August 24, 2006

Bullying

Bullying is alive and well in the NZ school system. There is a great fear of it and there are a variety of reasons kids have to explain their actions.

Take one student who frequently claims they are being bullied. They have caused 4 other students to be stood down (like suspension, but not as extreme) for at least 1 day. They are only half way through their second year at school. Each time it has been because the other student hit them. Each time it has been because of severe provocation. The students who have been stood down do not have a history of violence or even of troublemaking. The most recent one, in particular is a really nice person. The "victim" always gloats after the "bully" has been punished, arriving in class with a huge grin on their face. The "victim" has graffitied their exercise books with hateful words and threats on the "bully". The "victim" has been caught out cheating and lying over class quizzes. Who is the bully?

Bullying is not only to be found in the classroom. It is found in the staffroom. I personally am experiencing it. I have talked about it with other staff members, but as the bully is so high up in the school management system, there isn't really anything to be done. I don't like bullies and I don't like being bullied. I have been known to stand up for myself before, but in this case I won't. I would gain nothing from it and risk much worse.

Notifiying external people is unlikely to produce any results as when ERO was here there was ample opportunity for people to speak out and noone did. All I would do is draw attention to myself and damage my own chances of getting another job and would make the time I have here that much worse. Doing nothing also upsets me. I hate being a coward. It's allowing the bullying to continue and I know that I am not the only target and I know that even if/when I leave the target will only change. Even if I stay and tough it out, a new target will be found.

I am trying to share my story with other staff members and what I get back is more and more horror stories, yet nothing is done. I have spoken with heads of departments, my own and others. I have spoken to the school PPTA representative. If I am unable to stand up for myself, they should be able to do something for me. They can't or won't do anything, they also risk too much.

This is a horrible situation to be in. I am lucky that I managed to escape a full 2 years without being picked up on the bully's radar. It is unlikely that I will stay at my current school past this year. Other aspects of the school are fabulous, but this aspect is grinding me to nothing. Feel free to ask me about it, if I talk too much about it, I may start crying, as it does upset me. However, talking also frees me and I just think that if I do keep talking about it, maybe others will really listen.

Point of fashion: Black and red Robin Hood
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Posted by giffy at August 24, 2006 06:45 PM
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