Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Another piece of An Abuse Full World. More story.
8:01 pm edt
I invite you to check out U.R.A.J.E.R.K. on the
menu bar. My play was an important piece of my recovery. I'd researched workplace abuse after taking a medical
leave. I'd discovered that my hideous experience was not uncommon. I'd discovered The Workplace Bullying Institute
(WBI). The WBI was a life line. This year, as many of you know, I attended the WBI training in Bellingham, Washington.
I link to its site from my home page.
Recovery. That is what it feels like. It feels like a reprieve
from a war zone. I had no visible scars. Many, many others are scarred for life.
My humor, my
ability to sleep, my joy...my life...piece by piece, mine again. Not as before. But mine again.
this. My story. I continue to share in the honest desire of letting you know you are not alone. Someone
My former principal demanded the three counselors be in the cafeteria during
lunch. I was already doing that. I knew my presence—any vigilant adult’s
loving presence—made a big difference in keeping kids safe.
Observe in your minds’ eyes, my cherished readers, schools’ cafeterias and see the children there.
See children jostling for a place in line. See others using their size to intimidate. See
them pushing: shoving.
Hear girls’ squeals. See them hugging one another.
boys on the verge of tackling each other.
children seemingly disappear......to the end of the line; to a seat at the end of a cafeteria table.
Understand the real possibility of kids being hurt—physically or emotionally bruised.
Know that your presence—your simple presence—changes all that.
Clear your throat. Get their attention.
Slowly shake your head. Maybe wag your finger. Smile. Hear: “Sorry Ms. Werner.!” Hear also their giggles and laughter.
They are, after all, children.
Walk around. Greet children.
Just let them see you. That’s
all it takes.
My principal once came into the cafeteria
he visited so rarely. He saw me there. He saw me doing exactly what he had demanded
I and the other two counselors do. Because he was my boss, I was happy to be encountered meeting his expectations.
As he approached me, I smiled. Made eye contact. I expected him to greet
me. Thank me.
He neither thanked me nor greeted
me. Instead he stated he expected me to be doing more. He walked away.
The other counselors never joined me in the cafeteria. Not once.