made stating “their lazy, they are a trouble maker, or there are no classroom management strategies being utilized”. Generally this is not he case. It is just, BULLYING!
    Is there anyone that can help? Will this major dilemma ever be addressed? I know my district has not addressed it because, “if you don’t like your job we can help you leave”.- my administrator’s quote every year during faculty meetings

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  6. Jonathan K. says:

    I was a victim of too large a class with no help. No supplies or tools in my shop either. Somehow they all disappeared… And the other two teachers were trying to write up as many of my students as possible in order to have a paper trail, but I stood in there, chin to chin when I had to! I made “lemonade” when I had to and kept my students engaged at all times! It really pissed them off that I could still be an effective teacher! No one was there to help- No one is there now. All you can do is hire a Lawyer and go after them!

    KEEP POSTING!

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  7. JJ says:

    Jane and Jonathan, I agree. When I was bullied, supplies did change. OH,gee. I was given supplies but they were cheap pencils from the dollar store that went from full length to less than 2 inches at one trip to the classroom pencil sharpener with me doing the sharpening, dollar store crayons that weren’t as bright as others, glue sticks that were hard when uncapped, tape that wouldn’t stay on and was difficult to get off the roll, and scissors that would not cut without tearing the paper while those ‘Favored” teachers were always given the best. They were allowed to have the nice, number 2 pencils used during assessments where bubbles are filled in exactly.
    My duty was 5 minutes longer than all the other staff members and administrators checked to make sure I was on time when other teachers did not show up at all or went to their duty just before it ended. I watched this happen on a daily basis.
    I still am amazed at the childish, unprofessional, retalitory behavior my administrators engaged in as a result of my talks with the wonderful union representative who helped as much as he could.
    Keep the site up, please. It’s so refreshing to read and see we’re not alone.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  8. Jonathan K. says:

    J.J.- You’re never alone!

    KEEP POSTING!

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  9. TheTRUTH says:

    Names people…if you can. Let’s name these animals so that you may perhaps, even if the chances are extremely low, help warn a potential new teacher or a teacher thinking about transferring to said school.
    I can only dream of having been warned prior to taking a position at PS41 in Staten Island, NY with principal Elise Feldman.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  10. Abused for too long says:

    AMS in Aldine in Houston, tx needs to be investigated. If someone would put a zero tolerance “principals bullying teachers and treating staff unprofessionally” policy in effect, these incompetent principals wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.

    I’ve found that for principals who don’t know what they are doing, it’s simply easier to bully teachers and attempt to make them believe everything is their fault instead of sucking it up and saying “I’ve created this toxic environment where teachers don’t want to come to work, where teachers are faced with unnecessary health issues, where students are allowed to run wild (fight, curse teachers out, cheat, etc.), and where turnover will continue to increase.

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  11. JOE SHMOE says:

    Dear the Truth,
    Is that like – the situation? I have been saying that I am afraid “they” will “somehow” get my real name even if I do post under a fictitious name. A LOT of us are saying that. AS IN, posts are not showing up if you write something bad about the NEA?
    Jonathan and Susan,
    Thanks for agreeing to disagree. I do think it is a business, and ATHLETICS is the main player. You know… the coaches stroll in with their starbucks, have so much planning, and are so well loved by the good ole boys. (and gals). I just had to throw in my vote for whether it is a business or not, but let’s try to keep the political opinions to a minumum, can we? After all, we can go to Facebook for that… I am thinking of boycotting facebook til after the election. I wish WE could boycott SCHOOL like back in the 60′s. That’s one reason they can get away with bulling us. (We can’t strike)… The other one is (Sorry People), most of us can not afford to “get out”. What am I going to do, be a greeter at Wal-Mart? I was not planning to do that til I retire, any way..
    I think it is a government run business… All I know is you would not believe the amount of stuff that was THROWN IN THE TRASH, as many teachers were forced to move without any notice, so the new Principal could rearrange the layout. I almost barfed as I waLKED PAST PILES OF BOOKS, entire reading series, all kinds of stuff. Perfectly good, useable supplies… We have 2 giant boxes of sweaters, clothes, jackets… Those are out in the back hall. I do not know what they are watiing for, but they must have been messing up the school rooms… (The jackets and sweaters are for when we are freezing in our rooms, cafeteria, etc, – you know how it is either boiling hot or freezing.. why can’t they ever get it right?) $$$$$$$ in the trash. We were told to get rid of clutter, to make the rooms attractive and conducive to learning, so everyone trashed it all. If you don’t get rid of it, you will be accused of having a cluttered room, then your pay check will decrease, because your students will fail – and it will be all your fault! Talk about government waste. .

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  12. Jonathan K. says:

    My son asked me if I would be humiliated if I got a job as an exit checker at BJ’s- I didn’t know what to say except “In this economy it’s a job-” I can see myself wearing a full apron and cruising the isles at Home Depot though…

    I often wonder even if we win our lawsuits will we get jobs in education? Or, will we be branded as too strong and too threatening? I believe win or lose my career in education is over- I’m interested in your opinions- What do you think?

    KEEP POSTING

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  13. Susan Nunes says:

    Neither one of the two principals who helped to derail or kill my career is currently a principal. One is an “implementation specialist” while the other one is a TIF grant “coordinator.” Both failures will keep being moved from job to job to job in order to pad their pensions.

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  14. one of the many abused teachers in Montgomery County Maryland says:

    I agree with “The Truth”. So many educators are reading these comments and it would be helpful, for all concerned, to know which schools to avoid.
    Many of our counties/school districts have climate surveys. I can’t find where Montgomery County posted theirs for last year. Doug Prouty, if you are reading this, can you please post a comment regarding where last school year’s (2011-2012) climate surveys can be found?
    In summary of what everyone is writing, there seems to be NO principal accountability. If we must pay dues to NEA, then we should expect NEA to encourage principal accountability. Instead, NEA, or in my case, MCEA, is so busy collaborating with administration that they have forgotten the very people, their dues-paying members, who are providing them with their paycheck. I think collaboration is great, but you are being payed, by us to represent us. Your first priority should be to your members, NOT to administration. Further, and I direct this specifically to MCEA, no good teacher wants an ineffective teacher in the classroom, but your PAR process is not being used to improve, nor eliminate ineffective teachers. Rather, your PAR process is being used by abusive principals to target educators that they just don’t like.
    You are working with the Dept. of Ed to spread the PAR process across the country, but the PAR process is terribly flawed and it is being used in a punitive and abusive manner. In Montgomery County, you can be a phenomenal teacher and be placed on PAR. I’ve known teachers with many years of stellar evaluations and they have been placed on PAR. In fact, a few years ago, we lost a wonderful teacher who had just been awarded the Agnes Meyer, Teacher of the Year Award to a neighboring county because she was placed on PAR by a new principal who did not appreciate the teacher.
    In conclusion, before you come to Montgomery County Maryland, do a lot of research. If you end up with and abusive principal, MCEA will do nothing to help you.

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  15. Yaya says:

    I have been a victim of bulling by my ex-principal for 4 years. It happens very similar to the case of the Teacher from Augusta, Main. My doctor told me to change my job or that I would have a heart attack or a stroke. Now because of bad reviews i can renew my certification. I am a National Board Teacher with a Doctoral Degree in lingüística, but acording to the Principal that does not know anything about Language, I didn’t know What I was doing. who so U have to contact at NEA to get some advice. I am a GAE Member (15 years) and about to change to a different organizations. I need help.
    Thank You,

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  16. Susan Nunes says:

    Simply avoid Washoe County School District in Nevada. Hopelessly corrupt and the board is hellbent on putting in Eli Broad types to further mess it up.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  17. RVG says:

    ISD #622, a suburban district in the Twin Cities, MN, is corrupt from the top down, i.e. the school board, the superintendent, the director of H.R., the director of special education, and virtually all of the principals. The union is scared of administration–doesn’t want to “offend” them. Older and/or experienced teachers are being forced out with faked poor performance reviews and anyone that speaks out against what is going on finds their position “eliminated”. Everything is about power and control by a group of “almost psychopaths”. DON’T WORK FOR THESE PEOPLE! You will lose your soul and your mental health.

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  18. Jonathan K. says:

    Three years ago I thought it was just happening to me. And that’s what they wanted me to believe. I was deeply depressed thinking I had let my family down at first and then I sucked it up and decided to stand up for myself and file- Now, with all the people on here telling their stories I feel so much stronger- I’m not alone. I’m going after them and I WILL get them. They deserve it. I still have my moments, but I am very confident the administrators and teachers involved will be investigated, found guilty, and punished according to the law.

    KEEP POSTING!

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  19. Kim Werner says:

    There just is no stopping this conversation. It’s like a magnet and I am drawn back daily. To “one of the many abused teachers in Montgomery County, Maryland”, I WILL be at the Kemp Mill trial. The issues surrounding those teachers’ awful experience in your district mirror my experience in my district. It’s the same tired story of support from school boards and superintendents of abusive principals.

    I am delighted the Kemp Mill ES case will be heard by a jury. For those just joining this conversation–go through the comments. There are at least two links to the Kemp Mill Es case. I have an invitation from one of the plaintiffs to stay with her. You have the same invitation.

    I would really like to know more about Montgomery County’s efforts to keep children safe from bullying. I find such irony in the nation’s attention to this issue. It’s clear to me that children are not safe in these toxic environments of workplace bullying. How can they be? I don’t care that a school received an “A.” That “A” comes at a price of fear and intimidation.

    I’ve experienced it. And not just for myself, but for others–adults AND children. I’ve seen my former principal screaming inches from children’s faces. “SHUT UP!” I’ve routinely seen children cowering in corners–many in tears–of the main office of that school. Routinely. That’s how he “disciplined” children.

    I’ve also seen him throw parents out. “THIS IS MY SCHOOL! GET OUT!” he once screamed at a parent who said back, “This is not just your school, this is my school and my son’s school too.” Little children were going to class. I honestly froze in horror that day.

    My question then, and probably to Arne Duncan…..How Mr. Duncan, will we ever truly keep children safe in schools with the epidemic of bullying and abusive schools’ leadership? I hope you are reading this. I hope, I hope, I hope…..

    Kim
    kimwerner@apiecefullworld.com

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  20. D.M.H says:

    I was unfortunate to hire into a unhealthy building. I saw things and was told things by and from the principal that made me uncomfortable. Then it became my turn. One of the senior teachers to me said “oh I see it is your turn just get through it the best you can she will eventually move onto someone else then it won’t be your turn for a while.” I tried to move from the building but the principal got wind and said things I ended up leaving the district all together. This district has strong policies for bullying and intimidation for students but nothing for employees. Everyone deserves protection.

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  21. JOE SHMOE says:

    Today,
    I was given an older model computer (again), since I was made to move into a portable. They are afraid the computer will be stolen, so I lost the good computer I fought for two years to get. My older model, (that doesn’t access all the latest things we are required to use, like google calendar, eforms, etc.), caused me to waste 25 minutes today. After redoing my iep page and submitting it on a kids computer in the computer lab, I reported to the ESE contact what had happened. She told me to tell the AP that my computer does not work. I told her and she said, “take what you get, I do not have any money”. Note: The AP DID say, “I do not have any money”, like it’s HER personal money…How am I supposed to do my job, when a 5 minute task ends up taking 1/2 hour?

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  22. TheTRUTH says:

    JOE SHMOE, one of the many problems indeed is we are not supplied with what we need to do our jobs, which usually includes things that no teacher should be doing anyway. I have no printer in my room so I spent a pack of copy paper and an ink cartridge printing out IEPs from my home.
    Anyway, what’s really important is that I’ve made a decision last week which will alleviate the horrors of teaching for the NYC DOE…I’M SEARCHING FOR ANOTHER JOB! I’m quitting the second I find something else which will allow me to sustain a halfway decent living. I’m done, I’m out, end of story. It’s just a matter of time for me. It may take a few months or even a year, but no more will I have to hold in my pee until my prep of lunch. No more rubrics, checklists, post-its, lesson planning, strategy charts, differentiation, collaborative team-teaching, parents in denial, lazy kids, abusive administration, and no more IEPs!!!!!

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  23. RVG says:

    Three cheers for you, TheTRUTH!!! I just spent an hour printing out IEPs and curriculum using my own paper and ink because the printer doesn’t work at school and I have no curriculum, so I have to make my own. It seems that in special education we are always told to “make do” and criticized if we aren’t getting our due process paperwork done on time or lessons taught to lazy kids with demanding parents that complain to abusive administrators that take it out on us. I wish you the best in finding another job where you are appreciated and can go to the bathroom whenever you want to! Keep us posted!!

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  24. Jonathan K. says:

    Does anyone have to wonder why enrollment in public schools is down and private schools is up? If you have money or are willing to spend what you have on your children’s education, private school becomes the only option if you want your kids to have a chance- How are the kids of today who are in public schools going to compete in the global economy? They’re being set up for failure-

    KEEP POSTING!

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  25. Susan Nunes says:

    Private school enrollment isn’t up–charters have cut into traditional private schools.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  26. Susan Nunes says:

    No reason for the thumbs down, people. It’s true. Traditional private schools have NOT benefited from “reform”; they are losing enrollment to charter schools, which of course are private schools that get public money.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  27. TheTRUTH says:

    Thank you RVG! I’m just hoping it won’t take a year or two. I don’t think I can even last that long. The paperwork is more and more every year, and this year it’s really over the top (as any teacher knows). As a Special Ed. teacher, it’s just that much worse too.

    Susan, that’s unfortunate, and surprising, to hear. Apparently there are plenty of parents who are not doing their homework. If they did, their children would be in a “regular” private school and not a charter school (assuming money is not an issue).

    They’ll learn the hard, though it may be too late. If and when private schools begin to seriously mimic charter and public schools, home-schooling will be the only option left (not to say that’s a bad thing but it will not be practical for many households with working parents).

    One thing for sure, sending your child to a public school now a days is child abuse, academically-speaking. The word as of late is that CEOs, etc. are wondering what they hell is going on with these young “graduates”. Apparently the once-simple process of writing is a major issue and company big-wigs are wondering what they hell “we” are teaching these kids.

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  28. one of the many abused teachers in Montgomery County Maryland says:

    The Truth: I have heard the same thing about today’s high school grads. In fact, many universities/colleges now have special tutoring programs to help students improve their writing skills. It seems that the trend is to pass students on to the next grade level, no matter what. When many of our high school grads arrive at their colleges, they are lost.
    We spend so much time teaching to THE TEST that we are failing in producing well-rounded, articulate graduates.
    What about good citizens? Does anyone have time to explicitly instruct regarding character or leadership? I try very hard to integrate character building into my lessons, but that’s not part of our curriculum in Montgomery County anymore.
    Are there any explicit lessons on bully prevention?
    Our educational system is hanging by a thread, and it’s not because of the “bad teachers”. No, NEA, look at the system. Look at what NCLB and Race to the Top has/is encouraging in our schools. NOT a pretty picture.
    I am a staunch Democrat, but shame on Arne Duncan, the education committees on Capitol Hill and the unions for allowing all of this to go on right under their noses.
    It should be required that our lawmakers and politicians spend a week in the classroom to see the damage they are causing for our children in this country. Our children don’t have another political perch to fly to after all is said and done.

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  29. Jonathan K. says:

    At least around these parts, public high school enrollment numbers are down and private high school enrollment numbers are up. Of course that does not include K-8.

    If the B-S keeps up I believe public high schools will get fewer in number and you’ll start to see more regional high schools (public).

    KEEP POSTING!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. Sonia src says says:

    Is there anything said about intermediate students bullying teachers? Where the director says conduct is the role of the teacher. Yes, I understand! How about when conduct is damaging and unsafe and a hazard to teacher’s well being?

    I wonder sometimes!

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  31. JJ says:

    Now that a number of eye-opening, bullying experiences teachers have be through are posted on this site, how do we get this information out to the general public so all teachers can be informed and know when they are a target then use these comments to let those “Powers that be” become aware that we’re on top of the mistreatment and so are many others?

    In the past, when a complaint was aired, we were thought of as someone odd as none of this had ever happened to any other teacher. RIGHT!

    This bullying of teachers has been going on for several years and it needs to stop. Admininstrators need to be exposed and held accountable.

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  32. Susan Nunes says:

    The Cato Institute of all places noted that charter school enrollment has had a devastating impact on private schools, especially Catholic schools:

    http://www.ncspe.org/publications_files/OP207.pdf

    At least I can back up my assertion. It only makes sense that if charter schools don’t charge tuition, they would siphon off enrollment from private schools.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. Very True says:

    I have been there and I am still there. I have looked for other jobs, but never get them. My principal is a bully and no one will stand up to him. Everyone is afraid of him and afraid they will lose their job if they do. I have and all he does is do it more to me. I am discussed with him and the staff.

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  34. one of the many abused teachers in Montgomery County Maryland says:

    Dear Very TRue,
    I was in the same boat as you. Do not stand up to him anymore. Get out of your school as soon as you can. The majority of the staff will not back you up because they see what is happening to you for standing up to him. It is a sad situation, because if everyone would stand up to him, it might be a different story. Usually, it is either one or a handful of staff that will keep their integrity and stand up to the bully. You may find it helpful to look at the Workplace Bullying Institute website.
    You are not alone. This happens a lot. If you continue to stand up to him and you remain his target, it will probably cause you great stress and result in serious emotional challenges. This happened to me, and I had to go on sick leave for months. I am still not over what the bully did to me and to my colleagues,and most importantly, how his behavior caused great pain to our student population.
    You should do everything you can to get out of the school you are in.
    Your bully principal isn’t going to change, and he will continue to use you as the example for the rest of the staff.
    Get out of your school as soon as you can.

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  35. one of the many abused teachers in Montgomery County Maryland says:

    Dear VERY TRUE,
    GET out of the school you are in and then stand up to your bully principal once you are out of his school.

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  36. Susan Nunes says:

    You cannot win, Very True, going up against a principal. Principals have the districts, and, by extension, the taxpayers, backing them up. Colleagues WILL lie in hearings; I know this from personal experience. You can’t trust them at all with supporting you.

    You HAVE to get out of there to save your sanity, to save your career.

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  37. JOE SHMOE says:

    Getting out is the first step. It may not solve your whole problem, though. The Principal
    s talk, and they will talk about you. I got out of a bully Prinicpal job, and am still being abused. Turns out, he was not/is not alone. It keeps coming back to haunt me, but I am trying very hard to stay positive and stay out of toxic situations. Don’t let your emotions rule. Keep documenting, and keep it at home.

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  38. Susan Nunes says:

    The truly awful thing is principals can blackball you from working in other schools, in other districts, and, occasionally, in other states. This is unchecked power that is allowed to thrive.

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  39. Kim Werner says:

    Here’s a good question: How do you “get out?” I wasn’t looking to “get out” really. I just knew that if I stayed there I was a goner….I mean an emotional “goner”. I was either going to fold into the ugliness of his lying group or I was outta there. I was either out on his terms–and at that time I did not know how awful it had been for many others–or my own. I now see–and it’s taken two years and attending The Workplace Bullying Institute’s training–that there were no other choices. Staying was not a choice.

    Here’s what worked for me:

    1. I documented. I had so much hard evidence of his and his team’s having lied about what I had said and done, that I think my district had to listen to me. At that time I did not know of all the other educators who had been terrorized by this man. I found that out later. There have been many.

    2. I turned him in formally for bullying and harassment. I used my district’s bullying and harassment reporting form. I am lucky in that my district’s bullying and harassment policy includes not only students, but employees as well.

    3. I sought help. I found a therapist who understood that I was “just fine” and that my messed up emotional state was due to the abuse I’d received at my school by my principal.

    4. I accepted placement at a different school. I was ready to return to work.

    I would not have gotten into a different school without having the hard evidence of lies, the courage to report him, and the willingness to accept an imperfect solution.

    He is, and sadly, still a school leader. My district, it seems, has not had the same courage.

    I hope this helps.

    Kim
    kimwerner@apiecefullworld.com

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  40. Susan Nunes says:

    The thing is, you can “document” all you want, but nothing will happen to these administrators. Nothing. I was wronged by two of them at my last district, and they are still employed there when it was they, not I, who should have been fired. They just got moved around or demoted.

    The best thing you can do is take early retirement, quit, or transfer (or force them to transfer you although that ultimately didn’t work for me because in the eyes of the morons in human resources who knew NOTHING of what I went through with the first principal, I was supposed to be at fault for being written up by a retaliatory and sociopathic principal and put on some kind of plan which the district NEVER did–it wasn’t my fault they fired me without picking up the g.d. phone and calling me when I got ill) to another school with the realization you will be targeted everywhere you go in the district.

    Understand that districts can and do fake documents all the time if they want to get rid of you. They aren’t held criminally liable for these acts, as they operate above the law.

    For every teacher “successful” at “winning” against a principal, there are probably a thousand who ultimately have their careers destroyed. Teachers have to have an attorney on retainer–NEVER, EVER trust your union’s law firm to help you–to be able to have a chance of ever getting their jobs back if they are forced out.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  41. Kim Werner says:

    Susan,

    Tell your story. If you agree, I would like to feature it on A PIece Full World.

    Thanks,

    Kim
    kimwerner@apiecefullworld.com

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  42. Susan Nunes says:

    It really is a long story, almost too long to reiterate anywhere.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  43. Kim Werner says:

    Susan,

    Just googled your name, bullying and Nevada. Wow.

    Kim

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  44. Susan Nunes says:

    That’ll save you some time. I went through hell with that district. I am still paying for it economically, some four-and-a-half years later.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  45. Susan Nunes says:

    BTW, that silly civil suit was a complete fabrication; it had nothing to do with my termination, as it was filed a month after my kangaroo hearing. The scamming mother and her kid got a settlement, but it was done without my knowledge or consent.

    Just so people know: Lawyers fabricate negligence charges all the time in order to get an insurance payout from school district insurance carriers. It’s still insurance fraud, by I guess if you have a lawyer crooked enough to proceed with it, it’s perfectly legal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  46. Susan Nunes says:

    The mother was so traumatized over the “rape” story she went out and blew some of the settlement money on trips for her kids, a manicure, and a diamond cocktail ring, which she wasn’t afraid to have posted all over FB. Her son is doing just fine and dandy and graduated from high school last year. Not a care in the world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  47. Jonathan K. says:

    It’s only going to take one bullying case to expose the entire education system’s failure to address these issues. One thing I have learned is that I was so naive about the whole thing until it affected me personally. There’s the problem- If you haven’t been targeted you don’t understand… After I was targeted I still didn’t believe that it happens all the time. I first got an idea about bullying when the Union President said to me “You’re not the first person to be railroaded out of ———, and you won’t be the last!” Pathetic if you ask me-

    KEEP POSTING!

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  48. JJ says:

    Jonathan, pathetic is absolutely right.
    These comments need to be printed off, all 547 of them and union people should have copies in their hands to give out to any teacher who is being targeted. Can you imagine how much better we would have felt had the information from this site been available to us during our attacks.
    It is difficult to confront an administrator but with the information from this site, a union president and teacher would have much more to work with.
    We are and never were alone except in our minds and now it’s so obvious.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  49. Susan Nunes says:

    I STILL feel like I was in the Twilight Zone or something throughout that nightmare at my old school district. It just didn’t seem real, it didn’t seem possible.

    Fired over literally nothing worth being fired over but HR wanted a retire-rehire put in my job.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  50. Jonathan K. says:

    That’s how I would describe it too- A “nightmare”! I live it every hour of every day and the only way to make it stop is to prove what happened. In the coming months I will be very aggressive- I promise you.

    KEEP POSTING!

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