School Issues when a Teacher is Bullied by another Colleague

Countless children wake in the mornings and dread going to school because of bullying.  Bullying is not a new problem.  It is one that has been around for years. However, bullying has received national attention in the last several years, and schools are enacting regulations to try to stop the problem.

Although most people think of school aged children when they think of bullying, bullying is not confined to the schoolyard.  Bullying has transcended to the workplace, and despite efforts to correct the situation, bullying in the workplace continues to be a problem even in the educational system. Teachers have now become the target of colleagues who bully.

* Forms of teacher bullying

One of the ways a teacher can bully another teacher is by humiliating them in front of other colleagues, parents, and students. The bullying teacher may take it upon herself to point out the victim’s inadequacies and ineffectiveness in the classroom. The bully may also prevent the affected teacher from getting important memos, discourage other teachers from associating with her, and sabotage the victim’s career advancement.

* Effects of teacher bullying

Bullying can adversely affect the victim.  The effects can be both physical and psychological.  These include decreased resistance to disease, chest pain and angina, anxiety, insomnia, and depression.  This can lead to an increased number of days missed from school and an inability to perform while at work.

* Why don’t teachers tell?

According to statistics, 24 %of American workers say they have been bullied at work while 12% have witnessed an act of workplace bullying. The Association of Lecturers found that 25% of teachers report having been bullied by a colleague.

Since teachers themselves have witnessed the devastating effects of bullying, one could ask why it is a problem among educators.  By law, teachers are required to report bullying at school.  So, why don’t they report workplace bullying? One of the main reasons teachers who witness the abuse don’t report the abuse is a fear of the repercussions of reporting the abuse. Other reasons include not wanting to get involved, not knowing the proper process for reporting the abuse, and fear that reporting it will affect their own career.

* Taking action

What can a teacher do when she finds herself the victim of workplace bullying? First, the teacher must do is document the behavior of the bully.  The victimized teacher must be sure to write down each incident, when it happened, where it happened, and who witnessed the event.  The bullying teacher will more than most likely deny the charges, so it is imperative that the affected teacher keep good sound documentation. The bullied teacher should be sure to educate herself on the school districts policies concerning bullying.

The playground is not the only place that bullies exist.  They can be found in the schoolhouse. Just likes their students, teachers can find themselves the target of a bully. There are ways to stop the bullying.  The victimized teacher and her colleagues must document and report the abuse.