Bullying and Harassment: A Legal Guide for Educators

By Kathleen Conn | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIVE
Bullying and Harassment of Teachers
and Other School Personnel

STUDENTS ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES WHO MAY FEEL BULLIED AND harassed in schools. Adults in the school setting are not immune to feelings of helplessness and victimization at the hands of bullies and harassers. Unfortunately, administrators, teachers, and other school personnel often feel like they are on the firing line, with volleys originating from one or more directions, sometimes simultaneously. Building principals may feel harassed by central office personnel: the superintendent or assistants, staff of buildings and grounds services, or even the transportation manager. At the same time, they may be receiving heat from disgruntled teachers or parents. Teachers may feel bullied or harassed by the building principal, as well as by students and their parents. Sometimes they receive parallel unfriendly fire from their peers.

Feelings of stress, unfortunately, are part and parcel of working in public education. The educational environment, with its highstakes testing and pressures to meet the needs of children and parents with diverse backgrounds and expectations, can make even the most experienced educator feel bullied and harassed. However, sometimes educators experience bullying and harassment that produces more than [normal] stress. The bullying and harassment are not always about curriculum or the educational process.

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