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legal Advice For Teachers who are harrassed by administrators

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Is your principal harrassing you? What can you do?


 "Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the
American Workplace," by Noa Davenport, Ph.D.,

Lanuguage From Mobbing
The mobbing syndrome is a malicious attempt to force a person out of the workplace through unjustified accusations, humiliation, general harassment, emotional abuse, and/or terror.  (p. 40)

Ten Key Factors of the Mobbing Syndrome (p. 41)
These occur in various combinations, systematically, and frequently. 
1. Assaults on the dignity, integrity, credibility, and professional competence of employees.
2. Negative, humiliating, intimidating, abusive, malevolent, and controlling communication.
3. Mobbing is committed directly, or indirectly, in subtle or obvious ways.
4. It is perpetrated by one or more staff members (sometimes known as "vulturing").
5. Mobbing occurs in a continual, multiple, and systematic fashion, over some time.
6. The victimized person is portrayed as being at fault.
7. It is engineered to discredit, confuse, intimidate, isolate, and force the person into submission. 
8. It is committed with the intent to force the person out.
9. The removal from the workplace can be represented as the victim's choice.
10. Mobbing is not recognized, misinterpreted, ignored, tolerated, encouraged, or even instigated by the management of the organization. 

What You Can Do:

1) Find out if you have any allies within the system.   Bullies usually are indiscriminant and can attack anyone at any time. 

2) What about your grievance procedures? Have you talked with an employee representative about this?

3) Keep meticulous records, document everything and keep your cool.

4) See if you can get your NEA representative to go with you to all meetings.

5) In some situations, what's happening is sufficiently newsworthy to be of interest to a newspaper reporter, and taking the initiative may head the action off at the pass.

6) Go throught the process (whatever it is in your state) Once the process is completed and accepted by the principal in question, your NEA representative might tell you that further attacks could be filed under harassment laws in your state.

7) Suggest that you will make X number of class periods available to your principal to teach so you can observe the principal teaching your class several times and you can see what you are to do an model your behavior in the classroom after that of the principal. Ask for permission to video tape these classes.
You will take notes on the Principal's interactions with the students and the lesson plan and selections of content and instructional strategies that are made to meet the various standards being addressed
in the lesson. Then all of you can watch and discuss
EXACTLY what the other observed and is criticizing.

* Remember, the multi-level grievance procedure was written for the administration's benefit.Employees are required to give the administration the first opportunity to fix a possible error and are prohibited from bringing the matter straight to the administrator's supervisor.  So keep in mind the process is there to protect the administration.

Administrators have classes on how to get rid of you. If you think your principal is trying to get you to quit.  You have to decide if you want to continue.  Here is an example of articles written by lawyers for administrators in Texas.  One in particular is about how to deal with grievances and another about how to nonrenew.

Nonrenewals - This month you should have a list of term contract personnel who are being considered for nonrenewal, as well as probationary contract employees being considered for termination at the end of their contract. Along with the list, there should already be documentation accompanying each considered employee. If anyone on “the list” has not yet been evaluated, it's time to get in there and complete that appraisal.   Jan 7, 2005

How administrators can bully teachers, harass them and try to make life miserable so you'll quit.

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