Thursday, December 15, 2011
Starting at the end...and Wheezer and Jean are there.
I have pictured in my mind a luscious novel that skips
all over time and place......
4:10 pm est
And so, I've decided to just go with my energy with today's post. I start with
the end--gratefulness. I'll go back and finish up my story later. But first, let's start today with the
last of it.
I feel the energy going flat. I want to be done with this now.
end with this; a thank you to one of my region’s biggest bosses: a "way-above-me" boss. I think he knew I told the truth. I think he—in the bureaucratic mess of
our massive school district—did the best he could.
I find myself
here now wanting to be kind to this man. Isn’t that silly? Isn’t it absurd
to want to protect my “way-above-me” boss? Just who do I think I am?
My “way-above-me” boss, I suppose, rescued me. But where are the other rescuers
in my school district? Where are those who will save the abused women—and men for that matter--at
my former school? Or any other school of abuse? Where are they?
They need to charge in, swoop up the damsels and herald a new day for that witch's castle.
Ding dong. The witch is not DEAD!
Am I then, the damsel rescuer?
Am I meant to throw the bucket of water?
Here’s the thing
about my “way-above-me” boss; I like him. I think he is a good man.
He, at least, filled the water bucket for me. Went looking for the hose. Turned on the spigot.
He may have stood back though, so as not to get
So it really doesn’t
matter that moving the bullied victim—me—was not the right thing to do.
doesn’t matter that although I, the target, was to be the least affected, I experienced the greatest impact. Wham.
No salary for four months. Moved from my school—yes, my school too.
It really doesn’t matter either that the bully was the least affected;
that he appears to be the least affected.....over and over again: report after report. Actually,
it doesn't seem he was affected at all.
It also doesn’t matter that
my school district, probably like yours, has a policy that states that bullied individuals are to suffer the least.
It neither matters that the policy states that bullying by anyone is not tolerated nor that there are mandated
consequences for bullies. It simply does not matter.
I am so very sad
to tell you that my experience is that the policy, when it comes to bullying school leaders, doesn’t matter at all.
It does matter, however that I like my “way-above-me” boss.
does matter that I feel respected by him.
It does matter that I
feel he did his best, really. He placed me at a different school.
Everything professionally about me may look the same. I have seven years’ seniority.
I am a counselor in a middle school. I have the same salary and the same work hours. Even though
everything may look the same, it could not be more different.
Had I stayed, I would have
been just another damsel in distress. "Yes
sir! Right away sir!", I probably would have tittered and scampered off to do my bully's dirty work....
I most certainly would not have carried
the water bucket......heavy and cumbersome though it is.
I return to the question
of “Just who do I think I am?” Perhaps a better question is: “Who do I know myself to
I remember my dad, in the passenger seat of our 1973 Gremlin as he taught me to drive.
I was merging into freeway traffic.
“Proceed with confidence”,
he said then to me, his nervous 16 year old daughter. He would repeat those
words often to me as a young adult I began to face adult challenges.
I am Wheezer and Jean Werner’s daughter. Writing this memoir feels like merging into freeway
traffic 39 years ago in a 1973 Gremlin; my dad beside me in the passenger seat.
It’s 2011 and my dad’s still in the passenger seat.
And I proceed
mind some help with this water bucket.
Click here for my district's bullying and harassment policy. You will see I have made comments....