Pondering, then, about hats
a bullying principal justify his abuse to his superiors?
This, of course, supposes that his boss is not his good friend and on the school
board. That was the case for me. My former principal is a friend of one of my district's school board members.
That member--before he knew that I was "the one" who reported his buddy--seemed to like me a lot. Once
when he was visiting my current school--and I did not yet know how close he and my abuser were--he and I had a lovely discussion
about how to end bullying for children. He and I laughed together. It was such a great and invigorating encounter that I decided
to share with him my having been bullied by one of his principals.
He, sadly, did not, appreciate that.
He now doesn't look at me or talk with me at my school. He was there
last school year. I greeted him twice. I made eye contact and I smiled. Each time he looked through me...as if I wasn't
there; as if he'd just as soon I disappeared...
smile of course, and, he has a nice one.
think I am perplexing to him. I think he does me; likes my enthusiasm; likes my authenticity. I got enthusiasm and authenticity--man,
I can wax on and on about how to stop bullying. I am articulate and focused when that's the topic at hand. But
start talking Common Core and Florida Standards and testing and data and my eyes glaze and water.
I am just not much interested in that. Well, I am actually interested
in Common Core. I am interested in getting rid of it. I am interested in researching it and finding out the "Who's
Who" players in that debacle destroying our public schools' teachers and students' vibrancy.
But that's a topic for another blog... Today's is devoted to (Oh yes!
Again!) bullying principals; men and women who should be arrested and instead lead schools, torment teachers and
emotionally abuse children.
not a team player," my former principal might have said about me to his boss buddies, as he ruefully shook his head.
In his testimony after charges of ethics and responsibilities violations were brought against him, he and his assistant
principal stated that I had an "assertive way" and could be "confrontational". I still marvel at
that. I was simply trying to help children. He (and she--for she follows his every lead; her name on so many documents
against guiltless teachers) was not. He screamed at children--now that's "assertive". He used profanity--now
all of that is sarcasm and I'm not good at sarcasm.
"No" to his demands to commit fraud is neither assertive nor confrontational. It's courageous. It's
"Please treat me respectfully" when derisively called "honey" over and again is not confrontational. It,
too, is rare.
a colleague who was scared out of his mind that his night shift boss might physically harm him was not meant to be confrontational--oh
no!--it was meant to honor a man who'd come to me as his only source of assistance. He'd reported an incident of his
night shift boss threatening him with a hammer; following him in his car (remember there were only two men and one woman working
at night) to our administrators only to be told in essence that he was the problem.
He, too, folded,though, and wrote a letter of apology to the principal.
"That's a life you can
hang your hat on..." You'll not, at least, hang the hat of accepting abuse on this life of mine.
You will though, I hope, hang
the hat of working hard to help other abused educators on this life...
Ah, now that's a pretty hat!