As a result of tragic events around the nation and right here in New Jersey, the Garden State adopted the Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Law (HIB) for the start of 2011-12 school year. The goal of the law is to prevent bullying and tragic events that could result from incidents that go unnoticed or do not get reported. The law is meant to protect students. This law protects them in school and outside of school from all forms of bullying.
Now I ask this question: How are teachers protected from being harassed, intimidated, and bullied?
I am sure we’ve all felt intimidated by someone we work with at one time or another. Have you ever found yourself in a large staff meeting while you were berated and spoken down to by your district administrator over issue X? Have you been the teacher or known the non-tenured teacher who took on projects or tasks in order to be perceived a favorable way by their principal or another official?
I would like to specifically address and examine HIB in the teacher vs. teacher scenario.
I friend of mine, also an educator, recently had an encounter with another colleague who always shows a lack of courtesy, disrespect other teachers, and fits the definition of a bully. This teacher constantly shows a disregard to the rules and procedures established by my friend for their classroom and this other teacher feels entitled and justified in their actions. Nobody ever stands up to him. Until my friend did recently.
Teachers should not be placed in these situations. We go out of our way to protect our students and children but who protects us? If we have a problem it can look awkward if we go to administration about another teacher for the petty, childish things. I don’t believe our unions will mediate conflict between members, if they do please let me know.
How do you handle the idea of being bullied or pushed around as a teacher, from another teacher or education professional?