If you work as a teacher in Queensland, a Bad Apple Bully principal can destroy your health and your career with malicious gossip and secret sticky-notes.
"But I won't be bullied,
... I'm a good teacher!"
Maybe you will.
Maybe you won't.
Unfortunately some Education Queensland principals and administrators are Bad Apple Bullies.
Bad Apple Bullies are also known as "serial bullies", "workplace psychopaths" or "socialised psychopaths".
"It's a talent flight.
The best and brightest are driven out.
The slugs, the slow-minded, dimwitted sycophants are the bully's allies."
The Webmaster of Bad Apple Bullies sat down with Anna Bligh on 23 June 2002 and told her that, when Queensland teachers were bullied, the Queensland Teachers' Union's only advice was to "accept the things you cannot change" because-
Ask your Local Member - What has Anna Bligh done about the workplace bullying in Queensland schools since 23 June 2002?
One month later, on 25 July 2002, the Queensland Teachers' Union admitted that Queensland teachers were being bullied out of work -
" ... With the average age of the teacher workforce now into the late forties, the union is seeing more and more members, who are the victim of bullying and harassment, retiring on the grounds of ill-health out of the workforce, unable to comprehend what has happened to them.
Some of those members had exhausted all avenues open to them to no avail. ..."
Ask your QTU organiser -
What have the QTU been doing about workplace bullying since 25 July 2002?
Are fewer Queensland teachers being driven out of work in 2009?
How Bad Apple Bully administrative slugs and their slow-minded, dimwitted sycophant-mobs attack good classroom teachers -
(1) Bad Apple Bully administrators "payback".
A child discloses to you that they are being abused (often being hit) by another teacher.
The rest of the class look at you in silence.
It seems to be true.
Any decent human being would want to help the child.
And the official Department of Education policy is that you should report the child's disclosure of abuse.
But Bad Apple Bullies don't follow the official departmental polices.
Bad Apple Bullies follow their own opposite policies.
The principal tells you that the violent teacher has a long history of warnings for this sort of abuse.
But no written record is made of your disclosure.
And one year later you are "paid back".
The Bad Apple Bullies claim that "lots of " allegations have been made about you in "lots of" documents.
Then you are given a letter to advise you that a decision has been made to put you on "Managing Unsatisfactory Performance" - a two year punishment program designed to break down your health, send you demented and drive you into resignation..
For the next eight and a half years the Bad-Apple-Bully-Mob refuse to tell you what the "lots of" allegations are.
And Education Queensland Freedom Of Information officers refuse to search for the "lots of" documents containing "lots of" allegations against you.
So you can't find out why you "had to be" punished.
You can't respond to the "lots of" allegations.
So you can never prove yourself innocent.
"A favorite tactic of bullies is to falsely accuse his/her victim of something so outrageous that the victim is stunned with humiliation.
The decent or religious worker is accused of viewing pornography at work, the dignified moral worker is accused of sexual misdoings, the liberatian is charged with being a racist, the most honest worker is branded a thief.
It doesn't really matter that the bully often can't make the charges stick, the harm is already done.
There's that element of guilt by association placed in the minds of others. ..."
There is an urgent need for Education Queensland to develop effective strategies to protect teachers who disclose child abuse.
Queensland students will not be safe at school until teachers who report child abuse are safe from victimisation or "payback".
(2) Queensland teachers are punished for trying to initiate change.
The Grade 7 teachers adopt an "outcomes based" philosophy.
This involves groups of unsupervised children from their classes roaming about the school, disrupting the other classes.
It has been going on for months.
The class teachers are all fed up with the continual disruptions to their lessons.
You discuss the problem with the principal.
He tells you that other teachers have been complaining about the constant disruption.
He goes on leave.
The problem continues.
You raise the problem with the acting principal.
She advises you to raise the problem at a staff meeting.
You raise the problem at a staff meeting and discuss it calmly and logically for two minutes.
Suddenly the Bad Apple Bully acting principal claims that they have concerns about ... well, just about anything that comes into their head, really.
Any trivial fragment of information - true or false - can be "beaten up" into a "concern" by a Bad Apple Bully.
Unfortunately, it is much quicker and easier for a Bad Apple Bully principal to put you on Managing Unsatisfactory Performance for discussing the groups of unsupervised children roaming about the school than it is for the Bad Apple Bully principal to actually deal with the roaming groups of children.
And two days later you can find yourself on "Managing Unsatisfactory Performance"- a two year punishment program designed to break down your health, send you demented and drive you into resignation.
The Queensland Teachers' Union advise you that there is no hope of justice, because the Education Queensland grievance system does not work.
They tell you that they have never known a Queensland teacher's grievance to be upheld.
They say that nothing can be done.
They advise you to "accept the things you cannot change".
Your fellow teachers protest.
The Bad Apple Bully acting principal has never seen you teach.
The teachers have seen you teach.
They know that you are a good teacher.
But the Bad Apple Bully principal tells the teachers that there are secret reasons why you have to be punished.
And that they will get into very serious trouble if they talk to you about it again.
So you are isolated.
You don't know the secret reason why you are being punished and so you can't defend yourself.
Your fellow teachers are afraid to be seen talking to you.
They wonder if you might have been accused of child abuse.
They don't believe that a teacher could be punished for no reason.
There must be a secret reason that you are being punished, mustn't there?
Well, actually, no.
No reason at all.
It is just much quicker and easier for the Bad Apple Bully principal to punish you for attempting to discuss a problem than it is for them to actually deal with the problem itself.
It also discourages the other class teachers from bothering the Bad Apple Bully.
The real behaviour management policy of Bad Apple Bully principals is "do whatever is quickest and easiest".
And the quickest and easiest way to deal with many problems is to attack the classroom teacher.
How Bad Apple Bully principals behave -
1. You discuss a problem / suggest change.
2. The Bad Apple Bully abuses disciplinary procedures to launch a pre-emptive strike.
3. Your suggestion is not dealt with.
Teachers - before you try to discuss a problem at your school, STOP and read this Advice for Whistleblowers.
* * * * *
The Bad Apple Bullies website supports Queensland teachers, particularly young teachers, casual teachers, older women teachers and intelligent, professional teachers who are dealing with workplace bullying, harassment, mobbing, discrimination and victimisation or "payback", etc.
You are not alone.
This has been going on for years.
On May 27 2007 an Education Queensland spokeswoman stated that there were 414 cases involving allegations (true or false) of official misconduct against EQ staff.
And that some of the investigations had dragged on for years.
The investigations had been stalled, the source says, because of a lack of staff in the ethical standards unit.
"There is a backlog of cases creating serious concerns ... " the informant said.
The source said part of the problem was that ethical standards unit investigators were "either on contract, do not hold permanent positions or are on secondment".
"Some investigations have been outstanding for a number of years," he said.
The source claimed several senior investigators had left "through frustration at the inability of senior management to appropriately resource the unit".
The Education Queensland spokeswoman confirmed some investigations were prolonged.
She announced that the ethical standards unit had been boosted with five temporary investigators.
And that these positions would be made permanent next year.
But, after waiting for so many years for the investigations to begin, will the Ethical Standards Unit investigations be corrupt?
Two days after announcing that extra staff had been apointed to the Ethical Standards unit to clear up the backlog of investigations, the State Government acknowledged that a police inspector had failed to disclose the chequered history of a sacked officer during a routine background check, and when (the sacked police officer) applied for a job with the State Government last year, the Office of Fair Trading said it was not informed about his past.
A "shocked" Fair Trading Minister Margaret Keech said she had demanded answers from her department.
(The sacked police officer) had worked for the department as an acting investigator for seven months.
He will fight to be reinstated in the police service in the Supreme Court next month.
So he might still be able to prove his innocence.
It is the third time in months that former police officers have been sacked, stood down or have resigned from government departments for not revealing their criminal past or disciplinary action.
In a statement to The Courier-Mail a department spokesman said: "Before engaging (the sacked police officer), the department conducted referee checks including background checks with his supervisor and a Queensland police inspector.
"These checks did not alert the department to these disciplinary proceedings or to any other issues which would impact on his suitability to perform the role of investigator."
A former corrupt policeman was (also) sacked from his Employment and Industrial Relations job this month after he failed to disclose his criminal past.
The "stories" told on this website help other teachers and public servants who are dealing with workplace abuse.
But if you would like your name or your story removed from the website - no problem at all - whatever is best for you.
Just contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Teacher Bullying in Queensland Schools - The Bad Apple Bullies Blog.
For you to comment on your own experience of workplace bullying, harassment, mobbing, discrimination, stalking, victimisation or "payback" etc.
The Editor of Bad Apple Bullies believes that "accept the things you cannot change", "go with the flow", "don't rock the boat", etc. are inappropriate values for the Queensland public service.
If a Queensland teacher can be destroyed for trying to do his/her job effectively - we need a better government.