I’ve had lots of feedback about the numerous articles I wrote about bullying. If you are interested in reading what I wrote earlier just go to the right hand side bar in my blog where the tags are located and click on any of the tags dealing with bullying. That will take you to the articles. There’s lots of information there about all forms of bullying- cyber-bullying, student-teacher bullying, teacher-student bullying, getting help for a bully, getting help for a victim etc. There’s really a lot of information there and much of it is based on research I did as well as my experience as a special education specialist in behaviour at the high school level.
Usually the feedback I get from the articles comes in the form of a question about what to do when your best efforts don’t work. This is really an important issue. So, today I’m going to focus on what to do to stop a teacher from bullying another teacher. First realize that no one deserves to be bullied. Period. Case closed. Now that I’ve said that here are some things you can do to stop a teacher from bullying another teacher. Even though it may seem hopeless at times, there’s lots you can do to help stop the bullying.
1. Tell the bully to stop the bullying behaviour. Sometimes people don’t realize their behaviour is bullying behaviour. For them, it’s just the way they do things. They need to know that their behaviour is not acceptable. I know that sometimes that’s easier said then done. So if you don’t feel comfortable doing that yourself on your own get support from other people. Getting support when you need it is the thing to do. Everyone needs support at some time or other for any number of things. There’s nothing wrong with getting support. Some times you give support; sometimes you need support. That’s just the way it is. Get a friend to be with you when you tell the person to stop the behaviour. The bully will give you lots of chances to do this.
2. Document the bullying behaviour. If the bullying doesn’t stop after you’ve told the person to stop, start documenting all the bullying behaviour. Include details like date, time, location, circumstances, interactions, what was said or done etc. The more information you have the better. Even if someone does things like leave anonymous phone calls, emails, or notes in your mail box, record everything. keep a copy of the emails, notes , phone calls or text messages There are ways to find out where emails and phone calls came from. This information will be invaluable at a later date.
3. Go to the administration at your school and advise them of the situation and ask for help. Take someone with you for support. The administration has an obligation, even if it’s just a moral one to stop the bullying behaviour.
4. Keep documenting the bullying behaviour. I can’t say that enough. Also document steps that were taken to try to stop the bullying behaviour. The more details the better.
5. Go to your federation or union and tell them about the bullying. Get the federation’s support. That’s what they’re there for. Talk to the representative at your school or call the local office and talk to someone there if you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone at your school. Remember, the federation is there to support you and to stop the bullying even though the bully may also be a member of the federation or union. I know that sometime it seems that the federation protects it’s members from everything, but that is simply not the case. The federation has people specifically trained to help you deal with bullying behaviour and support you emotionally during this exceedingly difficult time.
6. Talk to your federation representative if the administration at your school does not deal effectively with the bullying behaviour, and someone from the federation will meet with administration and together they can work to problem solve. Both the school boards and the federations have people who are trained to deal with the bullying issue because bullying in the work place is a common thing. The work place has to deal with it. Don’t forget the bully needs help too, not just the victim of bullying.
7. Access any employee assistance plan your school board or district might have to help get support from counselors who deal with the issue of bullying all the time. Unfortunately, bullying in the work place is more common than we like to think. Often people won’t speak up because thhey think that it’s just them. Well, it isn’t just them.
Now I want to make it clear that I am not a counselor trained in dealing with bullying issues, but my recommendations will put you in touch with people who are. They will be able to give you in depth help for dealing with all the issues that arise out of being bullied. Unfortunately, bullying is a problem at the workplace and it needs to be dealt with. I hope that my suggestions are helpful.
Here are some other articles I wrote about bullying. I hope you find them useful