2010-11-10 / Opinions

Teachers being bullied

With each case of bullying presently being brought to light, my heart is so saddened. I can’t understand such inhumanity. Spilling it over to the Internet magnifies the hurt, and the damage is irreconcilable. The changes wrought by technology have been incredible, both positive and negative. A Pandora’s box has been opened, and we need to be quite vigilant about using these tools correctly and instilling that vigilance upon our children. I have been a teacher for 25 years. Throughout those years I have been supported, loved and trusted. Occasionally I would get a phone call or letter from a parent expressing concern about their child, but it was usually done in a professional, respectful manner. The Internet has changed that. It seems to have given people the right to hurt others without real discourse first.

In the last few years I am seeing increased bullying of teachers by parents, mainly through antagonistic e-mails. I have seen veteran educators reduced to tears because of the vindictive nature of this communication. The bullies generally do not continue their accusatory manner once face-to-face, although some still do. Limited respect is shown. I know firsthand how hardworking, dedicated and caring these professionals are, and I am appalled at the way some parents treat them. When we wonder why our children are showing limited accountability or thought in their actions, when we look at the bullies gaining more and more power via technology, I can only draw this connection: They are simply modeling their own parents.
Barbara Schaedel

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