Workplace bullying in the educational sectors: First-person accounts

Given the frequency and severity of workplace bullying in the educational sectors — from primary through post-secondary — I wanted to share two items of possible interest:

Higher education

First, The Guardian, my favorite British newspaper, has run a first-person piece on the experience of being bullied in higher education. Here’s the lede:

Bullying is rife in academia – and it is tolerated to an extent that wouldn’t be acceptable in other areas. I’ve seen careers wasted in academia just by bad management and bad practice. My story is an illustration of what can go wrong.

The story intertwines the writer’s difficult personal circumstances and bullying at work, a not-uncommon combination, and it shows the deeper contexts in which these behaviors arise.

For those interested, The Guardian also is sponsoring an anonymous survey on bullying in higher ed that can be accessed from the article, the results of which will be used in the newspaper’s research study on the topic.

K-12 education

Torii Bottomley, an educator in the Greater Boston area, has shared her story of workplace bullying in a short video produced by the Moral Courage Channel:

This is one of many accounts I’ve heard over the years about bullying of teachers at the K-12 levels. It’s a terribly serious problem, and the most horrific stories are like something out of a dystopian novel.


Related posts

Workplace bullying and mobbing in academe: The hell of heaven? (revised 2014)

Educator finds renewal after being bullied at work (2014)

Deb Caldieri, supporter of school bullying victim Phoebe Prince, faces severe challenges today (2013)

UMass Amherst launches campus-wide anti-bullying initiative (2013)

Legal and public policy challenges facing public schoolteachers: A brief report from Memphis (2012)

Maryland teachers sue for bullying and harassment (2012)


6 responses

  1. David, could you please check the link to the Guardian survey. It’s taking me to a “response already received” page. Great information and video which I’ll share, thanks.

    • Thanks for identifying a problem. The link may have picked up a cookie indicating that I had scrolled through the survey. I tried to correct it, but if you get the same message, you can also access the survey directly from The Guardian article.

  2. Since leaving my job as a Special Education Administrator after 10 years of bullying behavior at the hands of the District Bullying Coordinator, I am slowly healing. I believe I took the abuse to protect the teachers that everyone knows is a bully. I can now immediately recognize the shame and pain of victims that suffered the same abuse in other districts.

    I thank you for your work, and would like to share that an Administrators might take the bully on and suffer greatly to spare them the pain so they can do what matters most, teach children.

    Barbara Giaquinto, Ed.D

  3. Unfortunately, the education system in the UK has far too many bullying head teachers. A common scenario is as follows.

    A new head teacher is appointed. Older, more expensive members of staff are hounded out and replaced with younger, cheaper and therefore more malleable newly-qualified teachers. One popular method is to manufacture an allegation of misconduct, another is to suddenly “discover” that a popular and experienced teacher is not working effectively. Both methods are very effective. The targets battle on in disbelief, are made ill, have their lives and reputations ruined, and are driven out or resign.

    Fighting back or protesting against their ill-treatment seldom works. UK Teaching unions are mostly without teeth.

  4. Watch my video where I returned my flag to the president. My story is on It has to stop. Yet, no one in position of power wants to address or change the laws to stop work place bullying in our public schools.

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