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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

You will see I wanted to do more than "just bullying prevention"

My former bullying principal stated in the investigation following my report that I" didn't want to perform all of my (counselor) duties." He stated I "only wanted to do bullying prevention." He also stated that, in spite of that, he'd "never disciplined" me. Trust me: that was coming.

But I acted first. I didn’t know how courageous I was. I just knew I was working in a sick place and I was ill.

I turned him in for bullying and harassment. I didn’t yet have lots of documents. I just had my emails sent to the union (I’ll share those with you soon), my almost two years of hell, three formal interviews with state and district investigators about him (imagine being called to the principal’s conference room to be interviewed by an attorney from the State of Florida about his conduct and his actions against a teacher. Imagine having to tell the truth and knowing he would be very, very unhappy. Imagine how frayed my telomeres were.

In the spring of 2009--right after he proudly stated he'd "secured me" (remember, I'd told him I did not want to stay and I am certain, that’s why he “secured me”)--I presented to him the following document. I was leery as to his reasons for keeping me--I'd been offered a high school counseling position and I was being "courted" by another high school's principal--so I wanted him to approve my ideas for a Student Services Comprehensive Plan. The reason I’d turned down the high school counseling position was because I wanted to work with children….and high school counselors really don’t do that. They work with children’s data in their offices. So, I was excited about the rich possibilities of being an Olweus Bullying Prevention Program trainer at a K-8 school. My goodness! The community’s mayor had his children there!

But, I'd been there about seven months and I had a sick feeling about the principal, his assistant principal, and the other counselors. They didn't seem particularly committed to our students, so I thought it was time to move on.

Here's the body of the document:

Student Services Comprehensive Plan to Include:

1. Olweus Bullying Prevention Plan Full Implementation

4 pronged, K-8

School wide-Committee created through interview

Classroom--weekly guided discussion, age appropriate

Individual--all staff trained to respond to bullying events

Community--Kick off event. Local business support

2. Alternative to Suspension--both outdoor and indoor

Two evening Family Empowerment groups (2 hours)- late arrival by counselor

Two group sessions students only group

Any suspension-available only once a semester

3. Groups formed and to include—but not limited to--meeting time to be determined-- rotate periods? lunch? weekly?

Girl Power

Men of Honor (?)



4. Peer Mentoring/Mediation-partnered with Ms. (teacher's name) classes

Peers greet new students

Mediate on the spot disputes

5.Presentations planned at school year's commencement

Child Abuse Week

HIV/AIDS Awareness week

Red Ribbon Week

My plan was not accepted. I was told by two counselors and an assistant principal that it wouldn't work.

I was frustrated by the lack of vision surrounding the incredible potential at that school. We had two counselors and a mental health counselor. We were a kindergarten through eighth grade school. The potential for doing good and fine work with children was right there.

I also wrote this document to myself. I was doing things that were not counseling related. When I first started there my principal had said he expected “much more” of me than counseling of children. I remember being uncomfortable at that moment. Hackles up.

Here's the document:


(Counselor) has stated I will "get over wanting to counsel;"--"there is too much to do." I wish to partner with her and with (other counselor) to proactively offer services to students via classroom activities and group sessions.

What on going administrative tasks will I be given?

Already have:

Student of the Month

Enhanced Student/Teacher Conferences

Eighth grade Open House

Gifted Testing


Connect Ed Messages

Trips to Testing Center

(Counselor) wants to give me--

Five Star

Dade Partners

Comments like "you wait..." not encouraging of counseling efforts. Seems to feel administrative tasks are more important.


Parents want to take on more roles.

Many duties can be performed by office staff (Community Involvement Specialist?)

I probably shouldn't be looking at these documents. They make me sad; sad for enthusiastic me....and sad for the vulnerable children of that school who not only did not receive real counseling services, but had documents used against them....much like documents were used against employees.

Four years later, these documents also make me mad; mad at a school district, a school board and a union who have knowingly allowed this one bully's ongoing, well documented, terror.

They really should be held accountable for that.
5:49 am est          Comments

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

More Public Records

My former principal is actively pursuing a school superintendency. He'll probably get that job somewhere. He will probably receive high recommendations from region and district leaders--his bosses--here in my county.

I will forward to the district that hires him all of the public records that I have: mine and of others-- of this man's abuse. I have many. I was given--without charge--all the documents associated with my name. My district now, though, charges me upwards of $2,500.00 to produce requested documents, so it's not as easy for me to read of his abuse. I called their bluff and asked that I have a pay roll deduction. They refused and told me I had to produce a cashier's check for the entire amount before those records would be released. I decided just knowing how much those records would cost was enough for me.

I'd asked for all employee requests of transfer from that school. There must be many. $2,500.00 is a lot of money.

The very real potential of him becoming a superintendent and because his is abusive, coercive and bullying leadership...has me thinking that many superintendents are bullying, abusive and coercive individuals. "It all starts at the top." Just look at Atlanta Public Schools. Look at the Kemp Mill ES case and its protection of that man from the very top. Look at 696 comments and counting from abused educators to the NEA's article, "Bullying of Teachers Pervasive in Many Schools" article (
http://neatoday.org/2012/05/16/bullying-of-teachers-pervasive-in-many-schools/) and school districts' and school boards' blind eye turning.

Look at my former boss and his legacy of abuse. Another target with another not-to-be-believed story has contacted me.

Bullying, coercive, abusive men and women--superintendents, regional leadership, directors and principals--are the real reason schools fail. I know it in my gut. Good people are forced out. Fine and fun people are targeted with "documentation" and "discipline." And what are we left with? Suck-up sycophants who lie and cheat and cover up for the bosses. They have no other choices if they want to survive. Our school districts' upper echelons of leadership are full of just such people. Abusive leadership and suck up, rear end kissing subordinates....who happen to be the bosses of other subordinates....all sucking up, lying and covering up for each other...until the chain lands flatly and completely in the classroom. There is no one to suck up to the teacher. But there are layers upon layers of danger for that teacher if she has any ethics at all. The first layer of danger is the principal.

More public records: This is an email from one union rep to another about last year's targeted teacher at my former school. I make no changes other than to take out the target's and the principal's names.

"I spoke with [target] Sunday morning and suggested to her that it is always possible that the district would change [principal's] position. I also believe that there have been so many cases of bullying and harassment against [principal] that the district should move him. I don't care if he is promoted...let him harass other Principals."

More public records: An email from one of the victims (can't say targets here....both lost their jobs) to regional leadership.

Verbatim with names removed:

I am a veteran teacher of 30+ years from (victim names the state) 28yrs. in one school.
My name is (victim gives name)

THERE IS MUCH TO EXPRESS, I have experienced the following, and MORE:

I am being HARASSED and FEAR my PERSONAL SAFETY, regarding Principal [principal's name; school's name]

*Harassments / Abuse / has personal medical papers
* Discrimination
* Intimidations / physically: personal space violated
* In-your face mood swings / out of camera OFTEN
* Threat / Threats regarding job

My initial contact to the Office of The Superintendent of Schools [superintendent's name] was on [ date]. At that time I did speak with [secretary?], and again on [date], ( then realizing, that my phone emails had not gotten through)

On [day and date] I met with region [director and superintendent] regarding [principal], approaches and demeanor toward me."

(Victim lists six instances of "principal's approaches and demeanor" towards her. These are the instances she must have relayed to my region's director and superintendent at that meeting.)

Victim continues: "I was assured at the conclusion of the meeting that boundries {sic} from Region would be expressed to [principal's name], on THAT evening, and to call or contact Region should I feel uncomfortable. (not to be alone with me)

Yesterday (after hours-approx 4:00pm), [principal's name] insisted that I signature unwarranted and inaccurate documents,without advising me of this LATE MEETING, not to SEEK representation. [Principal's name], WARNED ME!!..(in an extremely annoyed manner) that I WILL signature these three documents in the A.M. of Wednes (date), snidely reminded me that i went OVER HIS HEAD.

PLEASE HELP ME Thank you [ victim's name]"

Another email from victim soon after "boundaries" had been established: "....In that moment he acussed [sic] me of telling others and putting him in a difficult position,and that I wouldn't like to experience what he would / could put me through. In my face (3-4 inches) told me to "SHUT YOUR MOUTH!!!' (including union rep.) "DON'T TALK TO ANYONE, BECAUSE NOBOBODY [sic] CARES ABOUT YOU1!" Went on to remind me what he can put me through..."YOU WOULD'NT [sic] LIKE WHAT I WILL DO TO YOU!!"

My regional superintendent would not let me speak of the astounding similarities of this victim's case to my own.

More public records coming up.

5:45 am est          Comments

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Public Records
These are public records. My comments are italisized.

My former principal's interview. My school district--not I--brought school board rules violations against him. I simply wanted to feel safe. I did not focus solely on the Bullying and Harassment Policy Checklist. That day was, yes, a "stand-out" transformational day for me, yet it was the daily bullying and harassment--and seeing others, both adults and children being bullied by this man--that so adversely affected my health. I say again--simply and truthfully--it was the most courageous thing I have ever done saying "no" to him.

On January 19, 2011 at (School's name), an oral interview was conducted with (principal's name). (Principal's name) was asked if he understood the allegation listed on the lead sheet and he acknowledged that he understood. (Principal's name) was asked to present his knowledge of the allegation reported regarding him. The interview began at 9:25 AM: and the following information was revealed during the interview:

(Principal's name) stated that Ms. Werner is the Bullying Specialist at (School's name).He never told me that. In fact he withdrew the Olweus grant and went with the district's policy. At that time the districts' TRUST Specialists were the professionals trained. Also, I was excluded from the bullying case that was being investigated. In fact, when I sat with one of many region and state level investigators about that case and other cases, the investigators were surprised that I was not involved. And this: when the Bullying and Harassment Checklist was required and I was called into his office with a counselor and AP present, he asked the AP, "Why wasn't she--of course he didn't use my name or smile at me or make any eye contact what so ever--in this?" The AP had no answer. He then said, "I want her in everyone of these from here on out." I simply cannot convey to you how threatening he is for me; how I shudder when I think of him. Also, on the checklist, all three counselors are listed as the"investigator designee(s) and interventionists and that he supported Ms. Werner when she went for the Olweus Program training. (Principal's name) stated that Ms. Werner did not want to perform all of her duties as a counselor; That is a big, fat lie. I absolutely met my duties. I did not, however, meet his cheating and lying expectations. Here comes a little sarcasm; get ready....It seemed to me he wanted me to be a "stewardess" and "hostess" more than work with children. however, she was never disciplined nor documented Trust me, that was coming. He's "disciplined" and "documented" so many employees, that there is NO WAY he would not have come after me....and the district would have supported him--oh, yeah and given him "exemplary" on his "employee relations" evaluations. (Principal's name) stated that he has never met by himself with Ms. Werner (that is another big, fat lie. I was often in his office "alone" with him) since she would be confrontational Oh, I love this! I wouldn't lie and cheat and sign papers. I requested--respectfully and assertively--that he speak to me respectfully. That simply meant I didn't want him using the work "FUCK" around me and I didn't like being disdainfully called "honey". Principal's name) stated that at no time has he ever bullied, intimidated humiliated or threatened Ms. Werner. or all the other employees, some of whose documents I have seen? He uses "documents and discipline" often))) (Principal's name) stated that he was always supportive of Ms. Werner OMG!!!and even sent her to trainings she wanted to attend.

(Principal's name) stated that he was asked by the district to complete the Bullying and Harassment Policy Compliance Checklist for a student. This interests me. The checklist does not require a principal's signature so I have often wondered who really is accountable for the lies submitted. The principal or those who filled out the form? Here my former principal states that he, himself, was asked....and so, although he did not have to sign off on the form, he--had the district, in my opinion, done its job well,--he would have been held accountable. The buck, though, did not "stop there...".(Principal's name) stated that he was not aware that the school staff had to fill out this form for any student. Why wasn't he aware? Are principals or are they not, trained as to their roles as schools' leaders in the district's implementation of its bullying and harassment policy? My experience--and it is still true--is that they simply do not know how to use the district's documentation in regards to reports of bullying and subsequent lawsuits and the like....and then they look for someone to cover their tracks...Principal's name) denied falsifying or altering the checklist. pu-leeze! My name is all over that document. I told you I didn't do most of the things he said I did! What else do you need!? (Principal's name) stated that he asked Ms. Werner to fill out the checklist and Ms. Werner told him that she did not feel comfortable filling it out. Now, why in the world, if I was the "bullying specialist" would I have been "uncomfortable" filling out the form? Principal's name) stated that he did not want to pressure Ms. Werner to fill this form out nor did Ms. Werner complete this form. OMG! He screamed at me! He gave me a time limit!! He raised up from his desk and screamed:,"JUST GET ME THE DATES!!!! YOU HAVE 40 MINUTES!!!! GET ME THE DATES!!!!!" Trust me, I felt pressured. That conversation, by the way, was the one heard by a regional director. My former principal did not know this man was right outside his office door and heard his screams. That man, though, "sold me down the river" and stated in the investigation he didn't recall with whom the principal was speaking. He did, at least, write that the principal's "voice was raised." (Principal's name) state that (Counselor's name) and (Counselor's name) filled out the form. with my name and I told you I didn't do those things! That's why I was "uncomfortable!!!" Anyone investigate THAT!? (Principal's name) stated that this allegation does not make any sense, since he does not understand why Ms. Werner would report these incidents two years after she stated they allegedly occurred. Huh!? I made my report in the fall of 2010. I'd been bullied and harassed by this man for almost a year. The checklist incident happened in March of 2010. I requested a transfer to anywhere. In "My Story" I've copied his letter of recommendation. I blindly sent it to 15 middle school principals. Trust me, I was desperate in the spring of 2010. So, my timing makes perfect sense.))) (Principal's name) provided a copy of the Bullying and Harassment Policy Compliance Checklist and other documentation pertaining to this case. And just what did you do with them!? I tell you again: Very little on that form is true. My name was used fraudulently. I told you the truth! You never checked in with me again. How come?

School Board Rule:Responsibilities and Duties states: All persons employed by the School Board of (School District's name) are representatives of the (School District's name). As such they are expected to conduct themselves, both in their employment and in the community, in a manner that will reflect credit upon themselves and the school system. Unseemly conduct in the workplace is expressly prohibited.

School Board Rule: Code of Ethics states: All members of the School Board of (School District's name), regardless of their position, collective bargaining status or role, because of their dual roles as public servants and educators are to be bound by the Code of Ethics..to create an environment of honesty and integrity...the freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal opportunity for all..strive for professional growth and.seek to exercise the best professional judgment and integrity...to achieve and sustain the highest degree of ethical conduct.

More Public Records coming up.  I've been contacted by another target. 

5:58 am est          Comments

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Dad's Bullying Experience Continued

I do this for my father.  Why is my dad, Wheezer Werner, almost thirty years since his death at age 55, why is he present so often, now , in my thoughts?  Why does my mind turn to his smile, his eyes' twinkle, his mirth, his humor, his love for his family? Why?  Why do I feel again the tears of the past when I think of his kindness and also of his illness and death?  

My father was, for me, the person I trusted no matter what.  I knew my dad would "be there" for me--it didn't matter if I needed him to help me drive a car from Florida to Ohio three months after I'd driven it to Florida to teach school and now changed those plans--I mean, who could blame me?  Traveling to Honolulu to become a Pan Am flight attendant seemed a whole lot more exciting in 1979-- or pick me up at Burger King each Saturday night at 1:00A.M. from my stint at grilling hamburgers and preparing them "your way" in 1974.  Didn't matter.  My dad was always there--and cheerfully so.  

He was there through his own hell of workplace bullying.  Oh!  It is so clear to me now!  In 1975 my dad was fired from H.K. Porter Company in Pittsburgh, PA.  I can't fully recall his boss's full name at the time, but I know his first name was "Bill." I know my mom and dad would have worried conversations about "Bill" in the kitchen of our newly built home in Sewickley, PA. prior to his termination.I didn't pay a whole lot of attention, really.  I had too much to worry about myself, with being a new student again: this time as a senior in high school.  

I'm sad, now, to tell you, that I was a little hateful towards my dad at that time.  Quaker Valley HS was my third high school in four years and I just wanted the whole thing over and done.  I never really considered approaching this new school with any kind of enthusiasm.  I was kind of enjoying holding my dad accountable for my misery.

God bless him for his patience with me. I love him for that.

My dad was one of the most creative people I have ever known. Once he and I taped dollar bills together, end to end. We rolled them up over and over as he practiced his presentation to other salesmen.  Wish I could've been there to see him in action. 

Bill, probably, was there.  Bill, probably didn't like that my dad did such a great job.  Bill probably resented the laughter of the salesmen.  My dad had a knack for creating excitement.

Bill probably didn't like that either.

Workplace bullies target good people; enthusiastic people; likable and caring people like my father--be it in 1975 for my father, or in 2010 for me.  Workplace bullying is not illegal.  Not then.  Not now. 

It's time to change that.

More to come.
5:37 am est          Comments

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Grinch Finds His Purpose...Sneetch saga continued.


 How will you know the dancing Sneetch singers? How will you know the Sneetch havoc bringers?

Under their elegant expensive Sneetch clothing, they, like Sneetch others, including Grinch bosses, have bellies with stars, oh yes, stars, of self-loathing.They're stars that grow from long years of knowing their places. They are stars, yes they're stars...of utter disgraces.

I'm sad to tell you, you'll need a star. They come in all sizes, they're big and they're small. Hardly a Sneetch has not one at all.

It's hard not to start one. It begins with a lie. "I don't want to," you'll say the first time the Grinch tries.

"YOU WILL!" he'll respond. And then you'll do and say things you'd once denied. Now the star's something you, too, must hide.

Well dressed and star bellied Sneetches run past the one Sneetch with her non-starred belly exposed; she's all alone; that she knows. 
She stuck to the truth. Now his star bellied Grinch wrath's been set looth.

There's no star on her belly, not yet anyhow. She asked for some help in her simple truth telling. She got none at all. She just got Grinch yelling.


I'll have your non starred belly removed from my district and school! You didn't follow star-bellied Sneetch rules! I'll have your career, your job, oh it's true. I'll rid this star bellied district of you! I have help from star bellied Sneetches above me. I've Grinch friends in high places. And we don't like non-starred bellied Sneetch faces.

Thought you'd fool me and for a while you did. Thought you'd fool me when your truth you had hid. Thought you'd fool me with smiles and contact of eye. Oh, silly non-starred bellied Sneetch, I'll bet now you ask: "Why? Why didn't I go with his Grinch plan? Why didn't I just play along with his scam?

Stars, stupid Sneetch, even though they are dirty, Stars upon ours look, oh, so pretty.

Listen here, stupid Sneetch, I want to be a Grinchy big boss. Star bellied Sneetches at my school know well, if they don't do what I say, their lives will be hell.

But if you decide to grow a star, I'll see to it, Sneetch, that you will go far. What room do you want? What grade level too? Supplements? Sure! There's one for you! A director of this, a sponsor of that--I'll pull a supplement out of my Grinchy hat!

Just play the game, silly non-starred bellied Sneetch. You're alone at this school without a star. Why, the school building itself has stars upon thars!

Why, the district itself shines bright as can be! Our star-bellied Grinches earn a-wards and prizes! Who cares if they're earned on a bunch of Grinch lie-es?!

That's the way of the world, pathetic, non-star bellied Sneetch. There's your truth. There it is! The truth is all lies! So stop with your "honorable" asking of "whys?"

"But look!", the frail bird without a star said. "Look at these children with their bowed heads! They need us to do what our schools say they do: Educate; teach; treat respectfully too.

Why don't you do something? Why haven't you cared? Why are children crying and scared?

You act like a meanie, a brute, and a lout. You stay in your office; you complain and you pout.

Why do you yell? Why do you scream? Why, Mr. Grinch, are you so mean?

Maybe you're also scared! Maybe you're frightened! Maybe you need to be a little enlightened.

Maybe if you stand up and you say, "I've had enough. I'll stop lying today."

Maybe, just maybe, that's the way to be...

the Grinchy big boss that you foresee.

I promise you, oh my dear Mr. Grinch, that there are more non-starred Sneetches like me. There are lots of us. Yes! You will soon see.

We'll listen, I promise. We'll follow too. We only need a few true and kind words from you."

The Grinch raised his head; this idea he did ponder. His shriveled and dried up heart started to wonder.

"Maybe she's cor-rect, maybe she's right. Maybe just maybe I've been wrong all along.

AYP's and Common Core Standards apart, these children in corners have touched my heart.

We've been wrong, oh I'll say it! Children benefit most, from kindness and patience, not data to boast.

I get it! I do! The way to get funding, is not cheating and lying and breaking rules. It's demonstrating truth and honor in schools.

This, then, is the end of my lying ways. This is the end of my duplicitous days." 

And so the Grinch to his word he did stick. It wasn't easy. In fact he soon found, that to stick to his word, would cause a frown...on a star-bellied Grinch in an office down town.

But over time his Grinchy "stick-to-it" had others follow. He started a movement!

He now leads a district! He's a non-star bellied supe! He's a fine leader; the best of the Sneetch coop! Children in his schools are safe and secure. They're respectfully treated, that is for sure.

Now he's the star! His non-star bellied district's a national model. Other star-bellied districts his ways want to follow.

He's happy too! And now it seems, instead of no sleep, our Grinch sleeps well and dreams happy dreams.



7:28 am est          Comments

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