Thursday, January 21, 2016

Bullying In The Classroom Continues And Our Union Does Nothing About It.



























There was real hope when Mayor Bill de Blasio replaced Michael Bloomberg that the DOE "gotcha system" would be replaced with real collaboration.  However,  Bill de Blasio appointed Carmen Farina as Chancellor and she retained 80% of Mayor Bloomberg's policymakers at Tweed.  Moreover, Carmen Farina turned  out to be part of the problem and not the solution.  While our UFT President is hugging the Chancellor, her failure to "clean house", allows her minions to continue to bully the classroom teacher.  Finally, the school administrators are using Danielson as a punitive weapon against teachers, making the classroom workplace a hostile environment.

Stories, too numerous to list in this post are principals showing up unannounced in the teacher's worst class to catch the teacher unprepared.  Field Supervisors requiring a Danielson like observation with students that the ATR has no history with or ownership of.  Requiring lesson plans in a certain format despite a decision that administrators cannot require the teacher to do just that.  Further, in far too many schools there is a climate of fear and an "us against them" approach between administrators and teachers.  Worse yet, student misbehavior is met with administrator inaction and no consequences.  Instead of having the teacher's back these administrators stab the teacher in the back.  The result is that teachers feel bullied and disrespected.

When complaints are send to our union leadership, they bury their collective heads in the sand and do little to correct the situation. In some cases the union has privately told their DOE counterparts that they don't take many complaints seriously and claimed they are from disgruntled teachers.  The result is few teachers get relief from administrative bullying and some end up in the 3020-a process and potentially terminated.

On February 8th there will be New York Healthy Workplace Advocate group that will lobby our Albany politicians to pass the NY Healthy Workplace Bill against workplace bullying, including the classroom.  So far only UFT Solidarity has agreed to join the lobbying group.  However, at present none of the other UFT caucuses, Unity, More, or New Action, have agreed to join the lobbying movement.  Of course the deform sock puppets E4E has also refused to attend as well.  That is a major disappointment for me since this is a teacher justice issue as well as a social justice issue that most everybody can support.

To join the lobbying effort you can sign up here:

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yet another reason to vote Solidarity. I was with a new teacher yesterday who asked me to sit with him and help. His classes are completely out of control with students throwing books at each other and constantly viewing pornography on their phones. I told him the basics - seating arrangement, point system, positive reinforcement. He told me no teacher in the school can give less than a 65 and the kids know it. There are no deans and 2 APs who run around like chickens collecting phones and being cursed out. This is on DeBozo.

Anonymous said...

name the school
sos i know never to apply please

Anonymous said...

Massive bullying in my school. A dozen teachers sat in on a meeting where we were all told that we sucked and better start doing as 12 year old admin says. Teachers being written up non-stop, walk throughs 2-3 times a day. District rep told us to file complaints but is it a waste of time?

Anonymous said...

With the exception of phones, this crap was going on with Bloomberg, too. DeBlasio is a weak man, but Bloomberg was evil.

Francesco Portelos said...

Just to be clear, Solidarity didn't agree to lobby, but rather has been in contact with NYHWA and that lobby day was set up in collaboration with them. They are only going up that day because we, NYC employees, are off.

We encourage other groups to join, but then again we have not received responses to many other requests from them including discontinued teachers, ATR support, rallies against principals and superintendents.

The greater number we have, the better our effect in Albany. Just imagine if we can make workplace bullying illegal.

Anonymous said...

It's sad, scary and depressing being a teacher

Francesco Portelos said...

Email us at help@uftsolidarity.org. We'd be glad to distract your admin for you and support your staff.

Anonymous said...

I have seen some of the worst bullying of my life in the last schools I worked in. Lying, intimidation, gratuitous attacks, talking down to staff arrogantly, ruining people's careers who did nothing wrong and firing people literally for no cause other than disliking the person on a personal level. Just real petty, crass stuff.

The message I have seen is like this: lay low, say yes to everything, pass everyone, never call the dean or send anyone to the office, never take a sick day, and buy off the students by charming them and not calling them out. If you advocate, hold to standards or stand up for those who really want to learn, you are a 'problem' and the admins will harass you out by any dirty tricks necessary.

It is so sad. Yesterday I saw Diblasio on TV talking about the 'rise in graduation rates' and how his goal is to get it up to 80% and more. Yeah, we hear you, and the admins do too. They will crack the whip more on us and cook the books to make you look good.

Grad rates are up only because we as teachers have been beaten up and we are surrendering en masse. After Bloomberg's reign of terror we just don't have any more fight in us anymore, especially since the UFT sold us out and switched sides. Even though most kids seem to be five grade levels below where they should be, we just all pretend they are geniuses and pass them along.

catt55 said...

Thank you Chaz for this blog post. Teacher justice is social justice - we are the first in line to go to bat for our students. We are legally mandated to report any form of abuse. Your passion and straight talk is appreciated by this now retired educator who experienced all of the above. Bravo and keep up the pressure!

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, another beautiful Friday with the vision of Monday (last day of classes in high schools). The remainder of all of next week is useless regents exams where about 50% of students show up. Following Monday is a PD and the Monday after, Chinese New Year. The entire week after that, no school. I mean, you can't make this up. And there's still people complaining. HAAA!!!!!!!!!

Bronx Teacher said...

So the bully is advocating to end bullying?

Damn, what a conundrum.

Anonymous said...

Hey Peter,
Why don't you guys shake hands already? Join Solidarity. You're smart and articulate.
This nonsense has gone on too long.

Anonymous said...

AP Secuirty at John Bowne punched in the face and had her phone stolen trying to stop 2 female students from fighting. What a wonderful profession we have chosen ��

Anonymous said...

This is not DeBlasio. Buddy, it's been like this for years. In fact, what you describe is peak Bloomberg. But, the NYPost is setting up the story that DeBlasio is weak in discipline. They are going to use that story to explain away the record number of teachers leaving. The real reason is Cuomo's Danielson and test-based "growth" rating system. But, Cuomo is the Post darling. So,they need some spin to put it on BDB.

Anonymous said...

Just ask to be placed in the ATR pool to survive. Being a teacher right now is a raw deal .

Anonymous said...

11:36,
So the UFT take out ads praising Cuomo. This on DeBlasio. Restorative justice and Cellphones are all his. He has left Bloomberg's goons running everything and that's also on him. This is way lower than peak Bloomberg. It's a deadly combo of the worst of Bloomberg and the best of DeBlasio.

Anonymous said...

Danielson's is the worst system ever created. It just screams for being abused by admins who are drunk with power. You can be giving a great lesson with students engaged and all that, but then if an admin does not like you, they say, "But I am not focusing on those 'domains,' and in this other 'domain,' I didn't see this or that - ineffective!"

I wish someone would tell the academic who never taught kids, Charlotte Danielson, that she has created a tool used to beat teachers all over the country. Grad rates are only going up because so many of us have given up and are just passing them through more than ever. True standards as a concept is dead in most schools now, and I know because I talk with teachers all over the nation. We are all scared for our jobs, and unlike what the billionaires say, it's no easy to 'go and do something else.'

Bronx Teacher said...

Anonymous 7:39 PM. Be careful. They might be distracted but soon they'll pick themselves off the floor having laughed themselves shitless and will turn their wrath on you.

Anonymous said...

I believe that there was a lawsuit several years with Charlotte Danielson as the main complainant because back because academia is/was using Danielson in a way that it was never intended for to begin with

Anonymous said...

Oh god if it isn't the immature idiot from the Bronx again. Get a life!

Francesco Portelos said...

I'm currently in Las Vegas filming for a documentary called "The Bully Exposed: When Bullies Become Bosses." It's being directed by a U.S. Postal worker.

The director and producer flew us out here and we had about a 4 hr shoot focused on education. The angle they wanted from my story was the hope in fighting back. Hoping to inspire others to fight back. The big push across the country is getting this Healthy Workplace Bill passed making this type of harassment illegal. We need to work together to have this passed.

Of course we have activists getting in the way of other activists. The producer told me he received a call from "someone" calling me a bully and implored him not to have me in the film. I wonder what person from what opposition group contacted him....

In any case I did answer the question "How do you respond to people who call you the bully?" You'll have to wait until it's released to hear the answer.

In any case check out www.thebullyexposed.net and sign up to join us in Albany with this form http://tinyurl.com/lobbyfeb8

Anonymous said...

11:36,
This is DeBlasio. The schools were very bad with Bloomberg. It's now worse. He's been in 2 years and he has Bloombergs minions making all his decisions. It's his decision and he has basically given it to Bloomberg.
I, personally, can not defend him anymore- that's Mulgrew and Farina's job.

Aixa Rodriguez said...

Chaz, Bronx Educators United for Justice is planning to be there. I am meeting up with Gina, who is also in NYS/NYC Receivership Schools, National Education Spring, and the Paper Clip Revolution with me. LET'S ROLL.

Anonymous said...

I too was bullied by a principal of one year in the school I once use to work. After 12 years of working in the same school that hold four principals after the principal that hired me retired, I was fired by the fifth principal in the school. It was into the four months of him being appointed as the school principal he started on me. I was the school parent coordinator and he just kept saying that everything I did was wrong, and everything I gave him (letters, calendars, forms) were never right. See, it's not only teachers get bullied in the schools, staff as a whole get bullied by principals. Unfortunately, in the school I worked the most targeted were the Africans Americans, Hispanics and matured staff. I am still fighting for my job and hope I can get my job back, but with these people so called Tweed staff, Do I Have a Chance?