You must stand up to the bullies and abusers who make up the upper administration of DeKalb County School System. We have your backs, but change will come only if you exhibit assertiveness and self confidence: Stand up to the DCSS bullies and abusers.
Distributing “contracts with errors” – including a significant pay cut – by Cheryl Atkinson and her DCSS co-conspirators to teachers who have already been beaten down repeatedly is clearly abusive.
Then, typical of an abuser, when there was outcry, Atkinson feigned surprise and blamed others. This from a woman who is so insecure about her abilities and her management skills that EVERYTHING – every e-mail, every correspondence, every response, every answer to every question, no matter how innocuous – must go through her. It is not possible that contracts went out with an “unintentional” mistake. Like the classic abuser, Atkinson claimed she was not really at fault and never meant for teachers to get the wrong idea, blah, blah, blah.
Atkinson did the same thing with the calendar incident.
Blaming. Manipulating. Ignoring. Humiliating. Controlling. All classic signs of an abuser.
Cheryl Atkinson and her DCSS co-conspirators are also bullies. Bullying is not just a kid’s problem.
From an article in Forbes Magazine, “Experts say there’s a general lack of awareness about the bullying and the types of behaviors the term encompasses. This often prevents people from realizing that a boss or co-worker is a bully. There’s also an element of personal shame involved.
“They’re sinking into a really bad state emotionally, finding it harder to go to work and it might even affect their job performance,” says David Yamada, a professor at Suffolk University Law School and president of the New Workplace Institute, a nonprofit that promotes healthy, productive and socially responsible workplaces. “Oftentimes people don’t put the pieces together until it’s too late.”
About 45% of individuals bullied at work suffer stress-related health problems, according to a 2007 Zogby International survey. “That could include cardiovascular problems, an impaired immune system, debilitating anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder,” says Gary Namie, director of the Workplace Bullying Institute and president of Work Doctor, a consulting firm that specializes in correcting and preventing workplace bullying.
Victims often respond to bullies’ demands with either passive submission or retaliatory aggression – rather than with self-confidence and assertiveness.
Your best option just might be to quit.
However, if you have decided to stay in your job – or have no choice at this point – then it is time to act. You must be assertive, on several levels. Assertiveness and self-confidence are the only things that can and will discourage a bully and an abuser.
First, send a clear message to ODE, PAGE and GAE by dropping your memberships. None of these organizations have stepped up to support and help teachers and schoolhouse staff. Borrowing from another famous quote, DCSS teachers need ODE, PAGE and GAE like a fish needs a bicycle.
Next, following the Six Degrees of Separation Theory, reach out to your trusted colleagues and create an ad hoc organization, school by school. Implement Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Principles of Non-Violence – and do it now while students are still in school and it is possible to have the most headline-grabbing impact.
You know – and we know – that not much, if any, real learning goes on in the last few weeks of school. This is your opportunity to become a real-life role model and help your students really learn, in an up-close-and-personal way, about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Principles of Non-Violence.
Teachers – stand up to the DCSS bullies and abusers. Stand up for your rights and help us help you!