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Thursday, February 16, 2012

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Truth is surging right now.  I love knowing that I do not care that his bullying is officially unfounded. I know what happened.  

I also know I crave neither heads nor hides. 

Do as you wish, school district leaders.  Accept his statements—again.  Accept witnesses’ refuting of my testimony. You know that it was you who brought charges against him. 

I do not know your motives or your objectives.  Perhaps you knew what the outcome of the investigation would be before it began; perhaps not.

Here’s what I suspect:  You did know.   

I also think you yourselves are sick of reports against this man.  I think you are fed up with parents’ tears and outrage; employees’ fears and depressions.  I think too that you are stuck in the muck of protocol.   

Just what is the protocol surrounding this abusive man and others like him?   What are the steps to address another report against him?  Perhaps they are these: unwritten but understood by all because they are so often used....  

1. Inform him there is another report. 

2. Give him time to advise his circle of followers what they are to say. 

3. Accept (again) without question all of his followers' refuting testimonies.

4. Document everything.

5.  Talk with the target. 

6. Tell her she may not discuss other reports even though the reports mirror exactly her experience of workplace abuse.

7.  Direct her to the Civil Rights Department to make a report.

8. Document. 

9.  Find the report to be unfounded (again). 

10. Document. 

11. Check that documentation is documented correctly.      

I think perhaps you were surprised that I said “no” to you; that I said, for example, “No. This is bullying and workplace violence.  It is not a civil rights violation.”

I think it also surprised you—shook you up just a little—when I said, “No, I will not meet with him.”

Even though I believe you are tired of wasting your time, our district’s money and its resources on yet another investigation of my bully's abuse, you asked me to meet with him.  You said your intervention; your “mediation” of our "disagreement" would make it all better.  You said that I would then be safe.  

You must not have known then that bullying does not work that way.  You must not have known that asking me to meet with this abusive man—to have him apologize to me—would victimize me even more.   

You need to be educated on what bullying is and what it is not.  Then you would know that bringing the all powerful bully and the all powerless target together is absolutely wrong.  

Oh my dear “way-above-me-boss”, I must share this with you!  
  I once, ironically, facilitated leadership seminars across the nation for a major airline.  Here’s one tiny piece of the seminar.  The piece is about power: positional vs. personal power.  My bully had and still has positional power. He is, after all, the principal. But he has no personal power.  To meet his needs, he must violently coerce and intimidate people. 

Working at his (my) school, I had no positional power, but I had and still have personal power.  It’s called integrity.  I did not allow his lack of personal power—or rather his violent abuse of positional power--to intimidate or coerce me.  That, as you know, was not easy.  

Some people have both personal and positional power.  I like those people a lot.  I love working for and with them.

Stay safe,


P.S. The book is coming along quite well.  My experience and the knowledge I have from my Workplace Bullying Institute training are a nice mix.  


6:22 am est          Comments

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Click here for my district's bullying and harassment policy. You will see I have made comments....