Letter to an educator friend:
understand that leadership--whether in public, charter, or private schools--is crucial. In this second career of mine
as a public school counselor (never had these issues in 26 years of being with Delta Air Lines), I have worked for ineffective
leaders, fine leaders, and for dangerous people. Until district administrators and school boards quit placing their buddies
in leadership positions in schools, children and employees will continue to be at risk in schools. This is, though, a darker and more sinister issue. Our governor--our state's
tippy-top leader-- has appointed his own buddies to our state's board of education. He's also appointed our commissioner.
They, as evidenced by their actions in spite of the outrage of thousands of Florida's residents, are acting in their
and THEIR buddies' interests. And that interest, I can tell you, is NOT about children. It's about putting money into
pockets and fleecing the public.
took charge of your circumstances. You no longer could/would cow to the abusive and heartless leadership at your former school.
But check this out--the same leaders are there. Ultimately it's children who are vulnerable. Abusive principals create
school cultures of fear. Of course, it's the stand-up people who are targeted for not being "team players."
In my case, being a "team player" meant lying and cheating on formal documents submitted as evidence during a lawsuit.
I wouldn't do it. Saying "no" to my former principal was the hardest professional thing I've ever done. But,
it was MY job that was at risk, not the jobs of the lying and cheating "members of my former principal's team."
So--kids may not be able to wrap
words around the "icky" feeling of walking into schools of abusive school cultures, but boy, oh boy, they "feel
thing that, concerns me: we are losing the very fabric of communities with all these "choices." For example,
as many as ten of my ninth grade son's high achieving (and local) friends from elementary school are not at our community's
local high school. How about that? Because our community's high school simply is not seen as "good enough",
their parents are all over the county--adding to our traffic woes and detracting from their own quality of life as they spend
hours in cars driving from one school to another in some cases.
Listen, I've never in my life been clear on any one thing. I feel like it's a God given mission.
Hey, in that sense, this is all a good thing for me! I like waking up!
I am a case study for workplace bullying in public schools. You can dissect my experience--slice
it up real thin; put those slices under microscopes and take a look--and learn, baby, learn!
Learn about telomeres. Mine are frayed. For sure mine are frayed. Telomeres
fray under stress and my former principal zapped mine with his bullying blow torch.
Learn about hyper-vigilance. I am sure my vigilance ties into my lack of healthy
telomeres. I tend now to lack trust in the school system for which I work. I don't trust that my big bosses have my
best interest at heart. That lack of trust extends to their being in charge of my children's educations in public schools.
I don't think the big whigs are particularly interested in my children. I think they're most interested in each
other and touting the wonders of "The System." The big whigs are district level and school level back slapping,
high fiving bosses. They're also on state boards and departments of education.
Isn't that a sad affair? Members of the Florida Board of Education simply
do not care that children don't graduate. I've personally told them about the hundreds of thousands of children in Florida
who did everything to graduate in the last fifteen years but pass their and their buddies' tests. Those statements, I will
admit, might be my frayed telomeres talkin'...
about high blood pressure. Learn of its effects and origins. Mine comes from worry. Anxiety. My torched telomeres don't
allow the release of my body's soothing serotonin. My frayed telomeres don't connect. They can't on their own.
They've been blow torched. They don't allow that lovely neurotransmitter serotonin to course through my agitated body.
You also get to learn about Prozac. You'll see the effects of Prozac
in my workplace bullying "before and after" slices. It's prohibiting my serotonin from "being uplifted."
I think that means that my anxiety can't suck the joy and contentment--feelings of well being--out of my blood stream.
My serotonin's armed and ready to fight.
God bless it. I hope it wins.