We’ve heard about students bullying other students, but how about teachers bullying students?
As I sat down and started to write this horrific story I’m about to share with you, I went to Google to do a bit of research.
I typed into Google: “teachers bullying students” and this search blew me away.
Tons and tons of results and, even scarier, tons of people searching this topic according to SEMrush, a research tool I use.
First, let’s share what exactly is “School Bullying”.
According to Wikipedia:
Bullying without comprehensive definition, can be physical, verbal or emotional in nature, or it can occur online (cyberbullying). For an act to be considered bullying it must meet certain criteria. This includes hostile intent, imbalance of power, repetition, distress, and provocation. Bullying can have a wide spectrum of effects on a student including anger, depression, stress and suicide. Additionally, the bullied child can develop different social disorders or have a higher chance of engaging in criminal activity.
Important to note that bullying isn’t just physical, but it can also be verbal or emotional in nature.
According to a study by American Psychological Association, 70 percent of middle and high school students have experienced bullying at some point.
With 55,000,000 students here in the United States that fall into that range, that means over 38,000,000 students have experienced bullying.
Many who suffer from being bullied can develop low self-esteem and they’ll turn their anger inward.
Others, though, can also become violent and lash out at others.
According to a Secret Service study it found that 71 percent of shooters had been bullied. Many have obvious mental health issues, that have been detected before an unimaginable event even happens.
I wanted to share these studies and stats with you because the video and story I’m about to show you happened on February 28th, 2018 in a Florida school.
This is just 2 weeks after Nikolas Cruz stormed into a Florida High School, killing 17 and wounding another 14.
While we’re all still desperate for answers on why this happened, you can only hope that teachers, “responsible adults,” wouldn’t be the ones bullying students, either emotionally or verbally.
Just last year in September (only a few months ago), 15-year old sophomore Caleb Sharpe walked into his school, Freeman High School and shot 4 students.
He said he wanted to teach a lesson on bullying.
Bullying, alone, is not to blame. Heck, a big reason Dinner Table MBA (a Masters of Being Awesome) even started, was to bring the family and conversation back to the Dinner Table. The stronger our family values, the more we open our doors to those less fortunate and the more conversations we have with our kids, the better the chance our children have to win at life.
So bullying, alone, isn’t the only problem, but it’s definitely high up on topics that need to be actively discussed and addressed (especially when 70% of students have been bullied at some time).
Now you might be wondering where I was going with all this and what it has to do with teachers bullying students, so let me share my story with you.
The Big Bully: A Teacher from Tampa, Florida Hillsborough County Public School
The big bully is a teacher from Farnell Middle School who’s been a terror for over a year now.
She teaches a class that has a ton of potential for greatness, called AVID.
AVID’s goal is to teach students skills and behaviors for not only academic success in high school and college, but skills for success beyond school.
This sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
I’m such a huge fan of improving our education system when it empowers our students with life skills outside of academy. Personally, I’m a fan of what Don Wettrick is doing with Innovation and Open Source Learning for his students (definitely tune in to his podcast).
This is where it gets a bit dicey.
The goal of AVID is to create a strong student/teacher relationship and help foster creating a positive peer group for students.
My son was in this class last year. He was doing well in school, but a bit shy (read this experiment we did this year to conquer this).
The Big Bully though, ruined this class for him and he was eventually removed and worked in the school office (what a great experience by the way).
This teacher would threaten students, my son being one of them, that she would take their binder and either dump any loose papers on the floor in the classroom or she’d take the class out to the staircase and dump the binder over the stairs. She’d point out that all the other students could come and watch her do this and watch the student pick up their papers up and down the stairs.
Doesn’t sound like a great way to build a “strong student/teacher relationship” to me!
I believe in raising independent kids who can stand up for themselves, but I also teach my children to respect their elders.
I’ve told them that respect, though, is earned, not entitled, due to a “title” they have.
I finally called the Principal John Cobb about this situation, as my son got nowhere with the teacher.
I informed Principal Cobb of what was going on and he was shocked.
I let John know that I was concerned not just for my son, but for the other students and that this was clearly breaking Hillsborough County Public Schools 5517.01 “BULLYING AND HARASSMENT.”
He agreed this was inappropriate and promised he’d address this with the teacher to have it stopped and would also remove my son immediately.
We left it at that and I assumed Principal Cobb handled this bully and would address other teachers bullying students.
This obviously isn’t the case.
Here’s “The Big Bully” in this video below, at it again February 28th, doing this to another student.
Now I know every parent has a different view on kids on Social Media, but a group of students posted this video to Snap chat. I removed their names (and sound) for their protection and they asked for their names not to be shared. But what I heard was laughter at this student and even “The Big Bully” smiling while tossing this kids papers all over the stairs.
Imagine how these students feel having their peers laughing at them, while this teacher bullies them trying to teach organization?
Conclusion: Teachers Bullying Students
The intent of what AVID is trying to teach our future leaders of tomorrow is phenomenal, however, this teacher needs to learn some leadership skills.
Leadership and the desire to dominate are great skills to have, both as an adult and child.
But as Brooks Gibbs points out in this must watch talk for all families on bullying, is dominating at the expense of someone else is bullying and poor leadership.
I’ve left the teacher’s name out of this post intentionally, but my hope is that Hillsborough County Schools will address this with all teachers.
I encourage all parents to have a discussion with their children about bullying and the impact it has on individuals.
Encourage your children to be the one that stands up to those bullying others and the one that extends their hand to lift up those who feel down.
Commit as a family to “Live the D.T. MBA Life” which is awesome parents raising independent kids whose family will stop at nothing to win at life.
Part of winning at life is accomplished by helping others.
Be that family.
Open up your doors to those who need a family who has strong values.