- Annastacia PalaszczukThe Premier of Queensland
- Simon BirminghamMinister for Education and Training
Bullied teacher in Education Queensland
I am a caring, dedicated and competent teacher.
I really want my students to do well and I want them to feel good about themselves.
But I am being bullied by the principal of my school.
He seems to have been collecting false evidence against me* (To protect myself, I have been advised to use the terms “seems to”).
I have shown his allegations to be false.
But he still seems to be trying his hardest to have me terminated.
He seems to ignore my strengths and to twist positives into negatives. This has been done to other teachers as well. For example, a teacher had his strengths spun into problems, partly because they were weak spots for the principal- the principal who was not good on computers criticized his use of computers, etc.
He seems to pretend to offer support purely so he can allege in his official documents that 'support was given'.
He has destroyed my self-confidence - and he criticizes me for lacking self-confidence!
There is a critical difference between giving honest, constructive feedback versus giving endless unjustified criticism that bears little relation to reality.
It has become impossible for me to teach under these circumstances.
I am on sick leave.
I toss and turn at night unable to sleep.
I cry into my pillow and shake with anxiety.
I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety as a result of the administrative abuse I experienced while teaching.
The bullying has made me physically and emotionally ill. The bullying began before I was placed on a management process. I was repeatedly called and harassed by the principal and his administration (under his orders) while on parental leave.
I have documented the abuse.
I want the principal to stop his bullying.
I want him to stop abusing management processes.
I want him to stop undermining me. I am competent. I do my job well. I was highly praised for my teaching skills before working for Education Queensland.
I want him to stop the threats and intimidation.
The principal has made an official report that I don't care.
Nothing is further from the truth!
Please help me get back to focusing on my job rather than trying to save my career from the principal's destructive forces.
I see students with such good character every day at school.
These students with their pure hearts and moral sense of right versus wrong are a billion times superior to this corrupt principal.
My principal seems to be trying to end my career.
This is not management, it is workplace bullying.
I need your help!
Teachers may be afraid to sign this petition, so I need the help of students, parents and members of the public.
Please support my petition.
This is not just about me, many Queensland teachers are being bullied.
During 2007, Dr Dan Riley of the University of New England and Professor Deidre Duncan of the Australian Catholic University surveyed more than 800 Australian teachers in government, Catholic and independent schools
The results of the survey showed that more than 90% of teachers reported that they had been bullied by colleagues.
83% of teachers said their concerns about unfair treatment, bullying and harassment had been dismissed.
91% of teachers said their mental or physical health had suffered.
The Queensland Department of Education know that workplace bullying in Queensland public schools is a major problem.
They have a duty of care to protect teachers from workplace abuse.
Competent, ethical, dedicated and hardworking Queensland teachers have a right to teach, free from harassment.
Some bullied teachers have committed suicide.
Some have resigned.
Some teachers never regain the health they once had.
I do not want to be forced to turn away from a profession I love.
Dan Riley of the University of New England described the results of the bullying survey as "frightening".
"We didn't expect to find what we did - we have a problem - teachers are not happy and we believe this is very serious," he said.
Preliminary findings from the survey suggested that workplace bullying is rife in schools in Western Australia and Queensland.
State school principals received the worst rating for bullying.
"In government schools, the principal receives a significantly higher nomination as a frequent or persistent bully than found in independent or Catholic schools," Professor Duncan said.
"Government schools are not very attentive to bullying," Dan Riley said.
"Claims made (by bullied teachers) often take a long time to be investigated or are ignored altogether."
Queensland Education Minister Geoff Wilson said on Wednesday 13 May 2009 that the research findings were a concern and that he would ask his department to look into it.
It is now 2017 and there are teachers who have ended their lives or have had serious mental health problems since then as a result of workplace bullying. It can take years to recover from the abuse.
Teachers are too afraid and feel too defeated to speak out.
It is a soul-destroying experience.
I am in a very dark place and very alone.
I need your help.
The more out in the open this is the better.
Evil thrives where there is fear and silence.
I need help to stop the principal from continuing his campaign of abuse against me.
By supporting this petition you will give me the strength and confidence needed to battle it myself.
Teacher bullying must be stopped!
- The Premier of Queensland
- Queensland Minister for Education, Minister for Tourism and Major Events
- Minister for Education and Training
I have created an online petition to bring the issue of bullying in Education Queensland to your attention.
There is a culture of workplace bullying in Education Queensland. There are many stories of teacher abuse in Queensland and throughout Australia. Some of these stories have made it to the media, but others remain in the dark. Many of these stories remain untold as teachers are too afraid to speak out.
Teachers who are currently being bullied need it to stop. Teachers who have been bullied deserve justice. They have been traumatized and have suffered.
By making this change, a clear message will be sent to these teachers and their families that their stories of workplace abuse are not being dismissed and that they are highly valued citizens.
Now is the time to make amends.
What needs to be changed?
1) Abolish the MUP process. It is used to bully teachers.
2) Increase PD programs as a replacement for MUP (inspire rather than terrify). Teachers who need improving in some area can be encouraged to attend PD programs.
3) Implement a culture of positive non-judgmental collegiality and respect. Ban principals from making official judgments on the ability of teachers. Principals should not have the power to destroy the professional reputation of a teacher by using manipulated reports.
4) Mandate the requirement for building on strengths. Teacher strengths can be identified and remarked on annually in a show of positive collegiality.
5) Implement PD programs for principals regarding ethics and stress management. (Research indicates principals are prone to alcoholism and drug abuse, affecting ethics and judgement).
Many teachers, including myself, fear returning to work because of the trauma they experienced and continue to experience at the hands of a principal or a member of the school administration. It is an urgent matter to change a system that is victimizing members of society.
The people of Queensland and Australia deserve a positive and ethical education system, not just for the teachers, but for the students.
This is a matter of critical importance.
Please read the petition and the comments.
Lydia Burns started this petition with a single signature, and now has 119 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.