Bully Teacher/Coach

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Being Bullied by a Teacher?

Disturbing video of a teacher berating a 1st-grader angered many parents -- but not for the reason you'd think

Coach's Creed

 

Being Bullied by a Teacher?


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Children have been bullied by other children for thousands of years. Our website has a page dedicated to dealing with bullies, "Bullies" - How To Stop Them!. But, children are not the only bullies at school. The topic on this page deals with a different type of bully. Sometimes, a very small percentage of the time, a teacher may carry their role too far and intimidate a child by over exerting their power over that child. They may say or do something that makes the child afraid of the teacher, or the child may become embarrassed by something the teacher said in front of the entire class. Do you know if your child is being bullied by a teacher?

I want to begin by saying that the large majority of teachers do an excellent job when they teach and this topic does not apply to them.

This can be a controversial topic because some may feel a teacher is being a bully, while others may say the teacher is using tough love in their teaching methods. I hope the information here will help you understand the difference in a teacher being a bully verses a teacher using proper teaching skills to help students learn and at the same maintain class control. Many times school systems let their teachers down by not teaching them how to discipline students without bulling a student, or an entire class, into doing what is needed by the teacher. Some teachers seem to have a natural talent in teaching and keeping control of a class. Our school systems take a teacher right out of school and throw them into a classroom and expect them to do a good job.

Some teachers have changed careers to become teachers. The careers they came from may have nothing to do with teaching, yet school systems expect them to be good teachers without training them how to teach or how to interact with students. Our school systems need to be held accountable for insuring that teachers continue their training.

The information below may not apply to every situation, but hopefully it will open your eyes. Whether you are a parent, grand parent, teacher or even principal, I encourage you to take your time and investigate this information. Even if this does not apply to you, you may know someone that may need this information.

Is Your Child's Teacher a Bully?

We've all heard about kids being bullied by peers. Kids taunt, tease, pull hair, shove and push each other on a daily basis. In recent years, schools have taken steps to stop bullying and many have a zero tolerance level for any type of peer harassment. But what if your child's teacher is the bully? New research shows that 2% of children are bullied by a teacher sometime in their elementary or middle school years.

Most teachers are caring and compassionate. They became teachers in order to make a difference in the lives of their pupils. However, some teachers, for one reason or another, take a dislike to a child in their class and pick on them on a daily basis. Such an occurrence can have a long-lasting effect on your child's academic experience and turn his school year into a nightmare. The effects of teacher bullying doesn't usually end when your child leaves the teacher's class. It?s something that can stay with him his entire life.

Student Abuse

Teachers who are bullies treat their victims much the same as a schoolyard bully. They humiliate the child in front of his classmates, abuse him verbally and make threats of physical harm or of giving low academic grades. The teacher may center your child out by "making an example" of him and insisting he stand in a corner. Possibly the teacher heaps homework on your child for "punishment" of some minor infraction. There are many different ways that a teacher can bully students.

Suffering in Silence

Chances are if your child is being bullied by a teacher he won't say anything. Boys are more apt to suffer in silence than girls. Boys feel they should be able to "take it" and fear being teased by their peers if they tell. Your child may also fear retaliation by the teacher if he says anything about what is happening. Remember, a teacher is a figure of authority and kids think that there's nothing that can be done if their teacher acts inappropriately.

Signs of Teacher Bullying

When a teacher bullies kids, it is a very traumatic experience for them to go through. They are embarrassed and humiliated and have no idea what steps they can or should take to stop it. They often say nothing, but there are signs that you can watch for:

  • Headaches, stomachaches and nightmares that occur frequently.
  • Loss of interest in school.
  • Negative behavior.
  • A resistance to attending school.
  • Self-Deprecating remarks.
  • Complaints of being picked on by the teacher.
  • Complains of being constantly yelled at.
  • Complaints of being humiliated by the teacher.
  • Complaints of a teacher being rude, making sarcastic remarks or being disrespectful.

Solutions

If you feel your child's teacher may be bullying him, don't stoop to that level. Stay calm and keep an open mind. Approach the situation in a manner that will result in a peaceful but appropriate solution.

  • Call a meeting between the teacher, the principal and yourself.
  • State the problem in a calm and courteous voice.
  • Listen to the teacher's side of the story. Possibly your child has misinterpreted the teacher's actions. Give him/her the benefit of the doubt and keep a sharp eye to see if the problem reoccurs.
  • Leave a paper trail. Record the dates of all meetings and the results. Write out your concerns and make copies for the teacher and principal. This lets all parties know that you are serious about resolving the issue. Keep all correspondence in a file that is easily accessible.
  • Go higher. If the situation isn't resolved after the meeting, take it a step higher. At this point a copy of all meetings and correspondence should be sent to the school board of the Superintendent of Schools. Call in advance to find out his/her name and address the issue directly to them. Contacting the school board or the Superintendent of Schools is well within the rights of both you and your child.
  • Never ignore an instance of teacher bullying. It won't stop unless you make the teacher aware that you know what is happening and make a commitment to ascertain that it stops. Ignoring a teacher who bullies students allows the practice to continue, which places your child under a great deal of stress. This can inadvertently cause your child to become a bully on the playground or in the community. It is his way of releasing some of the stress that he's under.
  • Show your child that bullying of any kind, even if by a teacher, is wrong. This lets your child know that you listen to his concerns and take his well-being seriously. Giving your child the support that he needs, will have enormous benefits to both you and your child.

Prevent Teacher Bullying

One way to prevent teacher bullying is to visit your child's school often and start a relationship with your child?s teacher early in the school year. Volunteer in your child's classroom. If you notice that your child's teacher has a tendency to bully students, meet the challenge head-on and report the incident to the principal. Remember, a teacher's rights end when your child's rights, or any other child's rights, are being infringed upon.

If you suspect a teacher at your child's school is bullying students, step up to the plate and put an end to it immediately. You can make a difference in yours or another child's life by teaching them that bullying of any kind or by any one is an act of cowardice and is not to be tolerated.

Source: www.a-better-child.org/page/933699

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Teachers Who Bully


The problem of teachers bullying students is more common than you think. Learn how to prevent your child from becoming a victim.

In recent years, a slew of books have offered parents ample insight into the minds of young bullies.

But what if it's the teacher who screams, threatens, or uses biting sarcasm to humiliate a child in front of the class?

Teacher bullying gets little attention, say Stuart Twemlow, MD, a psychiatrist who directs the Peaceful Schools and Communities Project at the Menninger Clinic in Houston. But his new study, published in The International Journal of Social Psychiatry, hints that the problem may be more common than people believe.

In his anonymous survey of 116 teachers at seven elementary schools, more than 70% said they believed that bullying was isolated. But 45% admitted to having bullied a student. "I was surprised at how many teachers were willing to be honest," Twemlow says.

He defines teacher bullying as "using power to punish, manipulate, or disparage a student beyond what would be a reasonable disciplinary procedure."

Twemlow, a former high school teacher, insists that he's not trying to denigrate a praiseworthy -- and often beleaguered -- profession. "This is not being done to victimize or criticize teachers. There are a few bad apples, but the vast majority of teachers go beyond the call of duty. They're very committed and altruistic."

Nevertheless, bullying is a risk, he says. When Twemlow quizzed subjects about bullying, "Some teachers reported being angry at being asked the question," he writes. "But more reflective teachers realized that bullying is a hazard of teaching."

Problem Teacher

Robert Freeman, an elementary school principal in Fallon, Nev., agrees. He recalls one teacher who was a notorious bully. When he came onboard, "Other teachers inundated me with complaints about her," he says. "One year, I got 16 requests from parents asking me not to put their child in her class."

Freeman investigated and found a cruel streak. When elementary students asked for explanations during lessons, she sometimes retorted, "What's the matter? Didn't your parents give you the right genes?"

A Parent's Dilemma

Jan, a New Jersey mother who asked not to use her real name to protect her privacy, says that bullying affects the student's family, too. In high school, her son began complaining that the choir teacher had singled him out for tirades.

Like many parents who have had mostly positive relationships with teachers, Jan believed her son was overreacting. "We got into arguments at dinner. I told him, 'Just stop it.' It affected his mood and it affected our relationship."

Before long, Jan herself saw signs of the teacher's outbursts. One day, he phoned her during a choir rehearsal. "He said, 'Your son is ruining this,'" Jan recalls. "I'm ready to kill my son. I'm driving there, and I'm ready to tell him he's grounded. When I got there, the teacher said, 'Oh, it's fine.'

"He was already over it."

The clincher came when Jan visited another family with a daughter in the choir. Jan was shocked when the girl said, "Oh, yeah, he totally picks on your son."

Why didn't Jan approach the teacher or principal? "I didn't expect anything to come out of it. Everyone turned their heads because this teacher was so talented."

Besides, the teacher was the gatekeeper for coveted choir trips. Jan worried, too, that he would bad-mouth her son to other teachers. "The teacher lunchroom, that's where people talk about kids. So for the next four years, you've poisoned them."

Jan concluded that the teacher was brilliant but volatile, and she's unsure why was her son was a "lightning rod," she says. Maybe it was a personality clash, she adds, because her younger daughter had no problems in his class.

Why Do Teachers Bully?

Teachers are human, and it's unfair to expect them never to utter a hurtful word.

But teachers do bully for various reasons, experts tell WebMD. A student may remind them of someone they dislike. Or, in a surprising reversal of the "teacher's pet" syndrome, insecure teachers may bully bright students out of envy.

Other teachers suffer from personal problems -- job burnout, marital woes, or severe behavior problems with their own children -- and they take out their frustrations in class.

Furthermore, in some troubled schools, students bully teachers -- and teachers dish it back to avoid appearing weak. "Teachers are often physically scared of students," Twemlow says.

Teacher bullying spans "the range of human behaviors," Twemlow says. But he has been able to identify two categories: a "tiny minority" of sadistic teachers and the "bully-victim" teachers.

"The sadistic teacher hacks on kids in a way that indicates they might get some pleasure from it," he says. That means "humiliating students, hurting students' feelings, and being spiteful." For example, he remembers one teacher who repeatedly ridiculed a boy by calling him a girl's name.

In an ideal world, there would be screening methods to weed out such "nightmare teachers," he says. "We basically feel that sadistic teachers shouldn't be teachers."

For the bully-victim teacher, there may be more hope, he says. "This is the type of teacher who usually is passive and lets a class get out of control and responds with rage and bullying. These bully-victim teachers are often absent from work, they fail to set limits, and they do a lot of referrals to the principal because they like other people to handle their problems."

These teachers could benefit from training on effective classroom management, he says.

Men and women are equally likely to bully, Twemlow says, but his study didn't look at whether their tactics differed.

One interesting finding: Teachers who bully were often bullied themselves in childhood. As Twemlow's study co-researcher, Peter Fonagy, PhD, noted in a news release: "If your early experiences lead you to expect that people will not reason, but respond to force, then you are at risk of recreating this situation in your classroom."

Advice for Parents

When abuse is physical, most parents don't hesitate to report the offending teacher, Freeman says. But many see emotional or verbal bullying as a gray area. They worry that speaking up could cause a teacher to take revenge on their child -- and there's little escape. "It really is on a different level than kid-to-kid bullying," Twemlow says. "The kid has no power."

Don't ignore the problem, experts say. Here are some tips for handling the issue of teacher bullying:

Develop a Habit of Talking Openly About School With Your Child

Because children view teachers as authority figures, they often won't tell their parents if they're being mistreated. Parents who don't talk with their children won't know about bullying until grades drop or a child becomes depressed, Twemlow says.

Keep an eye out for such behavior changes. Also, probe for details if your child says, "Mrs. So-and-So doesn't like me," says Janet Belsky, PhD, a Middle Tennessee State University psychology professor. That's especially true if a child rarely complains of mistreatment by others.

Volunteering in class also allows a parent to keep an eye on the situation and develop a relationship with the teacher.

Talk With the Teacher in a Nonadversarial Manner

If parents suspect a problem, they should meet with the teacher without "screaming or threatening attorneys," Twemlow says. Avoid blaming and keep an open mind. After all, a child may have misinterpreted a teacher's behavior.

Take a cooperative approach, says Mark Weiss, education director for Operation Respect, a New York-based nonprofit organization that deals with bullying. A parent can say, "'I'm concerned. I think my child's afraid in this class. What do you think is going on?' The teacher is then able to engage in the conversation."

Don't bring a young child, Twemlow adds, but it's fine to include a teenager "who needs to be treated more like an adult." Always tell your child beforehand that you're seeing the teacher, he says. That way, he or she won't be embarrassed to find out after the fact.

A teacher meeting often solves the problem, Twemlow says. But not always. "A master bully will rationalize," Freeman says, and nothing changes.

Take Your Complaint Higher

If the situation doesn't improve, ask the principal to intervene. It may pay to ask for a classroom transfer, Freeman says. Not all principals honor such requests, but some do.

Some principals let bully teachers go unchallenged, he adds. Then parents may have to go up the chain of command, for example, by filing a formal complaint with the school superintendent or school board and demanding a response. They should also keep good records of all communications and incidents.

Reassure Your Child

Resolving a bullying issue can be difficult, so support your child, Weiss says. "Let your child know that you care and that you want to do something -- that in life we try to do things and sometimes it takes more than one shot at it."

But don't let the situation drag on for months, Belsky says. "You want to try to nip it in the bud."
Source: www.webmd.com/parenting/features/teachers-who-bully

Being bullied by a teacher


How to spot the signs and deal with bullying by a teacher

Generally speaking, teachers do a good job, often under stressful circumstances, so when your child complains they are being bullied by a teacher it's worth considering what might be behind it.

Possible reasons for conflict

  • Could your child be misbehaving in class?
  • Is your child misinterpreting the teacher's actions?
  • Is this the only teacher your child complains about?
  • Is the teacher trying to get him/her to produce better work?
  • Is the teacher unaware of personal circumstances in your family where jokes which might be inoffensive to most people upset your child?

Make some discreet enquiries amongst the parents of your child's friends. Overt unpleasant remarks are likely to be remembered by other children and reported to their parents. If other parents also have concerns about the way their children are being treated then that might indicate a problem.

Discuss with your child what sort of remarks are made and in what circumstances. If your child is being criticised for not completing work but is finding the work difficult then a simple call to the head of year, or a note to the teacher explaining the situation and asking for help should resolve the problem.

If you feel a teacher is taking issue with your child and it is becoming regular, you might want to consider making a written complaint to the head teacher, and then to the governors if the problem continues. Particularly if as far as you are aware your child has never had a problem with any other teacher.

How to resolve the problem

An informal approach to the head of year would be a good start but you must be prepared not to like the response if your child's behaviour is an issue. Bullying UK gets many complaints about teacher bullying accompanied by remarks like "I know my son's no angel" or "my daughter only refused to do as the teacher asked because she thought it was unfair". If a child is defiant and answers back then teachers are not going to accept that, and rightly so.

If you feel you have a genuine concern and the head of year hasn't been able to resolve it then make a complaint to the head teacher and if that isn't successful to the governors. However, it's much better to try to sort the problem out diplomatically at a much earlier stage because your child is likely to have contact with a teacher over a number of years.

Try not to overreact and stay calm when speaking to the school. If you are worried about this then it is definitely worth putting your concerns in writing rather than have a verbal conversation. It is normally a good idea to get things on a more formal footing anyway which can carry more weight. Remember, there are always two sides to a situation but remember too that you know your child better than anyone.

Source: www.bullying.co.uk/bullying-at-school/being-bullied-by-a-teacher/

10 Ways to Respond to a Teacher Who Bullies


Learn how to address bullying when it involves your child’s teacher

The majority of teachers your child will encounter are good at what they do. In fact, many teachers go beyond the call of duty and are very altruistic. However, there are teachers who do not handle their responsibilities well. And even some teachers who bully their students. Instead of using proper discipline procedures or effective classroom management techniques, they use their power as a teacher to condemn, manipulate or ridicule students.

When the bullying is physical, most parents don’t hesitate to report incidents. But, when the bullying is emotional or verbal, they often aren’t sure how to proceed. One concern is that teachers will retaliate and make things worse for their child. While this is a valid concern, it’s never a good idea to ignore the situation. Here are some ideas for addressing bullying by a teacher.

Be sure to document all bullying incidents. Keep a record everything that happens including dates, times, witnesses, actions and consequences. For instance, if the teacher berates your child in front of the class be sure to write it down including the date, the approximate time, what was said and which students were present. If other students participate in the bullying as a result of the teacher’s actions, be sure to include that information too. And if there is any physical bullying, cyberbullying or harassment based on race or disability, report this to your local police immediately. Depending on the area where you live, these forms of bullying are often crimes.

Reassure and support your child. Be sure to keep an open dialogue with your child about school and what is taking place. Remember your first priority is that you get help for your child. Don’t hesitate to connect with a counselor and be sure to have your child evaluated by a pediatrician who can check for signs of depression, anxiety issues and sleep problems. Make sure you keep a close watch for signs of bullying and remember that kids often don’t report bullying behavior.

Take steps to build your child’s self-esteem. Help your child see his strengths. Also encourage him to focus on things other than the bullying like favorite activities or new hobbies. Don’t spend too much time talking about the bullying. Doing so keeps your child focused on the negative in their life. Instead, help him move beyond it and see that there are other things in life to be happy about. This will help build resilience.

Talk with your child before taking steps to resolve the issue. It’s never a good idea to have a meeting with a teacher or principal without telling your child. You run the risk of embarrassing your child if he finds out about the situation after the fact. Additionally, your child will need to be prepared emotionally if the meeting does not go well and the teacher retaliates.

Follow the chain of command. Remember, the closer someone is to the problem, the more likely he will be able to take swift, effective action. If you go straight to the top, you will most likely be asked whom you have talked to about the situation and what have you done to remedy the situation. You want to be sure you have exhausted all possibilities for resolving this issue at the lower levels before moving higher. Additionally, if you have documentation from your interactions at lower levels, it will be hard to ignore what you have to say when you do get to the top.

Consider requesting a meeting with the teacher. Depending on the severity and frequency of the bullying, it may be wise to go directly to the person doing the bullying first. Many times, a teacher meeting will resolve the problem if you take a cooperative approach when discussing the situation. Try to keep an open mind and listen to the teacher’s perspective. Avoid screaming, accusing, blaming and threatening to sue.

Be sure to express your concerns but allow others to engage in the conversation. For instance, if your child seems to be afraid in class, mention this. Then ask the teacher what she thinks may be going on. This allows the teacher to talk about what she sees. Additionally, it’s less likely she will get defensive if you are open to hearing her perspective.

Take your complaint higher if the situation doesn’t improve or the bullying is severe in nature. Sometimes teachers will rationalize their behavior, blame the student or refuse to admit any wrongdoing. Other times the bullying is much too severe to risk speaking with a teacher directly. If this is the case, ask to meet with the principal in person. Be sure to share your documentation. You also could request a classroom transfer at this point. Not all principals will honor such requests, but some do.

Continue to go up the chain of command if you don’t get results.Unfortunately, some principals will let teachers who bully go unchallenged or deny that bullying is taking place. If this is the case, it’s time to file a formal complaint with superintendent or the school board, demanding a response. Be sure to keep good records of all your communications including e-mails, letters and documentation of telephone calls.

Don’t let the bullying drag on indefinitely. If the principal, superintendent or school board drags their feet in responding to you, then it may be time to get legal counsel. In the meantime, you also may want to investigate other options for your child like a transfer to another school, private school, homeschooling and online programs. Leaving your child in a bullying situation can have dire consequences. Be sure you make every effort to either end the bullying or remove your child from the situation. Don’t assume the bullying will end without intervention.

Source: bullying.about.com/od/Victims/a/10-Ways-To-Respond-To-A-Teacher-Who-Bullies.htm

When the teacher is the bully


Bullying has become a national issue. But what do you do if the school bully is your child's teacher?

When Karen Eubank’s son first complained about his “mean” teacher, she took it with a grain of salt. “Usually ‘mean’ just means a teacher makes you study, is demanding, or wants you to answer questions,” says the Dallas, TX mom. “Not that [the teacher’s] being verbally abusive.”

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what it meant. Eubank had transferred her son from a private school to a new charter that a friend recommended. During the tour, Eubank fell in love with the school — there was a garden, they played music at lunch, the school was “just beautiful,” she says.

But after the school year began, her fourth grader began saying that he didn’t want to go to school. Every day before school, he claimed he felt nauseated. Every afternoon at pickup, he was angry. Eubank assumed the boy was just adjusting to his new school. It wasn’t until Halloween that Eubanks discovered the chilling truth. She asked a child in the class next door to her son’s how he liked school. He replied it that he was fine, but that her son “wasn’t having such a good time.” The teacher, the boy told her, “yells at him all the time and we can hear it in the next room.”

Eubank set up meetings — first with the teacher — who insisted the problem was her son’s inattentiveness — and then the principal — who refused to do anything. “They both pulled me in to say they were worried about my kid,” she says, “that he couldn’t pay attention, couldn’t focus. They were both basically hinting that my son needed medication.” Taking respected education professionals at their word, Eubank took her son for a psychological evaluation at Baylor University and learned there was nothing wrong with him.

An active school volunteer, Eubank chatted up other parents who all noted that her son’s teacher never smiled. Meanwhile, her son shared more detail about his teacher. “‘She picks on me and is mean,’ he told me,” says Eubank. “‘I pay attention,’ he insisted, ‘but I look out the window because I’d rather look at trees and listen than look at her angry face.’” But when her son looked out the window, the teacher would regularly humiliate him in front of the other students, yelling at him and slamming her hand on his desk.

Within a few days, following another hand-slamming-the-desk episode, in desperation Eubank pulled her son out of school and started homeschooling.

Another type of bully

Bullying is starting to get national attention and be taken more seriously than in days past. But the focus is decidedly on kid-on-kid abuse. While the mean girls, the taunters and tormentors, the physical abusers, and the excluders are very real threats, so too are educators who abuse their power over the very kids they are supposed to protect.

But when teachers verbally and even physically abuse kids, the abuse is often blatant and rarely called what it is — bullying — reinforcing the false notion that only kids, not the grown-ups in charge, are bullies.

Amid mounting data that bullying is on the rise, there’s a glaring absence of statistics on adult school bullies. In part, perhaps, because bullying by a teacher or principal is far more complex to identify, address, and rectify. It’s difficult to know what to make of a teacher who crosses the line from basic discipline to regularly berating, intimidating, humiliating (and even physically abusing) a student — so much so that a child’s afraid to be in school.

In response to another GreatSchools article on bullying (“What you can do to stop bullying”), a brave teacher confessed (in a comment) to having bullied students in the past — until he changed his ways. “I became a teacher when I was in my early 20s, and I was horrible to the kids. I was a monstrous bully to the special ed kids I taught … I was eventually forced to resign, and after three years, I realized why I was wrong. I changed completely, and when I went back to teaching, I never raised my voice or made any threats. It was wonderful. I learned to lead by example…”

His honest admission prompted us to look further into bully teachers, a topic rarely discussed. We started by asking GreatSchools readers if they’d ever had a teacher who was a bully (see sidebar). Dozens of people came forward with painful stories — but none had a clear way to redress the situation. When children bully other children, experts offer viable theories on how to deal with the problem: Fight back, walk away, ignore the bully and he’ll move on, tell a teacher, tell your parents, ask any adult for help.

But when the bully is the grown-up in charge, how should a child respond? With a bully teacher, fighting back, walking out of the class, or ignoring the teacher are hardly viable solutions, and ones that will most likely get kids in even more trouble. Even telling another teacher or the principal gets tricky. At the very least, the child knows by telling a teacher, another adult at the school, or even their own parents, that the problem isn’t likely to be solved overnight. So what’s a kid — or a parent — to do?

The first step, perhaps, is to listen to the stories and learn from others, like retired teacher Elaine Sigal. Her bully was the principal at the New Jersey high school where she taught. Sigal endured anti-Semitic comments, watched as the principal screamed at African-American students, and cringed when the principal mocked parents with accents. Other teachers were terrified to be seen talking to Sigal, else they face the principal’s wrath. “They’d hide behind a cabinet door,” she says. After battling it out with the principal for two-and-a-half years, she threw in the towel and transferred to a Hebrew school.

Sigal thinks that there might be another way — and now as an educational consultant (she launched a startup called Stizzil to help kids with tutoring, test prep, self-esteem, and more), she’s been on the frontlines with bully teachers. One of her female students wrote about being bullied by her second grade teacher who made her “a pariah;” the negative effects lasted through middle school. Sigal accompanied a male student’s immigrant parent on a visit to a school counselor. “The [counselor] puts her head down on her desk and says to me [in front of the child’s parent], ‘I have no idea why you’re wasting your time, he’s another dumb [racial slur].’” Sigal says.

Taking action

In the face of such blatant bullying, Sigal offers this advice: “First thing you have to do is document, document, document.” Write down the date, the time, and exactly what happened. Despite the obvious pain you’re feeling as a parent, Sigal says, it’s crucial to be as reasonable and objective as possible.

If the situation isn’t too egregious, meet with the teacher to see if you can find a resolution. If that doesn’t work, Sigal recommends learning what you can from everyone at school — your child, other kids, parents in the class. Volunteer at school, drive the carpool, keep your ear to the ground, all the while documenting everything you learn. During this fact-finding period, Sigal says to start building a support network of parents — after all, one parent’s complaints can easily be waved off, while a group of concerned parents has more chance of being heard.

Sigal advises parents to resist storming the principal’s office right away. “Follow the chain of command,” she says, starting with, say, a senior teacher or the head of that teacher’s department, then the vice principal, principal, principal’s supervisor, and superintendent. This approach works in your favor for two reasons: One, the closer someone is to the problem, the more likely they’ll be able to take swift, effective action; and two, when you go to the top, one of the first questions will be, ‘Who have you talked to about this, and what did they say?’ If you can’t answer effectively, you’re likely to be directed back to those you’ve skipped. And always, says Sigal, document every bullying incident. “If you have documentation for a couple of months, they can’t ignore that,” Sigal says. “And if they try to, I’d say ‘I’m going to the newspaper.’”

A battle kids can’t fight

When it comes to protecting kids from bully teachers, sadly kids are in a vulnerable position — and ill-equipped to fight the battle on their own.

Case in point: A high school junior in Boston, MA who now needs an attorney’s help to clear his school record. The teen repeatedly — and in vain — asked to be moved out of a class where he felt like the target of an abusive teacher, says his lawyer Daniel Maloney. The acrimonious situation came to a head one day when the boy vented his frustrations — and it sounded like a threat. He was summarily suspended, putting a mar on his permanent record that may jeopardize his college prospects. Moral of the story? The teen was unable to defend himself against the bully teacher and now needs legal help to protect his future.

When it comes to bully teachers, there’s no real silver lining — but there are different routes parents can take. In Eubank’s case, homeschooling was the best choice. Now her son is happily back in a public high school and doing well with “brilliant teachers,” she says. For Sigal, a school transfer did the trick. But she believes following certain protocol — like documenting every incident, building a support system, and working up the chain of command — can protect kids from continued trauma at the hands of a bully teacher and save them from the ordeal of leaving a school altogether. But, says Sigal, the fight to protect your child from a bully teacher may not (and usually won’t) be easy.

Source: www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/when-the-teacher-is-the-bully/

When The Teacher is the Bully


Bullying has been front and center in the public arena for some time now. In recent years, schools have promoted a zero tolerance for schoolyard bullying. Guidelines and resources are more readily available to cope with the workplace bully, as well as for cyber bullying that happens on the computer superhighway.

But what if your child's teacher is the bully? Recent research shows that 2% of children are bullied by a teacher in their lifetime. Teachers who are bullies have the same characteristics of other bullies. They are sadistic and petty, gaining self-esteem through the humiliation of others. In the school environment, a teacher-bully will shame a child in front of classmates, often using their position of authority in abusive ways. The teacher-bully may make an example of a child, sending him out of the room or to the corner. Maybe an extra assignment or denying your child recess becomes the vehicle for bullying.

I had a teacher who was a bully. I was in the 10th grade and she made my life miserable. She was my Spanish teacher, and all year long she picked on me, calling on me to answer impossible questions, throwing me out of the class for making noise and even accusing me of cheating on the Regents exam. Luckily, I had a reputation as being a very quiet student, never getting into any trouble or mischief. I hardly spoke in class and was painfully shy. Administrators responsible for overseeing my “discipline” knew there was a bullying situation going on. Unfortunately, there were two choices. Either drop Spanish and not graduate or stay in the class, since there were no other Spanish classes to transfer into. The lesser of two evils was to stay in the class. And though I had support from my parents and from my friends, the teacher’s bullying was traumatic for me. I was young and ill-equipped to deal with the humiliation and accusations. Like a deer in headlights, I just stood there, helpless.

I’ve long shed the quiet and hesitant demeanor of my teenage years. I have a zero tolerance for bullying of any kind - and am fierce when I have to be. In fact, as a therapist, I help many children take on their bullying battles with great success. And every time I do, I think back to my Spanish teacher and how I’d do things differently. It brings a smile to my face thinking about how I’d take her on with my kick-ass, no-nonsense set of bully-stomping skills.

Ten Tips for Dealing with a Teacher-Bully

If your child is being bullied by a teacher, here are some ways to combat the abuse.

1) Listen attentively to your child when he or she talks about the bullying. Your child’s emotional expression is an important aspect of healing. Ask for details, but don’t push too hard.

2) Remind your child that shame and humiliation are not acceptable ways of treating another human being. This is abusive, and your child needs to know what that means.

3) Some children will be happy for you to intervene, while others may become terrified of your involvement. Support and comfort your child but also educate him or her that you cannot let this hurtful behavior continue.

4) Inform your child that you'll be speaking with the teacher to open up a dialogue about the situation. This is about problem solving - and doing so will teach your child how to negotiate difficult situations in the future.

5) When confronting the teacher, remember that poise and strength count. Resist falling into the gutter with the teacher-bully. Sinking to that level will hurt your position should you need to go further with this issue.

6) Leave a hard-copy or email paper trail of all your conversations with the teacher. If things continue to be abusive for your child, don’t wait. Immediately involve the school administration and support staff.

7) If the bullying hasn't stopped, and there's been no other accommodations made for your child at the school building level, contact the Superintendent and notify your school board.

8) Consider a school transfer if you cannot find success from any of these strategies.

9) Don’t hesitate to file a complaint to the state licensing board.

10) Consider professional help for your child if the bullying causes significant distress.

Source: drdeborahserani.blogspot.com/2011/01/when-teacher-is-bully.html

Disturbing video of a teacher berating a 1st-grader angered many parents -- but not for the reason you'd think


A secretly recorded video emerged Friday of a first-grade Success Academy teacher berating a student who couldn't answer a math question correctly and ripping up the girl's paper.

A teacher's assistant leaked the video to The New York Times, and Success Academy -- the city's largest charter school network -- held a press conference Friday to fire back at the paper and accuse it of "gotcha tactics" to tear down the school.

"I read the story in the morning and I thought it was not only unfair, it was insulting," said Youssef Senhaji, a father of three Success Academy students.

He was one of dozens of parents and teachers who joined the Success Academy press conference to voice their anger at the newspaper for supposedly selling a false narrative about the schools.

Many parents at the press conference seemed upset by what they perceived as The Times' paternalistic lecturing to minority parents. Success Academy serves 11,000 students in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Its website indicates that 93 percent of their students are children of color, and 76 percent are from low-income households.

"I'm keeping it civilized, because when I read this thing this morning and was home alone, you don't want to hear what I was saying," Senhaji added, before arguing The Times was overstepping its bounds by implying parents are "blind" to what's going on their kids' schools.

Natasha Shannon, a mother with three daughters at Success Academy, echoed this sentiment.

"I don't understand why the New York Times thinks it has to educate me as a parent about the school that I choose to send my children to," she said.

"I'm not some poor, uninformed parent or someone who is not aware of what's available in New York City schools," she added. "I chose Success. I made that choice because it's the best choice for my daughters."

The press conference was punctuated by raucous applause, and shouts of "that's right" and "say it again" when the teachers and parents agreed with what one of the speakers had to say about their schools.

"We can't get a fair shake from the so-called paper of record," Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz said at Friday's event.

One of the most boisterous rounds of applause came after Success Academy teacher Candice Seagrave spoke.

"The most heartbreaking part of all of this is the feeling that you don't believe that black and brown kids can be successful," she said.

For its part, The Times told Business Insider that it rejects Moskowitz's criticism of their coverage.

"We would have done this story if that video were filmed in a traditional public school, a Catholic school or an independent school, and we would have explored the question of whether or not it represents larger problems within those institutions," The Times said in a statement.

Students in the Success Academy far outperform students in traditional public schools (TPS) in New York City on standardized tests -- even students in wealthy zip codes, as Reason has pointed out.

Seagrave, the Success Academy teacher, questioned the motives behind The Time's decision to run the 60-second video, claiming the only way the paper can believe SA students are able to attain stellar achievement levels is through improper or abusive teaching methods.

Still, this is not the first time the school has come under fire, particularly by people interviewed in The Times, for questionable practices at their schools.

Last year, a New York Times report included interviews claiming students in the third grade and above were wetting themselves in classrooms because they felt so stressed out and didn't want to lose time during standardized tests. The same article described the public shaming of students for poor grades.

On Friday, the press conference about the most recent video ended with a brief time allotted for questions from the media.

"Is the girl who was scolded in the video still a student at Success Academy Cobble Hill?" Kate Taylor, The New York Times reporter who wrote the story about the video, asked.

Moskowitz was unable to provide an answer. "I would have to confirm that," she said.

When the video was published, Moskowitz said the incident was an anomaly. The teacher in the video called it a "lapse in emotional control," according to The Times. It is still disturbing to watch, especially since The Times' interviews with 20 current and former Success Academy teachers suggested her actions were extreme but not uncommon.

View the full video:

Source: www.aol.com/article/2016/02/16/disturbing-video-of-a-teacher-berating-a-1st-grader-angered-many/21313527/

 
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