Bad Apple Bullies

Bad Apple school principals and departmental officers bully classroom teachers into ill health and out of work.

Robert Needham, Jerrold Cripps, Len Roberts-Smith and all attendees at the Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference, Brisbane, 2009

29 July, 2009
 
Robert Needham, Chairperson, Crime and Misconduct Commission of Queensland
 
The Honourable Jerrold Cripps, Independent Commission Against Corruption of New South Wales
 
The Honourable Len Roberts-Smith RDF, QC, Commissioner, Corruption and Crime Commission of Western Australia
 
And all attendees at the Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
 
 
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
I am a whistleblower.
 
I am one of your clients.
 
 
 
In Dangerous Liaisons Robert Needham has reminded us of the words of Aldous Huxley - "the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced".
 
If  I were invited to speak to the APSACC conference, this is what I would tell you about the "ends produced" by a CMC / Education Queensland investigation ...
 
 
I am one of the 98% of people who have made a complaint to the Queensland CMC and had it handed back to the public service "agency" concerned.
 
On 23 June 2002 I met Anna Bligh, Minister of Education, and Jim Varghese, Director-General of Education.
 
I told them that, when Queensland teachers were bullied at work, the only advice of the Queensland Teachers' Union was to "accept the things you cannot change", because the Education Queensland Grievance system did not work.
 
I believe that my experience since June 2002 has demonstrated the truth of that first disclosure.
 
On 26 February 2003 and again on 29 June 2003, I disclosed to Queensland Premier Peter Beattie that certain political relationships seemed to be affecting the investigation of my Grievance.
 
(I detailed this continuing political situation in my disclosure to Robert Neeedham dated 26 February, 2009.)
 
On 26 March 2004 I received a few Freedom of Information documents and I immediately reported to Education Queensland FOI officers that some of my official records had been falsified.
 
On 12 April 2004 I complained to the Crime and Misconduct Commission that my Education Queensland "official records" seemed to have been extensively falsified.
 
 
The Education Queensland "Final Outcome Advice" to the CMC concerning my complaint is dated 15 February 2008.
 
It is signed by David Garland, Principal Advisor, Investigations and Complaints, Ethical Standards, Education Queensland.
 
I have never spoken to Mr Garland or had any communication with him at all.
 
This "Final Outcome Advice" seems to have been simply accepted and filed by the CMC.
 
It is a substantially falsified record.
 
Which suggests that the"ends produced" by the Education Queensland / CMC investigation process are the continuing falsification of my official records.
 
 
The Final Outcome Advice reads:
 
Reference Number CMC MI-03-0035 & MI-04-1824
 
How dealt with - External investigation.
 
FALSIFIED
 
MI-03-0035  was "internally reviewed" by an Aboriginal employee of Education Queensland - a project officer with no qualifications in education, law or psychology.
 
He worked under the direction of the senior officer whose behaviour I had complained about.
 
He based his "internal review" on a mass of falsified "records" that had been placed secretly on my Stage 1 Grievance file to create the false impression that these falsified "records" had been discussed with me during the Stage 1 Grievance Investigation process.
 
The internal reviewer decided / was directed not to "consider" my responses to these falsified "records".
 
And the internal reviewer does not seem to have "considered" my 26 November 2003 full disclosure to the CMC, although the CMC seem to have provided Education Queensland with several copies of this disclosure.
 
" Findings for each CMC MAR allegation.
 
Partially substantialted. ... All other allegations remain unsubstantiated."
 
FALSIFIED
 
The second MI-04-1824 investigation was conducted by a Verifact investigator, but every stage of the investigation was tightly controlled by officers of the Education Queensland Ethical Conduct Unit.
 
The Verifact investigator was only allowed to "discover" that a huge mass of records had been placed on my file without my knowledge.
 
Then the investigation was stopped.
 
The Verifact investigator was not allowed to investigate the actual falsification of these "records".
 
And the various conflicts of interest on political grounds that seemed to have affected the handling of my disclosures.
 
So it would be more accurate to say that "all other allegations remain uninvestigated".
 
"  ...Letter to the Regional Executive Director and that the RO (name of acting principal) received advice about a breach of the COC in relation to the falsification of records. .. "
 
FALSIFIED
 
On 23 August 2006 Regan Nuemann, Director, Workforce Standards and Performance Unit, Education Queensland, wrote to the Regional Executive Director concerned.
 
The letter seems to have actually been written by Peter Edwards, Assistant Director, Workforce Standards and Performance Unit, Education Queensland.
 
" ... I have determined that the ... investigation's recommendations are appropriately addressed by taking steps to remind all personnel in the region of their responsibilities with the use and management of adverse departmental records."
 
But my complaint was that these "adverse departmental records" were not only concealed from me, they had been extensively falsified. 
 
Many seem to be "records" of entirely imaginary conversations.
 
And that a mass of these falsified "records" had been placed on the record of the Stage 1 Grievance investigation.
 
Which created the false impression that they had been discussed with me during the  Grievance investigation process.
 
" ... I would appreciate (sic) if could arrange for this reminder to be distributed at the earliest opportunity.
 
Apart from these outstanding actions, the matter is considered closed.
 
Could you please pass on my appreciation to staff involved in the investigation process for their patience and input and wish them well in their future endeavours."
 
FOI application 340/5/1295 documents 4534 and 4535
 
 
"Action taken and why -
 
Mediation / Local Resolution."
 
TOTALLY FALSIFIED
 
Nobody has mediated anything with me to this date.
 
Nothing has been resolved with me to this date.
 
 
'Any systemic issues identified
 
N/A"
 
NOT CORRECT
 
The CMC / Education Queensland investigation process raised several issues-
 
  • Comments by Queensland Teachers' Union officers suggest that "more and more" QTU members were being bullied into ill health retirement in 2002. What action has been taken since 2002 to deal with this abuse? Are fewer teachers being bullied into ill-health retirement in 2009?

 

  • What action has been taken since 2002 to protect classroom teachers from school principals who pressure them to join their branch of a political party? Principals need to be clearly instructed that this is not appropriate. It can affect their professional relationship and create a conflict of interest.

 

  • Is it sufficient to simply make changes to wording of the official policies? Principals are not following the official policies.

 

  • Classroom teachers who disclose child abuse by other teachers are very vulnerable to "payback" allegations. What action has been taken to protect classroom teachers who disclose child abuse?

 

  • Are Queensland school principals commonly putting classroom teachers on DWP / MUP for engaging in professional discussion in a professional manner - for example, for expessing concern about the unsupervised groups of children who are roaming around the school, disrupting classes?

 

  • What action has been taken to protect teachers from the falsification of their official records?

 

  • What action has been taken to ensure the integrity of the records of Departmental investigations - to protect the records of these investigations from being falsified?

 

  • Is the Education Queensland promotion system dysfunctional? Does the promotion of principals and deputy principals with poor listening / thinking / reading / writing skills and no knowledge of Departmental policies put classroom teachers at risk of harm?

 

  • Should Education Queensland acting principals and acting deputy principals be expected to demonstrate awareness of - and respect for -  Education Queensland policies before they are promoted?

 

  • If principals are selected because they "interview well" (because they are glib liars), will those principals encourage their students to lie to them?

 

  • Do principals who bully their staff encourage students to bully each other?
 
  • The District Office staff knew that the acting principal and acting deputy principal at my school were both very inexperienced. They knew that the acting principal's behaviour was affecting my health. They knew that the acting principal's total knowledge of the Diminished Workplace Performance process was contained on one small square sticky-note. Yet the District Office staff did nothing to protect me from the acting principal's abuse. Do Education Queensland District office staff have a responsibility to protect classroom teachers from the actions of inexperienced school principals?

 

  • Are Queensland public servants being trained to edit disclosures out of their "frank and fearless" Briefing to the Minister?

 

  • Are Aboriginal employees being abused by Education Queensland senior officers - used as puppets to conduct faux "internal reviews"?

 

  • Are Human Rights and Equal Opportunity - trained "Discrimination solicitors" employed by Education Queensland to prevent discrimination? Or to facilitate discrimination by "losing" the evidence of discrimination?

 

  • Is the Freedom of Information process being abused to continually "find" newly falsified "records" that protect the interests of abusive principals?
 
  • Is it appropriate to appoint a person as Director of Ethical Standards when they are the subject of a CMC / Education Queensland investigation? And to allow this officer to control an investigation into themselves?
 
  • In November 2004 the first internal reviewer "found" no evidence of workplace bullying - in documents that he knew were falsified. Then, one and half years later, the external "investigator" "found" that the falsified "records" had been placed secretly on my files. But to this day nobody has "considered" my responses to the falsified "records". And nobody has investigated the falsification of my records. And nobody has investigated the bullying. My complaint has been simply been side-stepped and declared "finalised'. Are CMC / Education Queensland investigations commonly conducted in this manner?
 
  • When you first make a complaint to the CMC, you may not realise the extent of the corruption that you are dealing with. No normal person could possibly imagine the extent of the incompetence / corruption. So your first disclosure to the CMC may not seem to be "serious" and it will be passed to the "unit concerned". But when you gradually realise the true extent of the corruption, and you tell the CMC what you are discovering, the CMC refuse to read your further disclosures or to speak to you over the phone. Is this CMC practice appropriate? Does it facilitate systemic corruption?
 
  • Is it appropriate for CMC officers to accept an internal review that they know is based on falsified "records"?

 

  • Do CMC and Education Queensland officers commonly falsify official records by describing internal reviews as "independent investigations"?

 

  • CMC officers do not seem to read disclosures. Is this an acceptable practice?

 

  • Are CMC officers afraid to record disclosures that are made over the phone?

 

  • Are CMC officers afraid to record disclosures that are political in nature?
 
  • The standard of documentation by Education Queensland administrators is appalling. It is impossible to understand or to respond effectively to allegations that are secretly scribbled on sticky-notes and loose scraps of paper. And large numbers of official records are continually being "lost". It is impossible to understand the reason for decisions concerning you. This situation faciliates workplace abuse. What action has been taken since 2002 to improve the standard of Department of Education documentation?
 
  • In particular, I am concerned about the poor standard of documentation of Education Queensland and CMC reports and decisions concerning teachers.

 

For example, on 4 January, 2007 The Director, Complaints Services, CMC, emailed me to advise me that -
 
"Departmental officers ... explained to you the reasons for the alteration of some of the records, in part arising from the paraphrasing of your words by departmental officers".
 
This is absolute gibberish.
 
No departmental officer has ever tried to tell me such gibberish.
 
Many, many hours of my life during the past nine years have been drained away responding to this sort of public service gibberish - 
 
 
(The acting principal seems to have been secretly making falsified records of real and imaginary conversations concerning me.
 
The acting principal then seems to have hand-written notes to the usual principal on these falsified documents.
 
The usual principal also seems to have written notes on one of the falsified documents.
 
Then they put the twice-falsifed "records" in the Stage 1 Grievance file.
 
This created the false impression that these falsified and re-falsified "records" had been discussed with me during the Stage 1 Grievance investigation process.)
 
 
- but on the basis of what seems to be Education Queensland gibberish, The Director, Complaints Services, CMC, advised me that the CMC did not propose to communicate with me further.
 
When I made an FOI application for the Education Queensland letter or report from which The Director, Complaints Services, CMC had copied this gibberish, the original document could not be found and The Director, Complaints Services, CMC claimed to have little memory of what she had written.
 
This is not the professional standard that one would expect of a senior CMC offocer.
 
  • Every letter or report written by a Queensland public servant should be supported by a list of the documents that were consulted in preparing the document.
Until this is done, we will not have Freedom of Information.
 
And we will have public service decisions based on gibberish.
 
And the systemic corruption will continue.
 
 
 
I could give many more examples of systemic issues raised by this experience of the CMC / Education Queensland investigation process.
 
 
Mr Needham,  I am not at all satisfied with the means employed and the ends produced by the CMC / Education Queensland investigation process.
 
Are you?
 
 
Yours sincerely,
 
...........................

Robert Needham - Please deal with the abuse of Ministerial Briefings and the "Nil Response Required" approach that senior Queensland public servants adopt to Grievances and complaints.

Mr Robert Needham, Chairperson,

Crime and Misconduct Commission,

GPO Box 3123

Brisbane

Queensland, 4001

 

26 February, 2009

 

Dear Mr Needham

I understand that the Information Commissioner has recently contacted you concerning the Public Interest Disclosure that I first made to Jim Varghese, Director-General, Education Queensland in writing on 31 August 2001, and again to Anna Bligh and Jim Varghese in person on 23 June 2002.

My Public Interest Disclosure to Anna Bligh and Jim Varghese was that the Education Queensland Diminished Workplace Performance Polices and Grievance polices were being abused to drive Queensland classroom teachers into ill health and out of work.

Mr Needham - I urge you to investigate -

  • the abuse of Ministerial Briefings

and

  • the "Nil Response required" approach to Grievances and complaints

that is adopted by senior officers of Education Queensland.

I suggest to you that the negligent abuse of these two processes by senior officers of Education Queensland encourages Queensland school principals to abuse Education Queensland policies and to drive good Queensland classroom teachers into ill health and out of work.

 

I also draw to your attention the fact that, when Anna Bligh announced to the people of Queensland on 17 September 2007 that there would be an independent overhaul of Queensland's Freedom of Information laws, she told Queenslanders that she wanted to provide the public with greater accessibility to information and better transparency.

  • But Anna Bligh's senior public servants, including ... , had secretly agreed in 2006 to block my FOI applications.

 

There is a public interest in investigating and exposing the negligent refusal of senior Queensland public servants to deal with the abuse of Queensland teachers.

The negligence of these senior public servants not only affects the quality of life of Queensland teachers, it affects the lives of Queensland children:

 

  • 99.8% of Australian teachers reported in UNE 2007 research that they had been bullied at work.

 

  • Bullying was reported to be “rife” in Queensland schools.

 

  • Up to 50% of Queensland teachers now leave the profession after five years.

 

  • Students with OP’s as low as 19 are now being accepted into Queensland universities to train to be teachers.

 

  • And Queensland parents are increasingly concerned about the falling academic standards in Queensland State Schools.

 

On 23 June 2002 I spoke to Anna Bligh and Jim Varghese in person.

I told them that when Queensland teachers were bullied at work, the only advice of the QTU was to "accept the things you cannot change".

The QTU had advised me that there was no hope of justice.

But I did hope.

I hoped that I could stop the systemic abuse of Queensland teachers.

I had been bullied in November / December 2000 by Mrs GR, the acting principal of Lynch-Mob State College.

I had asked Mrs GR to support me in dealing with the unsupervised groups of Grade 7 children who were roaming about the school, disrupting the other classes.

Mrs GR would have been aware that it was going to be very difficult for me to complain about her bullying because we were both active members of the Labor party.

Mrs GR was campaign manager for ...  at the time that she was bullying me.

We were in the run-up to the February 2001 State election.

And ... was married to ... .

During 1998 I had spent many hours organising groups of Labor party supporters to go out and lobby for ... .

In late 1999 Mrs GR had asked me - during several school lunchtimes - to join her own branch of the Labor party.

I had not joined Mrs GR’s branch.

In fact I had become less enthusiastic about the Labor party, and Mrs GR’s behaviour towards me became more aggressive.

At the time that Mrs GR first attacked me - November 2000 - it seemed likely that Labor was going to lose the 17 February 2001 state election.

I was very worried that Mrs GR might be trying to drive me out of work before her Labor party "power base" vanished.

It was very hard for me to deal with Mrs GR’s bullying because I liked and respected ... .

I did not hold ...  responsible for Mrs GR’s bullying and I did not want to cause problems for ... during the run-up to the election.

13 December 2000 at 1:12 AM I first tried to contact the Education Queensland CMC liaison officer by email. She did not respond. This seemed shocking to me at the time. It seemed to support the QTU organiser’s advice to me that there was no hope of justice.

5 February 2001 I was threatened five separate times during the Stage 1 Grievance investigation meeting. This also seemed to support the QTU organiser’s advice to me that the Education Queensland Grievance system was corrupt and that there was no hope of justice.

31 August 2001 I made a Stage 2 systemic Grievance to Jim Varghese, the Director-General of Education Queensland.

23 June 2002 I spoke to Anna Bligh and Jim Varghese.

9 July 2002 I gratefully accepted ill-health retirement, having been twice assured by the District Director that he had the bullying under control.

I believed that the situation had been informally resolved and that the Disrict Director would make sure that Mrs GR’s behaviour was carefully monitored in future.

A few days after my retirement Mrs GR was given a significant promotion opportunity - an “acting principal” position at a big local state school.

This seemed odd.

Then in late December 2002 I was told that this promotion had been “confirmed”.

And I began to realise that I had been tricked.

26 February 2003 at 5:44 PM and again on -

29 June 2003 at 2:06 PM I emailed Peter Beattie and “disclosed” to him that-

“I have tried very hard for two years to deal with this situation in a way that does no harm to the Labour party. … both Mrs GR (the bully) and I were Labor Party members when all this began.

We both worked for ... who is married to ... . …

Because Mrs GR was ... ’s campaign manager (at the time that she was bullying me) … I tried very hard to deal with the bullying informally. …

When the District Director told me he had the bullying well under control I believed him.

I trusted him. …”

A copy of this email to Peter Beattie is filed at : OPS 70524 FOLIO 23, attached to letter to me from Kim Poiner, Manager, Cabinet Liaison and legal Services, dated 6 July 2007.

 

Rachel Hunter was Public Service Commissioner at that time.

 

8 August 2003 Ms CHR, Principal Advisor - Regional Services, wrote a “Briefing Note for the Minister of Education”.

http://www.badapplebullies.com/ministerialbriefings.htm

Ms CHR did not make clear in her “Briefing Note for the Minister” the various conflicts of interest that were affecting my Grievance - the fact that Mrs GR was ... ’s campaign manager and also the fact that Mrs GR had consulted several members of The District Office staff - Mrs AG, The District Director, Principal Personnel  Officer Mrs GN and Principal Advisor, Regional Services, Ms CHR herself - before making her 29 November 2000 agreement with Lynch-Mob State College usual principal Mr EL that “the (DWP) process is justified”.

All of these Education Queensland officers seem to have based their advice to Mrs GR on malicious gossip and the imaginary conversations concerning me that Mrs GR claimed to believe that she was having with children, parents, teachers, other principals, the local QTU organiser and District Office staff.

And that, even after all of this consultation, Mrs GR’s total knowledge of the DWP process was contained on one sticky note - 2421 F 60 - at the time that she and usual principal Mr EL - who was on leave - made their agreement that “the (DWP) process is warranted”.

You might consider that this was negligent.

I certainly do.

 

14 August 2003 Rachel Hunter wrote to Ken Smith, Director-General of Education Queensland, and asked him to provide her with a brief on the issue. I presume that she was given Ms CHR’s “Briefing Note for the Minister”.

24 September 2003 I contacted InformationPrivacy@qed.qld.gov.au to ask, “How do I go about finding out why I was put on DWP?”

This was FOI 2361.

I am still waiting to receive these documents.

16 October 2003, Rachel Hunter signed a “Chief of Staff Briefing Note” recommending that nobody respond to my correspondence.

Peter Beattie personally approved Rachel Hunter’s recommendation, as did Neil Smith, Jeff Loof and George O‘Farrell.

OPS 70524 FOLIO 16, attached to letter to me from Kim Poiner, Manager, Cabinet Liaison and legal Services, dated 6 July 2007

29 December 2003 I complained to the Ombudsman and the CMC about the conduct of The District Director.

3 January 2004 I complained to the CMC about the negligent refusal of senior Education Queensland public servants to deal with my complaint.

After 30 March 2004 my FOI documents were gradually released to me and I began to realise that a huge mass of falsified "records" had been secretly placed on my official Education Queensland files.

Many were "records" of imaginary conversations concerning me that Mrs GR claimed to believe that she had been having with children, teachers, parents, principals and District Office staff.

13 April 2004 I wrote to ... , the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission trained Education Queensland “Discrimination Solicitor”. I made an application for an internal review of FOI 2421. I explained that I knew nothing about most of the documents in 2421 File F - the private file of falsified “records” of imaginary conversations concerning me that Mrs GR seems to have provided to the FOI officers on 5 February, 2004,

340/5/1295 document not numbered but seems to be 3010

and which she had also handed to Mr EL to be placed in the Stage 1 Grievance Investigation file, to create the impression that these imaginary “records” had been discussed with me during the investigation into my Stage 1 Grievance.

From this date it would have been obvious to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission trained Education Queensland “Discrimination Solicitor” that my Education Queensland records had been significantly falsified.

27 April 2004 a copy of Lynch-Mob State College acting deputy principal Miss AL’s “records” of the “mediated meeting” on 27 November 2000 were released to me for the first time.

2421 File F Mrs GR’s “private file” of real and imaginary “records” concerning me, document 31, number at top right hand side of page.

Miss AL had recorded that:

 

“Mrs GR then stated that there were a lot of allegations, and that she had lots of pieces of paper to prove how things may have happened.”

 

To this day I have no idea what these “things” are that “may have happened”.

I made an FOI application for copies of these “lots of pieces of paper to prove how things may have happened”

June 21 2004 I emailed Ken Smith and copied the email to the CMC, the Ombudsman, MailBox@justice.qld.gov.au

I attached a letter to Ken Smith and my responses to five of the falsified documents that I had found in 2421 File F - Ms GR's "private file" of real and falsified "records" concerning me.

At 12:45 PM the next day, I handed in a printed copy of my letter to Ken Smith and my responses to the five falsified documents at the front desk of The District Office.

I emailed the Director-General at 3:37 PM that day to advise him of the name of the person in The District Office to whom I had handed the printed copy of these documents.

I later discovered under FOI that all copies - both printed and emailed - of my letter to Ken Smith and my responses to the falsified documents had simply been "lost".

29 July 2004 an officer of the Information Commission persuaded me to put FOI application 2361 and 2421 (Infocom ref: 2004/F04730) “in abeyance”.

The remaining 2361 and 2421 documents have not been released to me to this date, 18 February, 2009.

In mid-2004 Ken Smith appointed John Ryan “Director of Ethical conduct”.

John Ryan met with CMC officers and discussed my complaint about ... .

John Ryan told the CMC what “I wanted”.

And the CMC seem to have simply copied John Ryan’s words into their own records and into their letters to me:

 

“… you have consistently claimed that action should have been taken against individuals she (sic) identified.”

Letter to me from Helen Couper, 4 January 2007

 

When I complained to CMC officers that it was inappropriate for John Ryan to be controlling the “internal review” into ... , they told me that it was not their responsibility.

16 November, 2004 David Douglas, Executive Director seems to have asked for my correspondence to be automatically filed and not read by anybody.

OPS 70524 FOLIO 11 attached to letter to me from Kim Poiner, Manager, Cabinet Liaison and legal Services, dated 6 July 2007

In late 2004 a principal and a District Office employee told an officer of the Information Commission that they did not have the conversations with Mrs GR that Mrs GR had “recorded” and placed secretly on my file.

And The District Director disclosed to officers of the Information Commissioner that he had visited Lynch-Mob State College and discussed putting me on DWP with Mrs GR during Term 4 2000.

19 December 2004 I wrote to Margaret Newbery, Assistant Information Commissioner, and pointed out that this meant that, during the run-up to the state election, the ...  had met with the Local Member’s campaign manager and, although neither of them had seen me teach or looked at my program, they had planned to put me, another Labor party member and a campaign worker for ..., on DWP.

Then The District Director had left the school without discussing the situation with me.

I said that I found this story quite incredible.

I made an FOI application for the records of this conversation.

To this date I have had no response to this FOI application.

24 January 2005 I wrote again to the Information Commissioner, explaining that I was being bullied and disclosing the political background to the situation.

I also complained about the behaviour of ... who was “internally reviewing” my FOI application.

28 January 2005 Greg Sorensen, Deputy Information Commissioner, wrote to Education Queensland to say that the Information Officer would review my complaint.

Within a few weeks Rachel Hunter chaired and ...  was a member of a committee that selected Cathi Taylor, ... , to be the new information Commissioner.

I consider that ... had a conflict of interest in making this decision.

... was her husband’s boss.

... were all the subject of active Infocomm FOI searches and complaints to the CMC.

Cathi Taylor’s first act was to sack Greg Sorensen.

14 July 2005 An officer from the Office of the Information Commissioner rang me.

She told me that tbe CMC rules had changed and that now I would not be able to get access to any document produced by the CMC.

27 October 2005, one month before the Verifact Investigation into my complaint about the falsification of my official records began, 2733 File F Administrative Law Services Branch document 24 - number at the bottom of the page - was released to me and I discovered for the first time that Mrs GR had “recorded” that she had made statements concerning me to the staff because of allegations that had been made about me in “notes to (one of the Grade 7 teachers) from Desley”.

These allegations had never been discussed with me.

I made an FOI application for copies of these “notes to (the Grade 7 teacher) from Desley”.

Wednesday 15 February, 2006 I emailed Rod Welford, the Ombudsman, Ken Smith, Peter Edwards, the CMC, the Education Queensland “internal reviewer”and John Ryan.

I said that I was beginning to wonder if some of the “records” hidden on my file were simply made up.

I had phoned a child, a teacher and a parent who seemed to be named in Mrs GR’s “records”.

They had told me that they had not had those conversations with Mrs GR.

20 February 2006 12:25 I sent a copy of this email to the Information Commissioner.

10 February 2006 the Verifact investigator first tried to contact Mrs GR.

13 February 2006 Mrs GR contacted the Verifact Investigator. A meeting would be scheduled after Mrs GR “considers matter”.

27 February 2006 Mrs GR rang the investigator. She told him that she was seeking QTU advice.

1 March 2006 Mrs GR spoke to John Ryan, Director of Ethical Standards, Education Queensland.

At 4:44 PM John Ryan emailed Kathryn Mahoney and The District Director:

"Mrs GR sounds very fragile - she has asked if there is any way we can stop asking her for information - she was not specific about requests - I’ve given her an update on what we are trying to do re allegation of false documents ... she has asked if there is any way we can limit requests to her about the 2000 issue - she is fearful about her safety - ... “

2875 File A Legal and Administrative Law Branch, document 681

2 March 2006 9:36 AM Kathryn Mahoney sent John Ryan’s email to Education Queensland FOI Officer DJ : “Would like your thoughts on this matter sometime. Kathryn.”

Mrs GR contacted the Verifact investigator. She told him that she had discussed the situation with the QTU and also with John Ryan “and was now aware of the extent of the allegations being made by claimant”.

7 March 2006 the Verifact Investigator interviewed Mrs GR.

After this meeting the Verifact Investigator recommended that consideration be given to whether disciplinary action should be initiated.

340/ 5/1295 document numbers obscured but seem to be 1006 and 1010

29 March, 2006 Susan Barker, Assistant Information Commissioner wrote to me to advise me that my application for the 2361 and 2421 (OIC ref: 2004/F04730) documents had been taken out of “abeyance”.

4 April 2006 Principal legal officer, Legal and Administrative Law Branch, Education Queensland, BJ wrote to advise me that “I have today spoken to Mrs GR who has advised that she has no recollection of … the “notes to (one of the Grade 7 teachers) from Desley”.

“Mrs GR states that the events which are the subject of the note occurred many years ago and she has no recollection of their context.”

My solicitor wrote to Education Queensland. He asked Education Queensland to confirm in writing that there were no grounds for me to be placed in the Diminished Workplace Performance program.

21 April 2006 John Ryan sent Mrs GR a copy of my solicitor’s letter. He asked her to telephone him if she wished to respond to the contents of my solicitor’s letter.

340/5/1295 document number obscured but seems to be 960 - 962

So John Ryan was aware, on 21 April 2006 that all I wanted was for Education Queensland to confirm in writing that there were no grounds for me to be placed in the Diminished Workplace Performance program.

2 June 2006 at 10:21 I emailed the Information Commissioner to make a formal complaint that an officer of the Information Commission seemed to have tricked me into agreeing to put my 2361 and 2421 (OIC ref: 2004/F04730) applications “into abeyance” because she assured me that these documents would be released to me in response to my later FOI application.

The officer refused to re-open the external review application for two years.

Then the officer declared my application 2004/F04730 “closed”.

To this date, 26 February, 2009, these 2361 and 2421 files have not been released to me.

These are the first documents that I first applied for.

These documents would probably explain the first, secret “reason” why Mrs GR and Mr EL made their 29 November 2000 agreement that "the (DWP) process is warranted".

18 July 2006 Education Queensland Legal and Administrative Law officers Tom Jumertz, Trevor Morris, Andrew Smith and Matt Woodforth met with officers from the Office of the Information Commissioner, Sue Barker and Anne Lindon.

They discussed my FOI applications and the problem of “vexacious applicants”.

The last section of the “record” of this meeting has been concealed from me.

26 July 2006 Ken Smith wrote on a General Briefing Note -

" ...Mrs GR is not to be contacted with respect to any issues raised by (my name). ..."

340/5/1295 external Review Document 1307

17 October 2006 Peter Edwards, Manager, Investigations and Complaints Management Workforce Standards and Performance Unit, wrote a General Briefing Note to The Director-General.

340/5/1295 document number concealed but seems to be 957-959

In late 2005 Education Queensland had employed "Verifact Investigations" to conduct an "external investigation".

The investigation took till July 2006 to complete.

 

"4. Verifact found that Mrs GR had kept some notes on (my name).

… (My name) had not previously seen these detrimental records.”

 

This is correct.

And for this conduct alone the Verifact Investigator recommended that Disciplinary Action be considered.

http://www.badapplebullies.com/ministerialbriefings.htm

 

But this is not the whole story.

I discovered after June 12 2008, two years after the Verifact Investigation had been completed, that Education Queensland had introduced significant changes to their "story":

1) The 63 2421 File F documents were described as "Lynch-Mob State College documents" when some of them were released to me for the first time after 27 April 2004.

But in 2006 Mrs GR told the Verifact Investigator that she had actually kept this file of 2321 F falsified records in her own possession.

 

But that was not the only file of falsified “records".

 

2) After 12 July 2004 another file of falsified "records" described as "2469 File F The District Office" had been released to me.

This file contained 146 documents, about half of them falsified.

Mrs GR had written falsified notes to Mr EL on several of her falsified 2421 documents.

And Mr EL had written on one of the falsified documents himself.

2469 File F document 74 - number at the top right hand corner of this document. Miss AL’s notes on the meeting on 12 October 2000.

 

This file was called 2469 File F "The District Office Documents".

  • These two files - 2421 and 2469 - held different versions of the falsified documents.

 

But after 12 June 2008 I discovered that the Education Queensland story had been changed.

Now a new document dated 5 February 2004 had appeared on my file-

340/5/1295 document has no number but is in the position 3010-3011

 

The following words have been written by hand on a scrap of paper-

"5 February 2004

Dear Stephannie (Kalas- the Education Queensland FOI officer),

Please check out what may be relevant in the attached file.

Copies of these were also filed at Lynch-Mob State College.

Mrs GR"

So, if we accept that this document that appeared for the first time after 12 June 2008 is a genuine document, it proves that Mrs GR not only had -

  • a 2421 F file of 63 falsified "records" concerning me that she was storing at home,

 

  • but she had also filed another set of falsified documents 2469 F at Lynch-Mob State College, on which she had written notes to Mr EL.

 

  • and that Mr EL had written notes on one of the falsified documents himself,

 

  • then he had placed the mass of falsified documents in the 2469 F file that contained the records of his investigation into my Stage 1 Grievance about Mrs GR’s (and his own) abuse of the Diminished Work Performance process.

 

  • And then he had noted in his Stage 1 Grievance Report"-

"On the matter of the Grievance all paperwork was received ..."

2469 File F document 143, number at the top right hand corner of the document, Mr EL’s Stage 1 Grievance Investigation Report.

 

This is the Stage 1 Grievance File that Mr EL seems to have sent to the District Office a few days after my retirement on July 9 2002.

This created the false impression that the mass of falsified "records" in this file 2469 F had been discussed with me during the investigation into my Stage 1 Grievance about Mrs GR’s abuse of the DWP process, and that I had been given the opportunity to point out that many of these "records" had been significantly falsified.

 

"8. ... the WSPU will be closing the matter and will not enter into any more correspondence on all matters previously investigated. ..."

Peter Edwards' General Briefing Note: 340/5/1295 document number concealed but seems to be 958

But the Verifact Investigator seems to have only been allowed to establish that the falsifed documents were placed on my Education Queensland files without my knowledge.

He did not investigate the actual falsification of the "records".

And he seems to have been instructed to copy down exactly what Mrs GR, Mr EL and Miss AL told him, even if it was obviously untrue.

In tiny-weeny writing at the very top of his investigation report, the investigator has written:

 

"The witness based information contained within this report is soley sourced from interviews.

No conclusions are drawn in this report as to the veracity of such information."

340/5/1295 document number concealed but seems to be 1003

 

You might think that this is a very strange sort of "investigation".

I certainly do.

  • At what stage of this process will Education Queensland actually investigate the falsification of my "records"?

http://www.badapplebullies.com/thefalsifiedrecords.htm

 

"9. It is recommended that the Department continue a "Nil Response Required" approach in all matters previously investigated, raised by (my name)."

340/5/1295 document number concealed but seems to be 958

 

23 November 2006 I met Ken Smith and discussed my complaint.

He advised me to me to write to Rachel Hunter, who had been appointed Director-General of Education.

To this day, Rachel Hunter refuses to communicate with me concerning my complaint.

 

4 January 2007 Helen Cooper, Director Complaints Services, CMC, emailed me.

In discussing the falsification of my official “records”, Helen Cooper states:

“Departmental officers … explained to you the reasons for the alteration to some of the records, in part arising from the paraphrasing of your words by departmental officials.”

This is gibberish.

 

My allegation is that Mrs GR “recorded” imaginary conversations concerning me with children, teachers, parents, other teachers, principals the local QTU organiser and Cairns District Office staff and then gave these imaginary ’records” to Mr EL to place on my Education Queensland files.

These imaginary “records” were not discussed with me either before Mr EL and Mrs GR made their 29 November 2000 agreement that “the (DWP) process is justified” or before Mr EL made his 5 February 2001 decision to dismiss my Stage 1 Grievance about the abuse of the DWP process.

This is my complaint.

Helen Cooper demonstrates no understanding of my complaint.

She advises me that-

 “the CMC does not propose to correspond with you further, nor to engage in any further conversations with you by telephone or in person about this matter.”

 

Mr Needham, I suggest to you that this decision demonstrates the total failure of the Queensland CMC / Education Queensland “investigation” processes.

 

17 September 2007 Anna Bligh announced that there would be an independent overhaul of Queensland's Freedom of Information laws.

On about 19 September 2007 Cathi Taylor resigned as Information Commissioner.

I still have not been provided with the FOI documents that I requested in September 2003.

 

Mr Needham - I recommend that you investigate

  • the abuse of Ministerial Briefings

and

  • the "Nil Response required" approach to Grievances and complaints

that is adopted by senior officers of Education Queensland.

 

I suggest to you that the negligent abuse of these two processes by senior officers of Education Queensland is encouraging Queensland school principals to abuse the MUP and Grievance policies and to drive good Queensland classroom teachers into ill health and out of work.

Yours sincerely,

 

-------------------------------------------

Professor Geoff Masters - well qualified teachers are not valued in Queensland. They are at risk of being put on "Managing Unsatisfactory Performance" by an OP19 principal if they try to engage in professional discussion.

Professor Geoff Masters,

Australian Council for Educational Research.

 

18 January, 2009

 

Dear Professor Masters,

I understand that Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has asked you to conduct a Review into Queensland’s primary school system, including those systemic cultural issues within the Queensland Education Department that are inhibiting performance, including -

  • bullying of teachers by Education Queensland staff
  • and problems recruiting and retaining quality teachers.

I would like to make the following submission to your review:

 

Recruiting and retaining quality teachers:

My understanding of the situation is that a continual “churn” of newly-appointed teachers is needed to staff schools in the remote areas of Queensland.

Since 2002 large numbers of experienced Queensland classroom teachers have been encourage to take a “career change”.

These experienced teachers have been replaced with cheaper, less experienced teachers, many of whom have lower levels of numeracy and literacy.

Teaching is no longer seen as an attractive career choice by high-performing students.

The OP score for entry to teaching at some Queensland universities has fallen to as low as OP19.

Up to 50% of Queensland teachers “drop out” of teaching after five years in the profession.

99.8% of Australian teachers who participated in a 2007 UNE survey claimed to have experienced bullying at work.

Workplace bullying was said to be “rife” in schools in Queensland.

My understanding is that bullied Queensland teachers are often driven into ill health retirement or into accepting a “career change”.

And falling literacy, numeracy and behavioural standards in Queensland classrooms are now of increasing concern to Queensland parents.

 

Well-qualified teachers are not valued in Queensland schools.

...

When I attended a Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) AGM, I observed that a motion that higher salaries be awarded to teachers with higher degrees was voted down.

The motion prompted many “I can’t tell the difference” stories.

One person told the assembly that he had completed five degrees and that none of them had made any difference.

He was still no better than the teacher in the next classroom with basic training.

These sort of stories make as much sense as a greengrocer telling you that eating fruit and vegetables will make no difference to your health.

     

Education Queensland does not have a literate culture, it has an oral culture.

In my observation, there is a long-standing problem with the Education Queensland promotion system.

The system seems to be biased towards the selection of principals who are confident speakers, but who may be very limited in their listening, thinking and literacy skills.

Working with a principal with poor literacy skills really is a problem for a teacher.

It limits the ability of the teacher to function effectively themselves.

And it exposes the teacher to attack by a principal who does not understand the teacher.

Queensland classroom teachers can be driven into ill health and out of work by illiterate / incompetent Queensland school principals if they try to engage in professional discussion.

 

Queensland state school principals do not seem to understand the official Department of Education policies.

In my experience, the Queensland Department of Education (DETA) official policies were not known about, not easily available, not read and not understood.

Queensland principals do not seem to actually bother to read the Department of Education policy documents.

They seem to ring the District office, describe a situation, and copy a simplified version of the relevant policy onto a sticky-note.

Then, armed with all the knowledge of a policy that can be contained on a sticky-note, a principal can then proceed to destroy the health and the career of a classroom teacher.

Queensland classroom teachers need to be protected from principals who are operating at the level of gossip and sticky-notes.

District Office staff who base their advice to the principal on the principal’s gossip are being “groomed”.

If the teacher later makes a grievance about the abuse of the policy, the District office staff feel obliged to support the principal.

 

The standard of record-keeping by some Queensland state school principals is appalling.

There is no accountability.

The “official records” of a decision-making process that is detrimental to a teacher may be an undated and unsigned jumble of scraps of paper and sticky-notes.

There may be no indication of the order of events.

These “records” may be significantly falsified to the teacher’s disadvantage.

They may “record” imaginary conversations.

Putting falsified “records” secretly on a Queensland teacher’s official file is in breach of several Department of Education polices.

But it doesn’t seem to matter.

Queensland principals are not held responsible for behaviour that is clearly in breach of Education Queensland polices.

This systemic lack of accountability exposes Queensland classroom teachers to workplace abuse.

 

Recommendations:

1. There is an urgent need for all Australian Universities to agree upon the minimum OP score that is needed to be a teacher, and to immediately stop accepting students who cannot achieve that basic score.

2. There is an urgent need to breed a more literate executive in Education Queensland.

All education students above a certain level - perhaps OP 5 - should be offered full university scholarships if they agree to sign a contract of employment for at least five years.

These teachers should be clearly identified as “fast track administrators”, paid higher salaries, and protected from attack.

After five years of teaching experience, including in remote schools and as principals of small schools, these “fast track” teachers should be moved into Head Office and District Office administrative positions, writing policies and programs, running in-services, conducting teacher surveys, planning change based on the results of the surveys, etc.

All present classroom teachers with an OP above 5 (or the agreed level) should also be invited to join this “fast track administrator” group.

3. ... There needs to be a clear cultural move from decisions based on sticky-notes and malicious gossip to decisions based on the official Department of Education policies.

Poor understanding by administrators of the official Department of Education policies / refusal to comply with the official polices exposes Queensland classroom teachers to risk of workplace abuse.

All Queensland classroom teachers must be required to study and to demonstrate understanding of Education Queensland policies before they can apply for “acting” or promotion positions.

Multiple-choice type tests that ask “If X happened then would you do A, B, C or D? would provide an impartial evaluation of a teacher’s understanding of the policies.

It would also provide an impartial evaluation of the teacher’s present level of reading, comprehension and thinking skill.

A test of this type would restore confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Department of Education promotion system.

After having passed this test, a principal should be firmly discouraged from gossiping with District office staff / engaging in “grooming” activities.

Queensland Department of Education principals must be expected to accept responsibility for their decisions. There needs to be a clear systemic move to a culture of accountability.

4. There is an urgent need for Education Queensland to develop structures to support principals who are struggling with literacy and / or whose decision-making is impulsive and irrational.

Teachers should have the right to be able to understand the reasons for decisions that are detrimental to their health and their career.

The present appalling standard of record-keeping by some administrators exposes Queensland classroom teachers to workplace abuse.

Verifact investigators are not graduates. But they have excellent structured formats to support their investigations. The Verifact investigation process can be clearly understood.

The Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) employ a similar format. The CMC decision-making process can be understood. Problem areas can be clearly identified.

Education Queensland needs to develop similar structured formats for principals.

5. Any record that is placed on a teacher’s file should be read and signed by the teacher before it is placed on his or her file.

There should be a space on the record for the teacher to respond to any allegations.

There should be serious consequences for any principal found to be in breach of this policy.

The present lack of any consequence for a principal who falsifies a teacher’s official records exposes classroom teachers to workplace abuse.

 

The concept of “Natural Justice” is being misused.

The misuse of the concept of “Natural Justice” seems to be systemic in Queensland - it seems to be a disease which has been allowed to infect the whole of the Queensland public service.

Queensland schools have official “Behaviour Management Policies”.

The last stage of this policy is usually to send a poorly behaved child to the principal.

Teachers who follow these policies may find that the child lies to the principal about his or her behaviour and that the child’s lie is simply accepted, even if it is obviously untrue.

This undermines the teacher and rewards the child’s poor behaviour

The stage that is missing from the “Natural Justice” process - in Queensland - is the stage during which the child’s story is checked, and the lies are exposed.

 

Similarly, if a teacher “makes a grievance” or makes a complaint to the Ombudsman or the CMC about an administrator’s behaviour, the administrator is allowed “Natural Justice”.

Any lie is simply accepted and recorded, even if it is obviously untrue.

Then the teacher’s file is declared “closed” and the public servants agree that they will not read any more of the teacher’s letters.

When the teacher eventually discovers the lie - usually after years of Freedom of Information applications - and writes to the public servants, and tells them that the “wool has been pulled over their eyes”, the public servants do not read the teacher’s letters.

They advise each other that the teacher is a “vexatious complainant”.

This systemic abuse of the concept of concept of “Natural Justice” rewards poorly behaved children and administrators.

It facilitates and encourages the workplace abuse of Queensland teachers.

 

The Education Queensland “Investigation” process is appalling.

The Queensland Department of Education “investigation process” is appalling.

It exposes Queensland classroom teachers to workplace abuse.

It is easy for a Queensland principal -

To “beat up” or falsify an allegation against a teacher.

to falsify “records” of events and place them secretly on a teacher’s file.

to edit evidence supportive of the teacher out of the official “record”.

to make verbal allegations and then to secretly put different allegations in the teacher’s official “record”.

to edit the teacher’s response to the allegations out of the official record.

to reduce the official record of a teacher’s response to gibberish.

to abuse children, teachers, parents, other administrators, other principals, District office staff, the sick, the disabled, the local QTU organiser, etc. as puppets to “speak” imaginary allegations against a teacher, while instructing the teacher not to discuss the abuse with any other person.

to refuse to record the objections of other classroom teachers to the abuse.

etc. etc.

 

It is easy for an Education Queensland “investigator” -

to falsify the official record of a teacher’s complaint.

to “lose” all or part of a teacher’s complaint.

to refuse to listen to, record or “consider” evidence supportive of the teacher’s complaint.

to represent something to the teacher as “an investigation” but not to represent it in the official records as an investigation.

to claim that the teacher has withdrawn their complaint.

to neglect to declare their own conflict of interest in the case.

to falsify documentation and put it secretly on the teacher’s file to create the impression that the documents were discussed with the teacher during the investigation.

to accept and record any excuse given by an abusive administrator, even if it is obviously untrue.

etc. etc.

 

If a teacher makes a complaint about the conduct of a senior Education Queensland officer, that officer may be allowed -

to control the investigation into the teacher’s complaint.

to appoint themselves as the abused teacher’s “sole point of contact with the department”.

to later claim that they have “lost” all of the teacher’s emails, letters and documents over a period of several months and so they cannot be held responsible for “not knowing” and “not understanding” the teacher’s complaint.

to instruct Education Queensland FOI officers not to ask an abusive administrator for missing documents.

to untruthfully record that they have discussed an “internal review” report with the complainant teacher.

to untruthfully record that the complainant teacher has agreed with the finding of the “internal review” report.

to liaise with CMC officers concerning the teacher’s complaint.

to use the complainant teacher as a puppet - to tell the CMC “what the teacher wants” and to have their words concerning “what the teacher wants” copied into the CMC records.

to delay an external investigation for years so that abusive administrators can then claim to have “forgotten” what they did and why they did it.

to instruct an external investigator to simply copy down an abusive administrator’s responses, even if they are obviously untrue.

Recommendations

Any meeting to discuss workplace issues should be tape-recorded. A copy should be provided to all participants. This simple strategy would improve professional conduct and resolve many workplace problems.

Any allegation against a teacher should be made in writing, and a copy of the allegation should be provided to the teacher. Space should be allowed on the document for the teacher to respond to the allegation in writing. It should not be possible for the allegation and the teacher’s response to the allegation to be separated.

Any investigator / writer of a “Report” or a “Briefing for the Minister”, etc. should be required to sign a declaration that they have no conflict of interest in the situation.

Teachers should be protected from “payback” for asking for mediation or a “facilitated discussion” about a problem.

Mediation should not be abused to continually threaten a teacher

Mediation should not be abused to “try out” allegations against the teacher, fishing for an allegation that the teacher cannot disprove.

When a teacher reports a concern about the mental health of a school principal, the teacher’s concern should be investigated. It should not be simply “lost” or disregarded. Failure to investigate such concerns is negligent. It exposes other classroom teachers to the risk of abuse.

There is a need to protect teachers who report child abuse by other teachers.

There is a need to clearly state that principals must not pressure classroom teachers to join their own political party or “branch” of a political party.

New policy development seems to be controlled by the administrators (and groups representing the interests of the administrators) whose behaviour is the problem.

These officers have no motivation to deal with their own problem behaviour.

They often refuse to acknowledge that there is a problem.

There is a need to involve classroom teachers in the development of new policies to resolve complaints.

For example, if a teacher complains that he or she is being bullied by an administrator, that teacher should be involved in developing and evaluating a new workplace bullying policy.

The Queensland Teachers’ Union cannot effectively represent the interests of classroom teachers in this type of situation because their responsibility to protect union members who are classroom teachers from abuse conflicts with their responsibility to protect union members who are abusive administrators.

The CMC claim that they do not have the resources to deal with the systemic abuse of Department of Education polices to bully Queensland classroom teachers. These resources must be found. It is negligent to continue to expose Queensland classroom teachers to workplace abuse.

 

In-service

After a long, hard day at work, Queensland primary school teachers often have to endure hours of poor-quality in-service. ...

 

Teaching programs.

...

Recommendations

Classroom teachers need the support of carefully structured workbooks that detail very specific activities and which provide the teacher with clear teaching instructions and correct answers.

Groups of experienced, literate teachers should be employed to prepare this material.

The material should be regularly evaluated and revised.

Indonesian primary school students often come from very basic homes where Bahasa Indonesia, the national language, is not used.

But by Grade 3 the students are expected to read quite difficult texts in their second language.

Indonesian teachers seem to achieve amazing results with detailed text books which are written by groups of well-qualified and experienced teachers.

It can be done.

 

Pay

When you pay teachers less, you restrict their choices and you allow them a much more limited view of the world.

As a language teacher I noticed a big difference in attitude to other cultures and to learning a language between those teachers who had travelled overseas and those teachers whose experience of the world was more limited. ...

 

Recommendations

That extra funds would be targeted at-

identifying the higher skilled / more literate teachers who are already in the system

and at attracting a group of more literate teachers into the system

and then using these higher-skilled, more literate teachers to-

breed a better quality executive

provide the very specific support that is going to be needed ... for the next several years.

 

Teachers must be protected.

We videotape carrots in supermarkets to protect them from theft.

We need to videotape what is happening in our classrooms.

We need to base our decisions on the facts, not on malicious gossip.

If classrooms were videotaped -

students would be safer from the risk of abuse

teachers, and male teachers in particular, would be safer from allegations that they have abused children.

all teachers would be safer from allegations that they are “picking on” innocent children.

children could be held responsible for poor behaviour. The principal, parents, child and teacher could watch the video and discuss what really happened in the classroom. I would suspect that there would be an immediate improvement in student’s behaviour if classes were videotaped, and that far less teaching time would be wasted dealing with behaviour management problems.

teachers could watch how other teachers manage their classes. They could engage in professional discussion about what they are really doing in their classrooms.

 

Listen to experienced classroom teachers.

Their opinions should drive change.

...

In Queensland, experienced and well-qualified Queensland teachers have been put into “Managing Unsatisfactory Performance” programs or encouraged to take “career change” grants because they tried to engage in professional discussion.

...

Recommendations

There needs to be a cultural change from a fear-driven culture of teacher compliance with poor quality programs, to a culture in which experienced teachers are encouraged to engage in professional discussion and in which their opinions drive change.

Classroom teachers should be regularly asked to evaluate the programs that they are using, the teaching materials available to them, the teaching environment, the children’s behaviour, the school’s Behaviour Management Program, the workplace culture, the level of workplace abuse, etc.

The results of these surveys should be made available to the teachers and to the community, and they should drive change.

Teachers who retire from teaching should be encouraged to complete an exit evaluation, explaining why they no longer want to teach.

The results of these surveys should drive change.

 

We need to provide children with good models.

Many young children do not seem to be receiving sufficient one-to-one “scaffolding” of their spoken language.

When they begin school, their spoken language is poorly developed and so it is difficult for them to learn to read.

This then affects their ability to participate in maths, etc.

All children need equitable access to good language models, good behavioural models, etc. They need to meet a range of people who are working, studying and functioning well in our community.

University students are a resource that we could use better.

Tax-payers’ money that is intended to be used for the benefit of children should be directed where we want children to go - to schools. No child should suffer because their parents make poor financial decisions.

Every child should be provided with a uniform and the equipment that they need to perform well at school.

Every child should be provided with at least one nutritious meal each day at school.

Recommendations:

Consider structuring the primary school day differently.

For example-

8:00 AM - 12:00 AM with one short break, children could study academic subjects.

At 12:00 mid-day, the children could be given a nutritious meal and then be allowed to play. The meal could be prepared by local mothers using fresh local ingredients. The play could be supervised by a generous number of trained local parents. This would create employment opportunities for members of the local community. Children would enjoy talking to mothers and fathers and telling them about their problems. Community members would gain a clearer understanding of the children’s behaviour and of their concerns.

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Classroom teachers could mark work, prepare work, display work, plan together, attend staff meetings, participate in in-service, meet parents, plan individual programs for “special needs” children, etc.

1:00 PM- 5:00 PM student teachers and university students could run a program of planned learning activities for the children.

Overseas students in particular, with their language skills and their good attitude to study, would make wonderful role models for our students.

There is a shortage of maths and science teachers, so maths and science students could run maths and science homework or activity sessions.

Programs in sport, art, craft, drama, religion (including, for example, introductory Moslem religion sessions for non - Moslem students), small group reading coaching, library visits, computer skills, health, road safety, indigenous language, dance and culture, Asian and European languages, swimming, etc. could all be offered.

Spelling, maths and other competitions could be organised.

If we put the competition back into learning, boys might become more engaged in school.

The university students could be paid in money or in credits towards the cost of their degree.

Education students would have the opportunity to apply what they are being taught at university to real-life teaching situations. They would have the opportunity to reflect on their experiences. They would be able to “pick up” teaching tips from each other in a relaxed environment.

Parents would lose control of taxpayer’s money that is intended for the benefit of their children, but they would have more opportunity to engage in full-time or part-time work.

School buildings would be utilised more effectively.

In remote areas, Grade 12 students could be paid to run afternoon programs. This would provide the Grade 12 students with an income and demonstrate to them and to the community that their good work and behaviour are valued.

Visiting doctors and nurses could run health education programs.

The armed forces could run cadet training course.

 

Retired teachers could be encouraged to follow a “Grey Nomad Teachers to Remote Schools” trail.

They could run short programs at the remote schools in their specialist areas.

The Grey Nomad teachers would bring money into the local economy.

They could park their caravans in the school grounds and use the school facilities.

They could volunteer or be paid a small wage to supplement their pensions.

 

Children in remote communities, in particular, would probably benefit from the provision of two nutritious meals each day at school.

This would provide local employment opportunities in growing and collecting local fruit and vegetables, collecting traditional foods, preparing meals, supervising the children, etc.

Research programs should be run to evaluate the effectiveness of different diets in promoting good health, behaviour and learning.

 

I hope that these suggestions are useful.

I look forward to reading the completed “review”.

Yours faithfully,

 

__________________________

 

Rachel Hunter - I request that I be provided with a letter to state that the following decisions concerning me are legally invalid and have been officially "stuck off" my official Departmental Record.

Ms R Hunter, Director-General,

Department of Education, Training and the Arts,

PO Box 15033,

CITY EAST QLD, 4002

 

27 November 2008

 

Dear Ms Hunter,

I request that I be provided with a letter to state that the following decisions concerning me are legally invalid and have been officially "stuck off" my official Departmental Record.

a) The 29 November 2000 decision / agreement made by -

  • Mrs GR, acting principal of Lynch-Mob State College, 
  • Miss AL, acting deputy principal of Lynch-Mob State College,
  • and Mr EL, usual principal of Lynch-Mob State College, 

to put me into the Diminished Work Performance (DWP) process in 2001.

You have copies of the letter in which Mrs GR advised me of this agreement at:

2421 F Lynch-Mob State School document 59 - number on top right hand corner of document.

2469 F The District Office document 19 - number on top right hand corner of document.

 

and

b) Usual principal of Lynch-Mob State College Mr EL's decision, on 5 February 2001, to dismiss my Stage I Grievance about this abuse of the DWP process.

You have a copy of this "decision" at:

2469 F The District Office documents 142-143

 

Because these decisions concerning me were made in breach of

  • Natural Justice,
  • the Code of Conduct,
  • the Public Service Regulations,
  • The Education Queensland DWP policy
  • and the Education Queensland Grievance policy.

 

For your convenience I have responded to these decisions / documents in detail on the website:

http://www.badapplebullies.com/investigations.htm

and

http://www.badapplebullies.com/thefalsifiedrecords.htm

and

http://www.badapplebullies.com/verifactinvestigations.htm

 

In brief, Mrs GR seemed to be abusing the DWP process to "pay me back" for asking for her support in dealing with the unsupervised groups of Grade 7 children who were missing from their classrooms, roaming about the school, disrupting the other classes.

And Mr EL agreed with Mrs GR on 29 November 2000 that the DWP process "was warranted" before he had discussed the situation with me.

 

In 2004 an Aboriginal "internal reviewer" chose / was instructed not to "consider" my responses to the mass of falsified "records" that Mrs GR  had secretly placed on my official records.

In 2006 a Verifact Investigator simply copied down what Mr EL told him, even though it was obviously untrue:

 

"There was no decision to put her on DWP."

You have a copy of this statement at 340/5/1295 document number concealed but seems to be 975.

 

"Investigations" of this standard simply demonstrate the systemic nature of the abuse of Queensland teachers.

Ms Hunter, please demonstrate that you will not tolerate the abuse of Queensland classroom teachers.

Please provide me with a letter to state that these decisions were legally invalid and that they have been have been officially "struck off" my Departmental record.

I appreciate your attention to these matters.

Yours sincerely,

 

_______________________________

Letter to Robert Needham, Chairman, Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission, 23 October, 2008.

Mr Robert Needham,

Chairperson and CEO,

Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission,

GPO Box 3123, Brisbane. QLD 4001

 

23 October 2008

 

Dear Mr Needham,

I am writing in response to a letter dated 4 January 2007 from Helen Couper, Director Complaints Services.

On June 12 2008, almost one and a half years after Ms Couper “accepted” the Education Queensland investigation into my complaint, part of the “independent” Verifact investigation has finally been released to me under Freedom of Information.

My comments to you are based on my understanding of those sections of the Verifact report that I have been allowed to read to this date.

...

Recommendations:

The Queensland Government have a responsibility to ensure that Queensland teachers are safe at work.

  • If the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) do not have the resources to investigate the systemic corruption of the Education Queensland Managing Unsatisfactory performance (MUP) and Grievance process, the CMC Chairman has a responsibility to make this known to the Premier, and to ask for sufficient funding to protect Queensland teachers effectively.

 

  • The CMC practice of allowing Education Queensland Officers to investigate themselves is not working.

 

It must be possible for a Queensland teacher to prove themselves innocent of an allegations.

If it is not, if there really is no hope of justice for a Queensland teacher, then the CMC / Education Queensland investigation “process” is corrupt.

 

Documentation

  • Education Queensland documentation is of an appalling standard. There is an urgent need for Education Queensland to develop documentation systems that are of a professional standard.

 

This appalling standard of professional documentation facilitates workplace abuse.

Verifact records are of a far, far higher professional standard. They use an “investigation running sheet’ which details a series of actions. The CMC use a similar system.

 

  • There is an urgent need for Education Queensland officers to adopt an “incident running sheet” that clearly explains a series of actions or decisions.

 

  • There is a need to develop an “incident report” form on which a principal can record any allegation against a teacher. The form should contain space for the teacher’s response.

 

  • There should be serious consequences for any principal who places a ‘record” secretly on a teacher’s file without allowing the teacher to respond to the allegations in writing. This behaviour should be clearly identified as workplace abuse.

 

  • There is an urgent need to protect teachers from imaginary or malicious allegations.

 

It is much too easy for a malicious or mentally disturbed principal to claim to have “heard” a confidential allegation against a teacher and to place the “records” of these imaginary “confidential disclosures” secretly on a teacher’s “official record”.

  • The allegation should be provided to the teacher in writing.

 

  • The allegation should be clearly stated. It should consist of more than the principal’s vague “concerns”.

 

  • The allegation should contain specific facts that provide the teacher with the opportunity to respond effectively.

 

  • The teacher must have the opportunity to prove themselves innocent.

 

  • The teacher should be allowed to respond to the allegations in writing.

 

  • At the moment allegations can be continually changed. It is impossible for a teacher to respond to an allegation effectively and to prove herself innocent of an allegation when the allegation is being continually changed in this manner.

 

For example:

On 27 November 2000 Lynch-Mob State School acting principal Mrs GR told me that-

 

Allegation version ( A )

“your old principal” had agreed that I should be on Diminished Workplace performance (DWP - the old name for the MUP).

I responded to this allegation.

But when I received a copy of Miss EL’s secret “notes” on the meeting in 2004, I discovered that “your old principal” had been falsified into -

 

Allegation version ( B )

“Mrs GR then stated that the principal of (my name)’s other school shares her concerns”, and my response to allegation version (A) had been “edited out” of the official record.

2421 File F Lynch-Mob State School document F 30, number at top right hand side of document, Miss EL's notes on this November 2000 meeting, concealed from me till 2004.

But

This other principal told Infocomm officers that she had not discussed me with Mrs GR.

So then,

 

Allegation version ( C )

In 2006, Lynch-Mob State school principal Mr EL claimed for the first time that he was the “other principal” who had “noticed this problem”.

And his new version of the allegation was concealed from me till mid 2008.

 

Policies

 

  • Queensland teachers who have been bullied must be involved in the development of new, effective anti-bullying policies.

 

Because, although Education Queensland claim to have written new anti-bullying policies, the new polices have been written by the senior officers who were involved in the bullying and abuse.

These senior officers have no motivation to change the policies.

And the new policies are based on the findings of investigations that they have “set up” to fail to find any evidence of abuse.

So the new policies are not effective.

One of the most shocking findings of the Verifact investigation was that Lynch-Mob State College acting principal Mrs GR, usual principal Mr EL and acting deputy principal Miss AL had developed no insight into their abuse.

None them expressed any remorse.

Which suggests that any new anti-bullying policies developed by Education Queensland since 2000 have failed to raise their awareness of workplace abuse, and that these administrators will continue to abuse classroom teachers.

 

  • Education Queensland administrators must follow Education Queensland polices.

 

This is not happening.

Example a)

The Diminished Work Performance policy clearly states-

“ 3.6 The principal should verify that there is substance to any complaint against a teacher prior to initiating a diminished work performance process. The principal must inform the teacher of any complaint and provide a copy of the complainant’s written statement. …”

Lynch-Mob State College usual principal Mr EL had underlined these words.

But he, Mrs GR and Miss AL had all ignored this policy.

 

  • There is a need to make Education Queensland polices known and readily available to all staff.

 

Queensland Department of Education polices are not known by Education Queensland staff.

They are not readily available to staff.

 

Example a)

Lynch-Mob State College acting principal Mrs GR and acting deputy principal Miss EL had agreed to keep secret “records” on me within a few days of taking up their acting positions.

This was a breach of Department of Education polices.

Either Mrs GR and Miss AL did not know that this was a breach of Departmental polices, or they deliberately ignored the Departmental policies.

In 2006, they both still seemed to be unaware that their behaviour was in breach of Departmental polices.

 

Example b)

Miss AL did not seem to realise that I had the right to Natural Justice - the right to respond to Mrs GR’s allegations. 

Miss AL edited my response out of her notes of the “mediated” meeting on 27 November 2000, repeatedly describing my responses as “arguing the point”.

I myself knew nothing about the DWP and Grievance polices in November 2000, and I had great difficulty obtaining copies of these polices.

 

Training

  • Education Queensland employees should be required to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Education Queensland policies before they are appointed to “acting” positions.

 

  • An inexperienced “acting” principal or deputy principal who has no knowledge of departmental polices puts classroom teachers at risk of workplace abuse.

 

Mrs GR’s total knowledge of the DWP process seems to have been contained on sticky-note 2421 F 60.

For the Queensland Department of Education to have exposed me to an administrator with such limited skills was negligent.

The senior officer who gave Mrs GR the basic information on this sticky-note advice must have known that Mrs GR’s knowledge of the DWP was very limited.

But nothing was done to protect me from Mrs GR’s abuse of her powers.

This was also negligent.

All Queensland classroom teachers should be encouraged to familiarise themselves with Education Queensland polices, and to undertake impartial written tests on their understanding of these policies.

This should be seen as necessary preparation for “acting” promotion positions.

This test would simultaneously evaluate the applicant’s reading, writing and thinking skills.

 

Promotion

  • There is a problem with the Education Queensland promotion system. And this problem puts classroom teachers at risk of workplace abuse.

 

  • Principals seem to be being selected purely on the basis of their glib oral skills - their ability to “spin” the facts. And there is a very fine line between being a good “spinner” and being a brazen, abusive liar.

 

I have no way of knowing if the abuse that I suffered was the result of limited intelligence, mental dysfunction or poor training.

But I do know that in November 2000 I had the overwhelming feeling that I was dealing with profoundly stupid reasoning.

 

Lynch-Mob State College acting principal Mrs GR began the “mediated” meeting on 27 November by stating:

“This is not going to get better by changing methods …”

 

So there was nothing that I could actually do that would prove my innocence of the “lots of” mystery allegations to Mrs GR.

“ … it’s about fundamental beliefs.”

 

So, to prove myself innocent of Mrs GR’s mystery allegations, Mrs GR was demanding that I change her beliefs about my “fundamental beliefs”.

Which was clearly going to be very difficult because Mrs GR always refused to listen to me:

 

On 10 November 2000 Mrs GR told the staff that there was a “a person” on the staff who had humiliated children.

The next day a teacher warned me that ‘the person” was me, and that Mrs GR believed that I had told a child to “put her nose against the wall“.

On 20 November 2000 I gave Mrs GR a letter to explain that this had not happened.

The child had never been anywhere near the wall.

I asked for a meeting with the School Behaviour Management Committee.

But

On 27 November 2000, having known since 20 November 2000 that I had not told the child to face the wall, Mrs GR stated, “It’s not OK to have students face the wall.”

When I said again that this had never happened, Miss AL did not record my actual words.

She described my response to the allegation as arguing:

“(My name) started to argue … ”

 

And Mrs GR would not listen to me:

“Mrs GR said let’s not get into I did or didn’t do this or that.”

So the facts did not matter.

 

“This is about how you treat children not individual issues.”

So, again, the facts did not matter.

 

“(My name) again began to argue the point.

Mrs GR said, “it’s not about academically arguing each point.”

 

Again, my response to Mrs GR’s allegations is edited out of Miss AL's notes.

Mrs GR said, “it’s not about academically arguing each point.”

“… you can’t argue your way out of it.”

 

And my response to Mrs GR’s incorrect allegations is repeatedly dismissed as “arguing”.

The fact is that the child had been sitting on the carpet in the middle of the room, watching other children acting in a play. She was calling out and disturbing them. I told her to turn around and face the back wall so that she would stop disturbing the class.

The child was never anywhere near the wall.

The problem was inside Mrs GR’s head.

And that was why I could not prove myself innocent.

 

  • There is a need to select administrators who have better thinking and reasoning skills.

 

  • Or to provide appropriate support and training for principals who have poor reasoning skills.

 

The concept of “Natural Justice”

  • There is systemic abuse / misuse of the concept of “natural justice”.

 

  • The concept of “natural justice” needs to be re-thought.

 

1) When I followed the school behaviour management program and sent children to Miss AL for poor behaviour, Miss AL allowed the children “Natural justice “ - they were allowed to make untruthful allegations against me.

And the children’s untruthful allegations were secretly placed on my “official records”.

But I was not given “natural justice” - the opportunity to respond to these allegations.

 

2) During the meeting on 27 November 2000, my responses to Mrs GR’s allegations were not recorded.

And Mrs GR repeatedly refused to listen to my responses.

And Mrs GR made no mention of the allegations in the “notes to Leigh from Desley”.

And she did not show me the “lot of allegations” or the “lots of pieces of paper to prove how things may have happened”.

I was not allowed Natural Justice.

 

3) Mrs GR, Miss AL and Mr EL did not show me these allegations before agreeing on 29 November 2000 that “the (DWP) process is warranted”.

I was not allowed Natural Justice.

 

4) Mr EL did not show me the documents before dismissing my Stage I Grievance.

I was not allowed Natural Justice.

 

5) The Education Queensland “internal reviewer” copied from the falsified documents on my file, but decided not to “consider” my responses to the falsified documents.

I was not allowed Natural Justice.

 

6) The Verifact investigator was instructed to record a new version of the “departmental story” and to record new allegations against me.

This “report” was accepted by the CMC one and a half years before I was allowed to read even a limited version of the report.

 

  • I have never been allowed Natural Justice.

 

  • There is systemic abuse of the concept of “Natural Justice” to bully Queensland teachers into ill health and out of work.

     

Conflict of Interest issues

  • District office staff need to be trained to recognise “grooming” strategies and to resist being groomed.

 

  • Senior officers who are asked to conduct grievance investigations or to write “Briefings for the Minister” should be required to declare any conflict of interest in the situation.

 

Mrs GR seems to have extensively “groomed” senior officers by appealing to them for “advice”.

She seems to have made them feel responsible for her abuse of the DWP.

Mrs GR’s own secret records reveal that, in addition to Mr EL, she had “groomed” (three names given) of the District Office into feeling responsible for her abuse of the DWP.

The District Director revealed to Infocomm that he had also been “groomed” by Mrs GR during late 2000.

So, when-

  • Mr EL conducted his “Stage 1 Grievance investigation“,

 

  • and when the District Director assured me that the bullying was under control in July 2002

 

  • and when District office employee CHR wrote her “Briefing For the Minister” in August 2003,

- they all had a conflict of interest because they had all been groomed into feeling responsible for the “advice” that they had given Mrs GR.

 

  • “Acting” principals must be expected to know Education Queensland policies, or they should be directed to the policies and they should be expected to make the effort to read the policies themselves and to take responsibility for their own decisions.

 

Because, when senior officers are “groomed” by abusive principals seeking “advice“ on polices, the Grievance process is corrupted.

 

  • Principals should be clearly instructed that it is not acceptable professional conduct to spend lunchtimes repeatedly pressuring other members of staff to join their own branch of a political party.

 

  • Their attention needs to be drawn to the potential conflict of interest issues raised by this behaviour.

 

Classroom teachers need to be protected from this abuse of a principal’s position.

 

  • There is a need for inexperienced administrators to be monitored, and for alarms to ring loudly when there are signs that an inexperienced administrator may be abusing a classroom teacher.

 

Mrs GR claims that she first discussed putting me on DWP with the district office staff on the sixth day that she was acting principal.

If this really happened, it was a clear signal that Mrs GR was struggling in her role.

Alarms should have rung out in the District Office.

Immediate action should have been taken to ensure that I was protected from workplace abuse.

 

Reporting Mental Health Concerns.

 

  • There is a need to develop a proper process by which a classroom teacher can report a concern about the mental health of a school principal. The lack of any such process exposes students and teachers to risk of abuse.

 

I reported to Lynch-Mob State College usual principal Mr EL on 25 January 2001 that Mrs GR’s menacing behaviour during the “mediated” meeting on 27 November 2000 suggested to me that she had a “mental or emotional” problem.

He seems to have done nothing.

I emailed a letter to Ken Smith on 21 June 2004 at 12:35 PM in which I stated that the extensive falsification of my “records” suggested to me that Mrs GR had some sort of significant mental health problem.

I copied this letter to the CMC, the Ombudsman and MailBox@justice.qld.gov.au

The next day, 22 June 2004, I handed a printed copy of this letter in at the District Office.

I understand that all copies of this letter were simply “lost”.

 

Mediation.

  • Principals must not be allowed to abuse their power to refuse mediation.

 

  • Teachers must be protected from “pay back” for asking for mediation.

 

I had asked for a meeting with the School Behaviour Management Committee.

There was at least one person on that committee who knew exactly what Mrs GR had said about me to the staff.

That seems to be why Mrs GR refused mediation.

That seems to be why she would not allow me to meet the School Behaviour Management Committee.

That was why the “mediated” meeting had to be changed to a meeting for the purpose of putting me on DWP.

That was why she would not allow Mr EL to speak to the seven teachers who had seen me teach for periods of up to two years, and who all fully supported me.

 

Abuse of Education Queensland Aboriginal employees to conduct “internal reviews”.

An Aboriginal employee with no qualifications in education, law or psychology was given the task of “internally reviewing” my complaint.

I was not allowed to speak to him.

The fact that he was Aboriginal was concealed from me.

He decided / was instructed to copy from the falsified documents that had been secretly placed on my file and not to “consider” my responses to the falsified documents.

I consider that this was abuse both of me and of the Aboriginal employee.

I was brought up in England.

I have a totally different cultural and language background to this Aboriginal employee.

I was brought up in a culture where “a man is as good as his word” and children are taught to “tell the truth and shame the devil”.

English people do not expect their government to be corrupt.

But Australian children are taught that it is OK to lie about their behaviour.

And not to “rock the boat”.

And Aboriginal Australians have been horribly abused for generations.

 

I now realise that Australians, and Aboriginal Australians in particular, expect their government to be corrupt.

I discuss this in more detail on my website at: http://www.badapplebullies.com/discrimination.htm

 

Investigations

 

  • It must become possible for a Queensland teacher to prove herself innocent of an allegation.

 

On 27 November 2000, the first advice to me from the QTU organiser was that there was no hope of justice and to “accept the things you cannot change”.

He told me that he had never known a teacher’s grievance to be upheld and that teachers who “fought it” were mentally and physically broken.

Other QTU organisers suggested to me that this was good advice.

My own experience has been that, even if it is obvious from the first moment that a teacher is being abused, there is no hope of justice.

Because:

  • Education Queensland documentation is so appallingly unprofessional that it is impossible to find out what is really “going on”.

 

  • The allegations are vague so the teacher cannot respond effectively

 

  • If the teacher manages to respond effectively to an allegation, the allegation is changed.

 

  • Education Queensland senior officers deal with complaints by continually “losing” them.

 

  • Decisions are based on “Reports” and “Briefings” written by officers who have a conflict of interest in the situation.

 

  • Investigations are delayed for years so that the abusers can claim to have “forgotten” their abuse.

 

  • Investigators do not investigate the teacher’s complaint. They investigate a complaint that is chosen by the senior officers who were themselves involved in the abuse.

 

  • CMC officers do not read a teacher’s complaint. They copy from reports written by Education Queensland officers who have a conflict of interest in the situation.

     

This is systemic corruption and it must stop.

The Queensland government has a responsibility to protect Queensland teachers from this sort of systemic corruption.

 

Thank you for your attention to these issues,

 

--------------------------------------------------

 

Letter to David Solomon - Queensland teachers who are dealing with workplace abuse need a Freedom of Information process that functions better.

Dr David Solomon AM, Chair,

FOI Independent Review Panel.

GPO Box 5236 Brisbane

Queensland 4001
 
 
March 6 2008
 
 
Dear Dr Solomon,
 
Thank you for the opportunity to make a submission in relation to the administration of Freedom Of Information in Queensland.
 
I hope that the Independent Review Panel will not allow themselves to be abused as puppets to destroy Queenslanders' rights to Freedom of Information.
 
Freedom of Information sometimes seems to be the only Queensland Government 'accountability process' that is functioning.
 
Without the right to Freedom of Information, Queensland teachers and other Queensland public servants would have no workplace rights.
 
There would be no accountability.
 
They would be even more exposed to workplace abuse.
 
 
 
 
Freedom of Information enables Queensland teachers who are dealing with workplace abuse to -
 
 
  • Find out if the official records of their complaint about the workplace abuse have been falsified.
 
  • Find falsified 'official records' that may have been secretly placed on their departmental files.

 

  • Find details of internal and external 'investigations' concerning them that have been conducted without their knowledge.

 

  • Realise that what may have been represented to them as an 'investigation' is not described as an investigation in the official records. 

 

  • Read 'Briefings For The Minister' and gain an understanding of the strategies used by public servants to avoid 'knowing' about their complaint.
 
  • Identify Education Queensland officers who have made untruthful statements to them and about them.
 
 
Why I made a Freedom of information application in September 2003.
 
 
In 2000 I was employed as an Indonesian teacher in a Queensland State School.
 
Groups of Grade 7 children at my school were missing from their classrooms, roaming unsupervised around the school.
 
I discused the situation with the acting principal of the school.
 
The acting principal advised me to speak about it to the staff at the next staff meeting.
 
But, before I spoke to the staff, the acting principal spoke the staff at some length about 'a person' on the staff who was humiliating children.
 
One of the teachers later told me that I was 'the person'.
 
The shock of the acting principal's seemingly irrational and deeply unprofessional behaviour made me ill.
 
I was advised to ask the acting principal  for a mediated meeting.
 
She told me that 'a lot of allegations' had been made against me and that 'she had lots of pieces of paper to prove how things may have happened'.
 
This statement was recorded and placed on my Education Queensland official record.
 
Two days later the acting principal gave me a letter to advise me that she and the usual principal - who had not discussed the situation with me - had decided to put me into the Diminished Work Performance Process the next year.
 
Since September 2003 I have been making FOI applications for copies of these 'lot of allegations' in 'lots of pieces of paper to prove how things may have happened'.
 
To this date I have not found any document that answers that description.
 
 
To this date I have not been allowed Freedom of Information.
 
But I have found that my official Education Queensland records have been extensively falsified.
 
Many of the falsified documents are described in detail at http://www.badapplebullies.com/thefalsifiedrecords.htm
 
My FOI applications are detailed in detail at http://www.badapplebullies.com/freedomofinformation.htm 
 
I anticipate that my experience will be portrayed to you as a 'problem with a vexacious applicant'.
 
But I would argue that it is not my repeated applications for these missing 'lot of documents' that is the problem.
 
It is the refusal of the acting principal to either produce these documents or to admit that the whole thing was a lie.
 
My FOI experience suggests to me that the real problem is not a problem with the official Education Queensland policies, but with the abusive workplace practices of Education Queensland administrators.
 
My own bully administrator managed to form inappropriate 'bonds' with certain Head Office staff, including an officer who was involved in 'searching' for my documents and a senior officer controlling the investigation into my complaint. I have found the evidence of these inappropriate 'bonds' in the FOI documents. These inappropriate 'bonds' have disadvantaged me.
 
  • There is a real need for Education Queensland Head Office and District Office staff to be given psychopath awareness training and to be able to recognise the 'grooming' behaviours practiced by psychopaths.
 
Falsified records can be placed secretly on a Queensland teacher's official files to his or her disadvantage.
 
It is too easy for malicious and untruthful 'records' concerning a teacher to be secretly placed on a teacher's Education Queensland official files.
 
Notes on loose scraps of paper can be secretly placed on a teacher's file. These loose scraps of paper can be changed at any time by an abusive principal.
 
Principals have their own computers and their own offices. There is no excuse for keeping files of sticky-notes and loose scraps of paper 'recording' their secret thoughts about teachers.
 
It is much too easy for a malicious Education Queensland principal to secretly place 'records' of imaginary conversations with children, administrators and parents concerning you on your official record. If you ever manage to find them under FOI, the names of the children, etc. will have been edited out.
 
And then, even if the child, teacher, principal or public servant concerned tells you that they did not have the conversation 'recorded' on your official file, CMC officers will advise you that the "record" of the imaginary conversation is 'not a lie, it is a different recollection'.  So you can never, ever disprove these malicious 'different recollections'.
 
Undated, unsigned scribbles on sticky-notes can be secretly placed on a teachers file. The scribbled notes may convey no clear meaning. They can be interpreted to suggest more or less anything.They can be stuck on dated and signed documents to create the false impression that they are related to that incident and that time. And then they can be moved to create a different impression. Because the scribbles on the sticky-notes are undated and unsigned, nobody can be held responsible for the suggestions concerning you that are being created by the scribbles.
 
Similarly, unsigned and undated notes can be scribbled in pencil onto documents that have been written, dated and signed by another person. This can create the false impression that the events described in the scribbled notes happened at the same time as the events in the original document.
 
'Records' concerning the actions of another teacher may be secretly placed on your Education Queensland file.
 
The FOI policy of deleting all names from documents exposes Queensland teachers to workplace abuse. It is too easy for an abusive principal to claim that a complaint has been made about a teacher, and to place the falsified 'records' of such a complaint secretly on a a teacher's file. Even if the teacher does eventually find the document under FOI - and that process could take many years - the teacher has little chance to prove that the allegation has been falsified because the name of the 'compainant' is concealed.
 
 
  • All documents concerning teachers should be signed, dated and shown to teachers before they are placed on teachers' files.
 
  • There should be space on the document for the teacher's response. A response should not be attached because it could be too easily 'lost'.
 
  • No document should be placed on a teacher's Education Queensland file if the teacher has not had the opportunity to respond to the document.
 
  • There should be serious consequences for administrators who are in breach of this policy.
 
  • This simple strategy would have protected me from workplace abuse in 2000.
 
  • If this simple strategy had been in place in 2000, I would not have needed to make any FOI applications.
 
  • This simple strategy would save a lot of public money.
 
 
Falsified records of meetings can also be secretly placed on a Queensland teacher's file to his or her disadvantage.
 
Records of meetings may be falsified to the disadvantage of teachers.
 
For example, a teacher's responses to allegations may be 'edited out' of the records.
 
Or the allegations may be changed and the names of people making the allegations may be changed.
 
The teacher may not realise that the allegations have been changed till they receive the FOI documents. A lot of effort may have been wasted 'responding' to allegations that have been changed.
 
The teacher may be used as a puppet to do themselves harm in the official records - falsified records may secretly be made of of the teacher's 'confessions', 'demands' or 'poor professional conduct'.
 
Union organisers may be abused as puppets to 'hear / not hear' what happened at the meeting and to do the teacher harm. QTU organisers seem to feel helpless to prevent this because of the QTU policy of 'no help for a member in conflict with a member'.
 
The teacher may be given verbal assurances which are the opposite of what is written in the official records.
 
  • All Education Queensland meetings to discuss complaints should be tape-recorded and transcribed.
 
  • A copy should be given to each meeting participant.
 
  • This simple strategy would raise the standard of professional conduct and eliminate many workplace problems.
 
  • It would also reduce the need for teachers to make FOI applications for falsified 'meeting notes'.

 

 
Education Queensland officers seem to deal with documents, letters and emails of complaint by 'losing' them or by instructing each other not to read them.
 
The standard of documentation of complaints / reviews / investigations in Education Queensland is appalling.
 
And it puts Queensland teachers at great risk of harm.
 
Education Queensland has a responsibility to protect employees from exposure to the risk of harm because of poor workplace practices.
 
The horror of the incompetence / dysfunction / corruption of the Education Queensland Grievance /  Investigation practices is beyond the powers of belief of any ordinary person.
 
I would suggest that this systemic dysfunction is the cause of many repeated FOI applications.
 
  • If Education Queensland officers documented their activities to a professional standard (as do CMC and Ombudsmen officers) less public time and money would be wasted responding to / avoiding responding to FOI applications.
 
My experience is described in detail at http://www.badapplebullies.com/thefalsifiedrecords.htm
 
 
The  Education Queensland  'investigation process'  does not work -
 
Again and again, the person you are complaining about (or a person under their direct control, or a person who has a conflict of interest in the situation) is allowed to 'investigate' your complaint about their own behaviour.
 
They then write a report 'finding' no evidence of their own bullying.
 
All later decisions are then based on this 'finding'.
 
Your letters of protest are disregarded.
 
When you make an FOI application for the documentation of the 'investigation' of your complaint, the Premier and senior public servants agree that you have written a lot of letters and that they will not read any more of your letters.
 
Then all copies of the first 'investigation' finding are lost by all Queensland Government Departments.
 
When you write to protest that your official record has been falsified, your protest letters are 'lost' or not read.
 
And no public servant can be held responsible for not reading your letters and 'knowing' that your record is being falsified.
 
Because they have all been instructed by the senior officers not to read your letters.
 
 
Strategies used by Investigators / Reviewers
 
An investigator may change the wording of your complaint to avoid investigating the real problem.
 
This seems to be a very common Queensland public service strategy.
 
The record of your complaint / grievance may have been falsified by being 'lost'. In this way the official record of a 120 page complaint can be reduced to three pages.
 
An 'internal reviewer' may have simply copied from documents that he knows to be falsified.  He may have been instructed not to ask questions and find out the real facts. Your own responses to the falsified records may have been ignored.
 
An Internal Reviewer can be instructed to 'infer from the documents'. This gives the Internal reviewer carte blanche to claim to have 'inferred' more or less anything from the documents, even if the evidence in the documents totally contradicts the 'inference' drawn by the reviewer.
 
Official 'investigation reports' may be ambiguous and suggest several different meaning to different readers.
 
What you are told at a meeting about the findings of an investigation may be quite the opposite to the real findings of the investigation. There may not even have been an investigation.
 
 
The word 'investigation" is used carelessly by Education Queensland senior officers.
 
A phone call to a 'mate' is not an investigation.
 
And it is unjust, abusive and deceptive for senior public servants to allow one of the people whose behaviour is the subject of a complaint to organise a tightly controlled 'internal review' - which simply consists of "drawing inferences" from falsified documents, refusing to allow any questions to be asked, refusing to allow the complainants responses to the falsified documents to be considered - and then to describe this in phone calls to other government departments and in the official records as 'an investigation'.
 
I suspect the careless use of the word 'investigation' to describe poor professional practices is the cause of much wasted FOI time.
 
I suspect that FOI officers being are asked to search for the documentation of 'investigations' that were really little more than quick phone calls to a 'mate'.
 
  • The official records of an investigation should contain an accurate copy of the original complaint.
 
  • Reference should be made to the specific document that supports any statement, finding, etc. made in reports. If Education Queensland reports were referenced to a professional standard - the standard expected by universities of their students, for example - it would improve accountability, reduce workplace abuse and greatly reduce the need to make repeated FOI applications for this documentation.
 
  • A copy of all documentation that supports the findings of an investigation should be kept with the investigation report so that it cannot be 'lost'.
 
  • The Education Queensland practice of making 'inferences based on the documents' should stop. It is wide open to abuse.
 
  • When Education Queensland officers make statements of fact in their 'Briefings for the Minister', etc. they need to do this in a more professional manner, identifying the documentary evidence that supports the statements that they are making.
 
  • And when Education Queensland officers claim that 'I am told', or 'I understand' something, a reference should be given to the documentary evidence that supports that claim. This would improve the quality of professional records and reduce time spent searching for documents.
 
 
There are problems with the Education Queensland FOI process .
 
The process takes many years. I am have been waiting since September 2003 for copies of the 'lot of allegations' that the acting school principal stated on 27 November 2000 had been made against me in 'lots of pieces of paper to prove how things may have happened'.
 
When a teacher first makes an FOI application, they know very little about the FOI process, and it is easy for them to be bluffed out of their rights. I now realise that my first application - FOI 2361 - was personal and that I should have been given the documents free of charge in late November 2003.
 
To this date I have not received these FOI documents, despite applying for them over and over again, and paying many application fees. 
 
Several documents that existed in early 2004 have mysteriously vanished during the FOI process.
 
Several 'investigation reports' have also vanished.
 
Education Queensland FOI officers have a practice of suggesting responses to officers who are being asked for documents. They sometimes seem to suggest that respondents simply say that they can't find any documents.
 
Sometimes you suspect that the FOI officer did not even contact the officer concerned.
 
  • All FOI 'searches' should be conducted in writing, and all respondents should be allowed to respond in their own words, because this allows you to check that the FOI officer did actually search for the documents and that the documents that the FOI officers have 'searched' for are the documents that you actually requested.
 
Sometimes Education Queensland Internal Reviewers do not search. They just give you their opinion about the documents. Their comments may be misleading but they know that they cannot be held responsible for their misleading response because they did not search and so they did not 'know' that they were misleading you.
 
One Education Queensland FOI officer to wrote to me one day, accepting my application fee, then write to me the next day, refusing to search for the documents. This is an unjust and abusive practice.
 

Some FOI documents are photocopied half 'off the page' so that the number of the page is missing /  key words / key dates / key names are 'edited out' of the photocopy that is provided to you. So you have to re-apply for a full copy of the document.

 
Some FOI officers choose not to photocopy information on the cover of folders, so that the fact that a Discipline file has been opened on you, for example,  may be concealed from you.
 
  • The covers of all folders should be included in photocopies of FOI documents.
 
FOI Officers are fairly low down on the 'pecking order'. Sometimes they have to ask their superior officers for FOI documents. This seems to be a problem.
 
In my opinion, documents related to bullying and mobbing should be provided free of charge under FOI. Bullying and mobbing are not part of the official duties of a Queensland public servant. They are personal. Documents that you produce in order to protect yourself from bullying and mobbing, and documents that you use as evidence of bullying and mobbing, are also personal. 
 
And allowing the bully administrator to investigate his own behaviour and find 'no evidence of bullying' is not evidence that this was not workplace bullying because 'you were not being bullied'. It is evidence that the mobbing problem is systemic.
 
Two very senior Education Queensland public servants claimed to have lost all emails and letters to and from me over a period of several months. I presume that they lost all of their other official documents as well.
 
You may think that this is an appallingly dysfunctional way to run a Queensland Government Department.
 
  • There is an urgent need to raise the standard of record-keeping in Education Queensland. This level of workplace dysfunction is a waste of public funds and it creates a psychopath-friendly working environment.
 
When I made my first FOI application, the files containing the mass of falsified documents were numbered backwards, so the last page of the last document was number one, etc. Many of these 'documents' were unsigned and undated. They were scribbled by hand on loose scraps of paper and sticky-notes. They concerned events that I knew nothing about - I eventually realised that many were 'records' of entirely imaginary conversations with me, children, parents, other principals and other administrators. These 'records' were not shown to me or discussed with me at the time that they purported to have been written, and when I did receive FOI copies of the documents, the names had all been 'edited out'. There was no document that actually explained what was 'going on' at the school - why all of these falsified 'records' had been secretly placed on my official file. At least one document seemed to be substituted for another. Several documents 'vanished' at various stages of the FOI process.
 
All of this muddle made it really, really difficult for me to comprehend the situation and to develop any kind of concept of what had been 'going on' at the school and what missing documents I should look for.
 
The FOI problem here is not my behaviour in making repeated FOI applications. The problem is my struggle to make sense of the deliberate fasification of my Education Queensland records, and the careless indifference to professional record-keeping and to my welfare that Queensland public servants have demonstrated.
 
 
Education Queensland senior officers seem to abuse Human Rights and Equal Opportunity-trained 'discrimination solicitors' and Aboriginal employees 'in training" to facilitate discrimination and workplace abuse.
 
If you make a complaint about discrimination, and an Education Queensland Human Rights and Equal Opportunity - trained 'discrimination solicitor' is employed to conduct an internal review of your FOI documents, and then quite a lot of your documents vanish during this process, you might suspect that this Human Rights and Equal Opportunity - trained discrimination solicitor is being employed / abused by Education Queensland to facilitate discrimination by losing the evidence of discrimination.
 
And if the employee chosen to investigate your complaint is an Aboriginal 'trainee' with no qualifications in psychology, Law or Education, and if he is asked to 'review' a mass of falsified documents that have been secretly placed on your Education Queensland file, and if he is instructed that he cannot ask any questions to find out the facts, and if he is not given all of your documents, and if he is instructed / persuaded to ignore your responses to the falsified documents - you might think that this Aboriginal employee is being abused.
 
And if you have spent ten years of your life studying to get two good degrees from prestigious universities, and if you have been inspected for a whole day in NSW and placed on the First Primary Promotion List, and if your health and your career are then destroyed in Queensland by an incompetent administrator with malicious gossip and sticky-notes, and if your complaint about this utterly dysfunctional 'decision-making process' is given to an Aboriginal employee 'in training', who has no qualifications in law, psychology or education - you might think that you are also being abused.
 
 
 
Some Infocomm policies and practices facilitate abuse.
 
  • Infocomm officers demand that you prove that a document exists before they will search for it.
 
But under FOI I have found -
  • huge numbers of falsified 'records' that have been secretly placed on my file to my disadvantage.
  • many references to 'lost' investigation reports.
  • and my own documents have been extensively falsified.
In an environment of this nature - where my documents have been so very extensively falsified over such a long period of time - asking me to 'prove' the existence of documents is ridiculous. 
 
  • Infocomm officers need to appreciate that teachers who have been abused at work are not dealing with logic, reality or facts. They are dealing with extensively falsified 'official records'. Anything is possible.
 
 
You may not discover a refererence to a lost / missing / falsified document for several years.
 
Then a FOI document is released which makes reference to the earlier document.
When you apply for this lost / missing / falsified document, Infocomm officers refuse to search for it because they have closed down the FOI search for the period of time during which the lost / missing / falsified document was created.
 
This policy seems to be abusive.
 
  • You should be able to ask for a document, the existence of which has been concealed from you, even if you do not find the evidence of the existence of the document till after the FOI application for that period of time has been declared closed.
 
 
Infocomm officers 'authorise' Education Queensland FOI officers to release documents to you. But they won't send the documents to you themselves.
 
These are the documents that the Education Queensland FOI officers have refused to release to you at least twice previously. Infocomm officers advise you to contact the Education Queensland FOI officers and apply for the documents again. But the documents that the Education Queensland officers eventually send to you may not be the same as the documents that the Infocomm Officers have 'authorised' them to release to you.
 
This seems to me to be an organised 'cop-out' strategy by Infocomm officers. They do not want to be responsible for 'knowing' that the right documents are not being released to you.
 
When you point out that the documents released to you have been falsified, Infocomm and Education Queensland officers then enter into long and improbable explanations to each other and to you of how the changes came about.
 
This all seems to me to be an absolute waste of time. And it facilitates the endless falsification of your FOI documents.
 
  • Infocomm officers should release documents directly to you.
 
 
Education Queensland and Infocomm officers seem to employ abusive strategies to avoid searching for documents.
 
The 'No fishing allowed' strategy. There can be a very significant difference between the search response reported by an Education Queensland officer and the actual words written by the person whose documents are being 'searched'. An FOI applicant needs to make an second FOI application for the documents that record the 'search' conducted by the 'internal reviewer' in order to know if the FOI officer has 'searched' for the correct documents and reported his findings accurately.
 
The 'can we deal with the second application first?' strategy. In this disgracefully abusive strategy the FOI officer / Infocomm officers ask you to wait for the first documents that you asked for till a second, 'broader' FOI application is finalised. They argue that the first documents that you asked for may 'turn up' in response to the second application. You agree to wait. You wait for years. No work is done on the second application for months. The first documents that you asked for do not 'turn up' in the second application. Five years later the FOI / Infocomm officers are still refusing to search for the first documents that you asked for. And, in the meantime, public servants change jobs or retire and the likelihood of the first documents ever being found is hugely reduced.
 
 
The two-stage release strategy. In this strategy the FOI officer "allows" a copy of an email from the bully administrator in which certain statements are made. Then months later, a second email is discovered. It appears to have been sent later on the same day as the first email - but who would really know? - In this second email significant changes are introduced into the 'story'.
 
Or
 
Version 2 of the two-stage release strategy. In version 2 of this strategy, a file of falsified documents are released. The Target responds to these falsified documents. Then a second file containing many of the same documents is released. But this file has been significantly re-organised, and undated, unsigned handwritten notes have been made on the original documents, intrducing significant changes to the official 'story'.
 
 
The 'am I understanding you correctly?' strategy. This Infocomm strategy is really draining and it can be used to delay your application for as long as a year. It consists of re-writing the applicant's review application so that it is unrecognisable. Then asking the applicant to confirm that this is the application that they are making in the next eight days or they will lose all of their FOI rights. The applicant then has to 'drop everything' and struggle for hours to find any relationship between their own original application and this strange document.  Finally the applicant comes up with Hybrid version 2 of their own application. They mail it off and hear nothing for months. They receive no documents. Suddenly yet another unrecognisable version of their review application arrives. And again they are asked to confirm in the next eight days that this is the application that they want to make or lose all of their FOI rights. Again they 'drop everything' and work for hours, comparing their own original document with this unrecognisable document. Finally they come up with Hybrid version 3 of their FOI application. They mail it off and again hear nothing for months. Finally one or two documents arrive.
 
  • This continual re-writing of applications must consume a lot of the time of the FOI officers. I would respectfully suggest that Infocomm consider simplifying the FOI process for the applicant, be more accepting of layman's concepts and original languge, and thereby reduce their own workload. 
 
Actually, I think that the Infocomm officers are so highly trained that they genuinely do not realise the demands that the FOI process makes on the skills of an ordinary person. They can become a tad 'snappy' and impatient with the bumbling efforts of applicants at times. I have a good Master's degree in linguistics and I have found making FOI applications demanding. It must be very, very hard for somebody who is less literate and who has less time.

 

The Queensland public service  promotion system is psychopath-friendly.

 
The Education Queensland promotion system, for example, favours glib talkers who 'interview well'. Psychopaths are glib talkers. Glib talkers may not really comprehend the words that they are babbling. They may not apply the words to their own behaviour. They may not comprehend what other people say to them. They may not be willing readers or writers.
 
When faced with a problem, glib talkers may not bother to read the official Education Queensland policies related to the problem. They may just ring somebody at the District Office and ask for their advice.
 
This 'verbal advice seeking' is a waste of the time of the District officers.
 
It also functions as a grooming strategy.
 
The advice given by the District Officers is based on the glib talker's version of the situation. If a grievance is later made about the consequences of the advice, the district office staff are compromised and may feel obliged to protect the glib talker who followed their advice.
 
  • There is a need for teachers who are seeking promotion to demonstrate an understanding of the Education Queensland official policies before they are allowed to 'act' as principals. By this I mean some sort of written test that teachers seeking promotion have read the offical Education Queensland polices, understand the polices and can apply the policies. If a person is not willing to read the Education Queensland policies and demonstrate a basic understanding of the policies, they should not be considered for promotion.
 
  • Then, when promoted, they should be expected to follow the policies and to be accountable for their own actions.
 
  • District office staff should not become involved in giving 'advice' on policies over the phone. This is a waste of time and public funds. It also facilitates workplace abuse. At the very most District officers should refer principals to the relevant policy documents.
 
Problems with the Queensland public service promotion system are impacting on Freedom of Information.
 
My experience suggests to me that the Labor Party is vulnerable to people who join the party because it is a quick and easy way to gain rapid public service promotion. 
 
Joining the Labor Party seems to be a quicker and easier way for public servants to gain promotion than studying for a Master's degree in Education, Administration or Law. And much quicker than making the effort to read the Official Policies of their Department.
 
Public servants who are members of the Labor Party seem to be very rapidly promoted.
 
And their inexperience and incompetence may render the Queensland public service dysfunctional and put other Queensland public servants at risk of workplace harm or abuse.
 
 
 
Members of Parliament who are on the Committee that selects a new Information Commissioner should carefully consider whether they have a conflict of interest in the situation.
 
If, for example, a Member of Parliament's husband, their husband's boss and their campaign manager are the subject of current Infocomm searches, and if one of the people being considered for the position is the wife of their husband's boss, the Member of Parliament may consider that they have a conflict of interest.
 
 
 
And If you are the person searching for these documents, and if your documents are not searched for and not found, you might also consider that there was a conflict of interest in this appointment.
 
 
Yours sincerely,
 
(Name and contact details given)

Media Release : Wednesday 7 November, 2007

MEDIA RELEASE : WEDNESDAY 7 NOVEMBER, 2007

Queensland Teachers Easily Bullied Out of Work.

Ban Bullying at Work Day will be celebrated in England on Wednesday 7 November.

What will we celebrate in Queensland?

In schools and District Offices all over Queensland, Education Queensland administrators can quietly celebrate how very easy it is to bully Queensland teachers into ill health and out of work.

My advice to any Queensland teacher who is dealing with workplace bullying would be - go directly to a solicitor as soon as the bullying begins.

The Education Queensland "official processes" are utterly dysfunctional and your health and your career can easily be destroyed in a couple of days with malicious gossip and sticky-notes.

On 23 June 2002 I met Anna Bligh, Minister of Education, and Jim Varghese, Director-General of Education.

I told them that the Queensland Teachers Union had advised me that there was systemic abuse of the Diminished Workplace Performance Process (now called the Managing Unsatisfactory Performance Process).

And that, when a Queensland teacher was bullied at work, the union's only advice was that there was no hope of justice and to "accept the things you cannot change".

 

Anna Bligh already seemed to know more about the situation than I did -

 

On 3 November 2000 I was working as a specialist teacher in a Queensland state school.

I asked the acting principal to support me in saying that too many children were missing from the Grade 7 classrooms.

Unsupervised groups of Grade 7 children were roaming about the school, disrupting other classes.

The acting principal advised me to discuss the situation at a staff meeting.

She put it on the white-board agenda for discussion at the next staff meeting.

But, at the start of the staff meeting, the acting principal made certain statements concerning me to the staff.

Five years later, in November 2005, after many, many Freedom of Information applications, I discovered copies of some scribbled notes on two loose scraps of paper.

In these scribbled notes, the acting principal claimed that she had made the statements concerning me to the staff because of allegations made about me in "notes to Leigh from Desley".

The allegations made by "Desley" must have been serious because the acting principal stated on the loose scraps of paper that "I further said that as far as I was concerned, humiliating students was a disciplinary offence by teachers."

FOI 2421 F 39-40 and also 2733 F 24-25

I was deeply shocked by what seemed to me to be the irrational and unprofessional conduct of the acting principal at the staff meeting.

The shock of her behaviour made me ill.

I sought advice on how to deal with the acting principal's seemingly irrational behaviour.

I was advised by the union, the staff welfare officer, my doctor and two specialist advisory teachers to ask for a mediated meeting with the acting principal.

During the mediated meeting the acting principal "stated that there were a lot of allegations, and that she had lots of pieces of paper to prove how things may have happened".

FOI 2421 F 31 and also 2733 F 32, notes made by the acting deputy principal and placed on my official departmental record at some unknown time, but concealed from me till after 27 April, 2004

Two days after the mediated meeting, I was given a letter to advise me that both the acting principal and the usual principal (who had been on leave all term and who had never discussed the situation with me) had decided that I would be in a punishment program (the "Diminished Workplace Performance program") the next year.

But no mention was ever made to me of "Desley" or of her allegations.

To this day Education Queensland refuse to explain who "Desley" is or what her allegations were.

This utterly irrational decision-making process is described in detail at http://www.badapplebullies.com/investigations.htm

The decision to punish me was clearly made in breach of Natural Justice, the DWP process, the Education Queensland Code of Conduct and the Public Service Regulations.

But, to this day, Education Queensland refuse to strike the decision off my Departmental record.

 

The shock of the bullying, the threats, and the advice that there was no hope of justice made me ill.

I discovered that I had a hearing loss and I very gratefully accepted ill health retirement in July 2002.

At the time of my retirement I was repeatedly assured that the bullying was under control.

I believed these assurances and I was very relieved that the situation had been resolved "informally".

 

But then I began to realise that I had been tricked.

At 5:44 on Wednesday, 26 February 2003, I sent an email to Peter Beattie, explaining what was "going on", and that the situation involved local members of the Labor party.

I described the significant conflict of interest that was affecting the District Office investigation of my complaint.

At 2:06 PM on Sunday, 29 June 2003, I sent the email to Peter Beattie again.

The Public Service Commissioner still has copies of my emails to Peter Beattie.

You can see them at the bottom of FOI OPS 70524 FOLIO 23.

 

On 16 October 2003 Peter Beattie, Rachel Hunter, Jeff Loof and George O'Farrell all signed a "Chief of Staff briefing note".

They all agreed that I had written a lot of letters and that they were not going to respond to my letters.

There is no mention in the "Chief of Staff briefing note" of what my letters were actually about.

It is a pretty amazing thing to hold in your hand such a document, signed with a big swirling signature by Peter Beattie, the Premier who once said that any Queensland public servant who was being bullied should write to him.

 

On November 18, 2006 I wrote to pretty well all of the Directors-General in Queensland, sending them a list of all of the falsified "records" that I had found hidden in my files.

Many of these "Official Records" were little more than scribbles on a jumble of undated, unsigned, loose scraps of paper and sticky-notes.

They seem to "record" imaginary conversations with me or concerning me.

Many of my documents "vanished" during the Freedom of Information process.

 

During the year since I wrote to the Directors-General, Education Queensland seem to have been involved in a "process" of carefully doing nothing whatsoever.

 

On November 23 2006 I met Ken Smith.

He advised me to write to Rachel Hunter, the new Director-General, explaining what I wanted.

 

I wrote to Rachel Hunter and explained that -

I want to know what the allegations were in the "notes to Leigh from Desley".

I want to see copies of the "lot of allegations" in the "lots of pieces of paper to prove how things may have happened".

I want to have the opportunity to respond to these allegations, and to prove myself innocent.

And I want all copies of

  • the decision to punish me and
  • the decision to dismiss my complaint about the abuse of the DWP process

marked to acknowledge that these two decisions were made in breach of Natural Justice, the DWP process, the Education Queensland Code of Conduct and the Public Service Regulations (and also, in the case of the second document, the Education Queensland Grievance process), and that these two decisions have been officially "struck off" my departmental record.

If all copies of these two documents are marked in this way, I will not make any claim for compensation for the seven years that I have wasted waiting for Education Queensland to complete their utterly incompetent "official processes".

I won't feel "satisfied".

On the contrary, I will feel that Education Queensland are appalling employers.

But I will gladly forgo all compensation if Education Queensland will finally admit that a "mistake" was made seven years ago.

My good name means a lot to me.

 

(I included my real name and all contact details in the emails detailed below.)

 

Copies of this Press Release were emailed to:

  • Anna Bligh, Premier of Queensland
  • Ken Smith, Director-General, Department of the Premier and Cabinet
  • Rachel Hunter, Director-General, Department of Education
  • Rod Welford, Minister of Education

 

  • Brad Swan, Director-General (Acting), Department of Child Safety
  • Linda Apelt, Director-General, Department of Communities
  • Frank Rockett, Director-General, Department of Corrective services
  • Barry Leahy, Director-General (Acting), Department of Employment and Industrial Relations
  • Uschi Schreiber, Director-General, Queensland Health
  • Julie Grantham, Director-General (Acting), Department of Justice and Attorney-General
  • Bob Atkinson APM, Commissioner of Police, Queensland Police Service
  • Jim Varghese, Director-General, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries
  • Robert Needham, Chairperson, Crime and Misconduct Commission
  • Rachael Rangihaeata, Acting Information Commissioner
  • David Bevan, Queensland Ombudsman
  • James Purtill, Public Service Commissioner

 

Members of the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Commission -

  • Paul Hoolihan, ALP, Chairperson, Member for Keppel
  • Simon Finn, ALP, Member for Yeerongpilly
  • Christine Smith, ALP, Member for Burleigh
  • Dean Wells, ALP, Member for Murrumba
  • Jack Dempsey, NPA, Member for Bundaberg
  • Howard Hobbs, NPA, Member for Warrego
  • Elizabeth Cunningham, IND, Member for Gladstone

 

State Members of Parliament

  • Julie Attwood, ALP, Member for Mount Ommaney
  • Veronica Barry, ALP, Member for Aspley
  • Chris Bombolas, ALP, Member for Chatsworth
  • Desley Boyle, ALP, Member for Cairns
  • Michael Wai-Man Choi, ALP, Member for Capalaba
  • Peta-Kaye Croft, ALP, Member for Broadwater
  • Andrew Fraser, ALP
  • Margaret Keech, ALP
  • Paul Lucas, ALP
  • Andrew McNamara, ALP
  • John Mickel, ALP
  • Tim Mulherin, ALP
  • Lindy Nelson-Carr, ALP
  • Warren Pitt, ALP
  • Neil Roberts, ALP
  • Stephen Robertson, ALP
  • Robert Schwarten, ALP
  • Kerry Shine, ALP
  • Judy Spence, ALP
  • Craig Wallace, ALP

 

  • Stuart Copeland, NPA : Member for Cunningham
  • Fiona Simpson, NPA : Member for Maroochydore
  • Andrew Cripps, NPA : Member for Hinchinbrook

 

  • Steve Dickson, LIB : Member for Kawana
  • Glen Elmes, LIB : Member for Noosa
  • Bruce Flegg, LIB : Member for Moggill
  • John-Paul Langbroek, LIB, Member for Surfers Paradise
  • Mark McArdle, LIB, Member for Caloundra
  • Tim Nicholls, LIB, Member for Clayfield
  • Ray Stevens, LIB, Member for Robina
  • Jann Stuckey, LIB, Member for Currumbin

 

Federal Members of Parliament.

  • Kevin Rudd 

I also wrote a letter to Kevin Rudd on 12 September, 2007.

  • Kate Ellis
  • Ross Vasta
  • Arch Bevis
  • De-Anne Kelly
  • Peter Dutton
  • Alex Somlyay
  • Peter Slipper
  • Ian Macfarlane
  • P. Neville
  • Bob Katter
  • Warren Entsch
  • Wayne Swan
  • Bruce Scott
  • Alexander Downer
  • Margaret May
  • Gary Hardgrave
  • Joe Hockey
  • Bernie Ripoll
  • T. Gambaro
  • Michael Johnson
  • W. Truss

 

  • The Queensland Public Service Union
  • The Queensland Council of Unions
  • WorkCover Queensland

 

Gary Barnes - Please support my request that all decisions concerning me that were based on falsified "records" be officially struck off my Department of Education files.

From:
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2007 1:31 PM
Subject: Message for Gary Barnes, ADG Strategic Human Resources, Education Queensland

 
Mr Barnes,
 
I met you at the QTU conference.
 
To this day I have had no response to my email to you below.
 
On Monday 20 November 2006 I met Peter Edwards at Mary Street.
 
Peter Edwards knew almost nothing about my complaint.
 
He told me repeatedly that he had been given a "brief" that only allowed him to "know about" what appeared to be a folder of falsified documents that I had found under Freedom Of Information (FOI).
 
I asked Peter Edwards who had given him this "brief".
 
He did not respond.
 
I can only presume that _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ , the person whose behaviour I was complaining about, was allowed to limit the investigation into his behaviour to an investigation of this one folder of documents.
 
But I had provided many other documents to the Verifact investigator.
 
The investigator knew perfectly well that I wanted to know what the allegations were in the "notes to Leigh from Desley" that (I named the acting principal who had bullied me) claimed had prompted her behaviour towards me.
 
I wanted to be allowed to respond to these allegations and to have the opportunity to prove myself innocent.
 
To this date I have not been allowed to know what these allegations were.
 
Mr Barnes, please identify the Education Queensland employee who is controlling the "brief" that Peter Edwards was given, and check that he or she has no conflict of interest in this situation.
 
I have provided a page on my website for public servants to ensure that you cannot be fooled with misinformation.
 
 
I will send this email via the Premiers Office because emails that I send to to Education Queensland fail to arrive.
 
 
Yours Sincerely,
 
 
_ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _
 
 
 
----- Original Message -----
From:
Sent: Monday, November 13, 2006 10:21 AM
Subject: Message for Gary Barnes, ADG Strategic Human Resources and List of falsified documents attached.

 
Mr Barnes,
 
I met Jim Varghese, Director-General of Education, and Anna Bligh, Minister of Education, on 23 June 2002 at the Cairns Community Cabinet meeting.
 
I told them that there was systemic abuse of the Education Queensland Diminished Workplace Performance (DWP)  and Grievance procedures to bully and intimidate Queensland teachers.
 
I told them that, when Queensland teachers are bullied, the Queensland Teachers' Union (QTU) advises them that there is no hope of justice because the Department of Education Grievance process does not work.
 
Concerning the Submission for Action Director-General of Education and the Arts 05/36216 that you signed on either 11 or 15 May 2005.
 
You agreed that no further correspondence would be entered into concerning my complaint to the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) about the abuse.
 
Because of your decision the Department of Education were able to disregard my complaints that the internal review was based on the falsified documents that I have attached to this email.
 
Did you realise that  _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ , the person who wrote the submission, was the person whose behaviour I had been complaining to the CMC about since 2003?
 
Do you think that  _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _  made that clear in his submission?
 
Do you realise that  _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _  was allowed to control the "internal review" into my complaint about the workplace bullying - and that the "internal reviewer" just copied from the falsified documents?
 
Do you realise that  _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _  appointed an "independent" investigator in Cairns and organised a search of the Cairns District Office even though everybody knew that the falsified documents had been sent to Brisbane?
 
Do you realise that I still haven't been allowed to read the "independent investigation report"?
 
Do you feel in any way responsible for this systemic abuse?
 
 
Mr Barnes, please support my request that Rachel Hunter, the Director-General of Education, officially strike all falsified documentation
 
- and all decisions based on falsified documentation -
 
from my Departmental file.
 
And take action to protect all Queensland classroom teachers from this sort of systemic abuse.
 
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
-------------------------------
 

John Battams, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union (QTU) - Email sent August 2, 2007, 7:32 PM

John Battams, General Secretary, QTU

August 2, 2007

 

Hello John,

I have attached a letter to the Ombudsman.

I would appreciate some legal advice on Education Queensland's continuing refusal to allow me Natural Justice.

I want to know what the allegations were against me in the notes to Leigh from Desley.

I want to have my responses to these allegations considered.

I want the opportunity to be found innocent of these allegations.

And to have the decisions based on these allegations officially struck off my departmental record.

I am isolated in my small community because people who would normally be my friends have been warned not to talk to me.

I used to be a member of ... ’s branch of the Labor Party.

Now one member of that group waves his fist in my face and shouts "up the workers!" whenever he meets me in town.

I feel very unsafe.

I cannot "move on" because I do not know what is in the many documents and investigation reports that are still being concealed from me.

The "Bad Apple Bully-Mob" do not mean me well.

My Department of Education records have been extensively falsified.

I am afraid to "move on" in case they suddenly produce their hidden allegations.

...

Rachel Hunter : Letter dated 14 December 2006.

Ms Rachel Hunter, Director-General,

Department of Education, Training and the Arts,

Level 22, Education House,

PO Box 15033,

City East,

QLD 4002

 

14 December 2006

Dear Ms Hunter,

I am not sure if you are aware of my meeting with Ken Smith on Thursday 23 November 2006.

During this meeting Mr Smith advised me to write to you and tell you exactly what I wanted:

 

1) First I want you to take responsibility for dealing with my complaint about systemic bullying, mobbing and abuse of Queensland teachers.

Mr Smith told me that he did not feel responsible for dealing with my complaint because he had more serious issues to deal with.

I think that the systemic abuse of Queensland teachers is a very serious issue and I believe (and all other public servants and Queensland government ministers tell me) that it is the responsibility of the Director-General of Education to deal with this issue.

I would appreciate it if you would read -

  • My letter to the PCMC dated 16 July 2006. This will give you a brief outline of my complaint.

 

  • The list of falsified and concealed documents that I have found (or found to be mentioned in other documents but missing) under FOI. I left a copy of this list for you at the reception desk of Education House on the morning of Thursday 23 November 2006.

 

2) Then I would appreciate it if you would instruct the DEA and Infocomm FOI officers to ... provide me with the FOI documents that I have been requesting since September 2003.

On Wednesday 24 September 2003 I emailed InformationPrivacy@qed.qld.gov.au -

"In late 2000 a fellow teacher warned me that the acting principal at my school had been boasting that she was going to put me on DWP if "it" continued. I did not know that there was any issue at that stage. ...

I asked her to attend an arbitrated meeting with the local union organiser to sort out the problems between us. She said she would meet me to discuss putting me on DWP. I said I would make a grievance. The union organiser told me there was no hope of justice. She put me on DWP. ..."

 

"How do I go about finding out why I was put on DWP? ..."

 

On 29 September 2003 EXECLEGL emailed to advise me that my email had been forwarded to Education Queensland's freedom of Information Coordinator, Ms Stephannie Kalas. They asked me to contact Stephannie by email.

At 5:24 PM on 29/09/2003 I emailed Stephannie-

" ... In her letter to me Lynch-Mob State College acting principal Mrs GR said she had concerns about my relationship with children.

Seven teachers put their names on a list and met with Mrs GR.

They told her there was no problem with my management of children.

They had seen me teach.

She hadn't (for the past twelve months).

She told them it was not my management of children.

There was another, SECRET reason for me being put on DWP.

The acting deputy said, 'We want to change the way that (my name) is thinking.' ..."

 

On 30 September 2003 Matt Woodforth , DEA FOI, sent a search request (FOI 2733 J 49) to Principal Advisor- Regional Services Ms CHR of The District Office. -

"The applicant is seeking access to any and all documents concerning her being placed on diminished work performance ... "

 

The document records that Ms CHR prepared 2 files of documents but that at some stage someone changed the number 2 into a 1.

Ms CHR mailed the file(s) to Matt Woodforth on 15/10/03.

I now realise that this was a personal FOI application and that these documents should have been provided to me free of charge 45 days later.

But actually Stephannie Kalas advised me that-

"... under the FOI ACT and Regulation, you must pay the $33.50 application fee before we can commence processing your application. ... Once that fee is received, there is an hourly charge of $20. ..."

I sent the application fee but I was so worried about the cost of the documents that I asked the FOI officers to put my application "on hold" while I waited for the ADCQ, the Ombudsman and the CMC to investigate my complaint.

David Turner closed my FOI application down.

This was FOI 2361.

 

  • I request any FOI 2361 documents that have not been released to me to this date for any reason.

 

As soon as I realised that the FOI officers had closed down my application, I made another application.

This was FOI 2421.

I did receive many of these 2421 documents during 2004, but several 2421 documents have been refused to me to this date.

When I asked for an external review of the refusal to provide me with these 2421 documents, my application was delayed for two years and then forcibly declared "finalised" by Infocomm despite my strong protests.

 

  • I request any FOI 2421 document that has not been released to me to this date for any reason.

 

I have listed many of the missing documents in The - - - - - - List (of falsified / concealed documents).

I also listed many missing documents in -

The - - - - - -  Report 2000-2003 Simplified List of Missing Documents prepared for Matt Woodforth on 11/05/2006

and

The - - - - - -  Report 2004 Simplified List of Missing Documents prepared for Matt Woodforth on 11/05/2006.

  • I request any document concerning or related to the decision to put me on DWP that has been concealed from me / not released to me to this date.

 

  • I request a copy of any report / investigation / review etc. concerning or related to me that has been concealed from / not released to me to this date.

 

  • I particularly request a copy of any Stage 1 or Stage 2 Grievance investigation report / or any other report concerning or related to me that was prepared by Lynch-Mob State College usual principal Mr EL.

 

  • I request that all searches be conducted in writing and that I be provided with copies of these written documents. I make this request because I have found in the past that sometimes the FOI officers have not asked for the documents that I have requested or that the FOI officer's version of the response is very significantly different to the original response. This comment does not relate to the work of Matt Woodforth.

I consider my application to be personal because it relates to bullying by two Departmental officers and to subsequent mobbing by almost every other DEA officer.

Bullying and Mobbing are not part of the official duties of DEA officers.

They are personal.

If I had been given the 2361 documents in the proper manner I probably would not have had to make any further FOI requests.

This FOI request is the outcome of the systemic mobbing by DEA officers and other Queensland public servants and of the refusal of ... to provide me with the FOI documents that I requested in September 2003.

I enclose a cheque for $35.25, but this should not be interpreted as agreement that my application is "not personal".

I am paying this fee only because the FOI officers refuses to accept my applications if I do not pay the application fee.

And I agree to pay all FOI charges.

I do not agree that I should have to pay for personal documents but I agree that I am going to be forced to pay because I know that if I do not agree to pay ... will abuse this as yet another strategy to delay my FOI application.

 

Because I know that my earlier FOI applications will be abused as strategies to refuse / delay this application, probably for several years, I hereby withdraw all of my earlier internal and external FOI applications.

 

The Education Queensland FOI officers have had most of the documents concerning and related to the decision to put me on DWP since October 2003.

There really cannot be any excuse for delaying this FOI application.

 

Ms Hunter, I request that you take personal responsibility for ensuring that all concealed / not released / falsified / or other documents concerning or related to Lynch-Mob State College acting principal Mrs GR and usual principal Mr EL and "we all" 's decision to put me on DWP in 2001 are released to me promptly 45 days from this date.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

To this date, 21 February, 2009, I have not received these missing documents.

Rachel Hunter, Director-General of Education Queensland, has not replied to my letter to this date, 21 February, 2009.

 

Public Service Commissioner George O'Farrell - can it really be Queensland government policy to destroy the health and career of good Queensland classroom teachers?

Mr. George O’Farrell

Public Service Commissioner

Office of Public Service Merit and Equity

PO Box 15190

City East,

Brisbane Q 4002

 

June 7 2006

 

Dear Mr. O’Farrell,

During Term 4 2000, Lynch-Mob State College acting principal Mrs GR abused the Education Queensland Diminished Workplace Performance (DWP) process to harass me.

The stress of dealing with Mrs GR’s irrational and impulsive behaviour made me ill.

I was very grateful to be allowed to retire on the grounds of ill health in July 2002.

On 22/08/2003 Rachel Hunter, Public Service Commissioner, requested a brief regarding correspondence received by the Premier from me.

On 15/09/2003 Ken Smith wrote a letter in response.

He enclosed a Briefing Note for the Minister of Education dated 8 August 2003 prepared by the Principal Advisor - Regional Services, Ms CHR of The Cairns District Office.

 

Lynch-Mob State School acting principal Mrs GR had not been into my classroom or looked at my program during the twelve months before she attacked me.

Seven teachers who had seen me teach for periods of up to two years asked for a formal meeting with Mrs GR and told her that she was making a mistake, that there was no problem with my work.

Mrs GR, I understand, told the teachers that there were "secret other reasons" why she "had to" put me on DWP.

 

In September 2003 I made an FOI application for the documents that explained the "secret other reasons" why Mrs GR "had to" put me on DWP.

During 2004 FOI documents were slowly released to me and I discovered that a huge mass of falsified documents had been secretly placed on my Departmental Record.

 

  • Many of these "documents" are sticky-notes.

 

  • Some of these sticky-notes concern incidents that have nothing to do with me.

 

  • They appear to concern the behaviour of a casual teacher or a scripture teacher.

 

  • Some are untruthful records of conversations / imaginary conversations that Mrs GR seems to have believed that she was having with me.

 

  • Other sticky notes record imaginary conversations that Mrs GR seems to have believed that she was having with other principals, parents and children concerning me.

 

  • Changes seem to have been made to the documents during 2004, while they were supposedly locked in "secure storage" in the office of  the Principal Advisor - Regional Services, Ms CHR of The District Office.

 

  • Claims made in some sticky-notes contradict claims made in other sticky-notes.

 

  • There is no document that actually explains what was "going on" at Lynch-Mob State College during Term 4 2000, just a jumble of loose sticky-notes and loose pieces of paper, often unsigned and undated.

 

  • I am still waiting for many documents to be released.

 

I would be particularly interested in a copy of 2421 F 28-32:

 

"Notes of meeting between Mrs GR, Lynch-Mob State College acting deputy principal Miss AL, Lynch-Mob State College usual principal Mr EL and (my name) on 27/11/00."

 

Lynch-Mob State College usual principal Mr EL was not at this 27 October 2000 meeting.

The local Queensland Teachers' Union (QTU)  organiser was at the meeting.

 

I eventually discovered Principal Advisor - Regional Services, Ms CHR of The Cairns District Office's Briefing Note for the Minister among the FOI documents.

I emailed a response to the note to the Education Queensland "Internal Reviewer" on Monday 2 August 2004 at 4:29pm.

On Tuesday 3 August 2004 I also emailed my response to Ken Smith, the Ombudsman and the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC).

On 14 November 2004 I updated the response because I had realised that the "Action Officer" was Principal Advisor - Regional Services, Ms CHR of The Cairns District Office.

I enclose that 14 November 2004 response and a copy of the original Briefing Note.

I would like to make the following additional points-

A)

The Cairns District Director stated in late 2004 that he:

" ... thought he recalled a conversation at Lynch-Mob State College with Mrs GR about you several years ago, he said that discussion of your performance would have arisen in the course of one of his regular school visits ...

he is certain that he has no notes of any such conversation, as the issue discussed was diminished work performance, which is a process conducted by the school, and would not have required his keeping any record."

Letter from Margaret Newbery, Infocomm to me dated 14 December 2004

 

... On 19 December 2004 I wrote to Margaret Newbery to explain the implications of this statement:

 

(There seemed to be a conflict of interest in The District Office)

" (Mrs GR and The Cairns District Director) had planned to put me  ... on DWP during the run-up to the February 2001 state election.

I still struggle to believe or to comprehend this situation.

I can only presume that The Cairns District Director and Mrs GR gossiped about me when they met at ... social events.

On 9 March 2005, a few weeks after I had written to Margaret Newberry, I read in the Courier-Mail that ... .

In my opinion, ... had a conflict of interest. ..."

 

  • I draw to your attention that Principal Advisor - Regional Services, Ms CHR of The Cairns District Office did not make ... (the conflict of interest in the Cairns District office) ... clear in her Briefing for the Minister.

 

B)

At 7:25 PM on the evening of 19 November 2004 Mrs GR sent an email to the Education Queensland Human Rights and Equal Opportunity-trained "Discrimination Solicitor" (who was acting as "Internal Reviewer of my Freedom of Information applications) in which she claimed, for the first time:

"that I have realised that discussions with a second "Senior Departmental Officer" could also be noted.

I believe there could be notes on file regarding advice given by the Principal Advisor - Regional Services, Ms CHR of The Cairns District Office with respect to a letter given to me by (my name) - along with copies of the letter and my response to (my name). ...

At the time the Principal Advisor - Regional Services, Ms CHR of The Cairns District Office informed me she was noting the conversation, ... "

(2703 File C document 61)

 

This "new Principal Advisor - Regional Services, Ms CHR of The Cairns District Office story" is not entirely convincing. 

  •  The Education Queensland Human Rights and Equal Opportunity-trained "Discrimination Solicitor" appears to have responded to Mrs GR’s email, but he made no mention of this new "Principal Advisor - Regional Services, Ms CHR of The Cairns District Office notes" situation in his letter to Anne Lindon, Infocomm, a few days later - on 29 November 2004, which seems very odd.

 

  • The existence of the Mrs GR / Education Queensland Human Rights and Equal Opportunity-trained "Discrimination Solicitor" emails concerning Ms CHR of The Cairns District Office was concealed from me till September 2005, almost five years after the events.

 

  • I am not clear what "letter given to me by (my name)" this conversation concerned.

 

  • And the notes on file cannot be located by the FOI officers.

 

But in a Submission for Action by the Director-General written on 4 November 2004 (2703 B 10) John Ryan stated that:

"Often advice to senior officers was not from a source that could be perceived to be independent of the issue."

I presume that this was a reference to the behaviour of either The Cairns District Director or Ms CHR of The Cairns District Office.

 

  • I draw to your attention to the fact that if this new story is true, Principal Advisor - Regional Services, Ms CHR of The Cairns District Office should have made her own involvement in the situation clear in her Briefing Note for the Minister.

 

C)

If you refer to my enclosed letter dated March 30 2006 to Peter Beattie you will note that I advised Department of Education and the Arts (DEA) officers on 26 March 2004 that my documents had been falsified.

And on or around July 2 2004 the CMC handed the DEA material related to a second misconduct investigation based on my response to some of the falsified documents.

(Letter to me from Russell Pearce, CMC dated 10 April 2005).

 

And John Ryan’s diary dated Tuesday 17 August 2004 records:

 

"Eve Gardiner : (my name) - Falsifying documents.

Told Eve would be finalised by 25/28 August 2004."

(Attached to 18 May 2006 letter to me from Susan Barker, Infocomm).

     

  • So, on 17 August 2004 senior DEA and CMC officers were fully aware that my documents were falsified and they had discussed finalising the report on the falsified documents the next week.

 

But on October 11 2004 the Education Queensland "Internal Reviewer" finalised a review based on these falsified documents.

  • And the senior DEA and CMC officers, knowing the review was based on falsified documents, accepted the Education Queensland "Internal Reviewer’s" finding that no evidence of bullying could be found in the falsified documents.

 

A few days later Lynch-Mob State College acting principal Mrs GR was celebrated in the Parliament House Annex as ... .

Then in late 2005 an external investigator was appointed, I understand, to investigate my complaint about the falsification of the documents on which the Education Queensland "Internal Reviewer’s" Internal Review was based.

You might consider it to be ridiculous for these senior DEA and CMC officers to accept a review that they knew was based on falsified documents and then, one year later, to begin to investigate the falsification of the documents on which the review was based.

But this, it appears, is the Queensland CMC / DEA "investigation process".

The external investigator is only allowed to see documents that I give him.

But I don’t know the Terms of Reference to the investigation so I don’t know which documents to give him.

And I am still being refused copies of FOI documents that I requested in September 2003.

 

D)

Finally, Mr. O’ Farrell, I draw your attention to my Notes for the Staff Meeting on November 10 2000. 

Lynch-Mob State College acting principal Mrs GR had herself advised me to speak to the staff about the disruptions to my Grade 7 LOTE classes.

This was the first time that I had spoken to the staff at this school.

I spoke for no more than five minutes.

Several teachers said afterwards that I had spoken very well.

They told me that I had made my point very calmly and clearly.

It was because of this speech -so short, so simple, so clear, so calm - that Mrs GR seems to have decided to destroy my health and my career.

Mrs GR’s behaviour during the meeting on 27/11/00 suggested that she had a mental or emotional problem.

The Queensland Teacher's Union organiser told me there was no hope of a just outcome from a Grievance .

"He said he had never known a Grievance made by a teacher to be upheld.

... I was very shocked.

I struggled to believe that I could be bullied in this way.

... During this second half of the meeting I said very little.

I sat in shocked silence.

I did nothing to provoke Mrs GR.

Suddenly she turned on me and began to say very slowly and with great malice,

 

"I feel so sorry for you, (my name).

You must be feeling so awful.

I really hate to do this to you, (my name).

I feel so sorry for you, (my name)."

 

She chanted it though once more.

The words had obviously been chosen carefully because when they are written down they seem so innocuous, but the malice with which the words were spoken made the message one of extreme menace.

Nobody else said anything.

It was electrifying.

While she was chanting I was thinking, "Fruitcake! Fruitcake! Fruitcake!" like a car alarm, because Mrs GR seemed to be over the edge into obvious mental instability.

I was amazed that she felt free to behave in this sort of way in front of the QTU organiser and acting deputy principal Miss AL. ..."

(Complaint to the ADCQ, emailed to Janice McFadden (ADCQ officer), CMC and Ombudsman Saturday 3 January 2004 5:20pm, received by the CMC on Sunday 4 January 4:24pm.

This complaint was handed by the CMC to the Department of Education for investigation on 11/02/2004.)

 

I also draw your attention to the notes made of the meeting 27/11/00 by Lynch-Mob State College acting deputy principal Miss AL.

During this meeting Mrs GR repeatedly refused to listen to my response to her "allegations".

When Mrs GR complained about :

... "Asking students to repeat statements about going to the toilet."

Miss AL records that :

"(My name) again began to argue the point. ..."

2421 F 032 Meeting with (my name), the QTU organiser, Lynch-Mob State College acting principal Mrs GR, and acting deputy principal Miss AL, 27th November 2000, notes made by Miss AL

 

Note that Miss AL disregards my actual response.

She is unable to re-state it.

Either Miss AL deliberately edited my response out of her "record", or Miss AL was not actually listening to my response.

I was trying to explain that the child had a problem with toileting (although Mrs GR was already fully aware of this problem) and that I was teaching him a listening skill "re-stating" which was an accepted strategy.

It is even suggested in "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" which was the DEA bible at that time.

I had already tried to explain this to Lynch-Mob State College acting principal Mrs GR one month earlier in The Incident at City Place.

" ... I told him that if he had a medical reason for going to the toilet he had my permission to go freely at any time, he did not have to put his hand up and wait to get permission.

He began to protest and argue with me and I suspected that he had not attended to what I had said.

I asked him to tell back to me what I had said to him.

He had not been attending and had thought that I had said he could not go to the toilet.

I realised that he was too emotional to be thinking logically so I asked him to listen again and repeat what I said after me.

I understood this to be a common technique to encourage listening as opposed to self-listening.

2469 File F Lynch-Mob State College usual principal Mr EL's file of Stage 1 Grievance documents, document 77, numbers at top right hand corner of document.

 

When I tried to explain this again during the meeting on 27 November 2000 Mrs GR said:

"It’s not about academically arguing each point.' ... "

2421 F 032 Meeting with (my name), the QTU organiser, Lynch-Mob State College acting principal Mrs GR, and acting deputy principal Miss AL, 27th November 2000, notes made by Miss AL

 

Mrs GR wanted to destroy me because I could read, write, speak and think about my work.

She considered professional discussion to be "academically arguing".

Mrs GR wanted to punish me for teaching this child a listening strategy - restating- that she would well have benefited from herself.

 

Two days after this 27 November 2000 meeting, Mrs GR handed me a letter to say that I would be on the Diminished Workplace Performance (DWP)  in 2001.

And that:

"I have spoken with him (Mr EL, the usual principal, who had never discussed the situation with me) and he is in agreement that the (DWP) process is warranted."

 

So, in two days, this group of seemingly incompetent and illiterate administrators destroyed my career and my health with their untruthful gossip and secret sticky-notes.

And I am now advised that their letters and their secret sticky-notes can never, ever be taken off my departmental file.

 

I first asked the District Director to investigate this situation on 14/12/2000.

For the past five and a half years I have worked for three days a week trying to understand why Mrs GR has been promoted and celebrated in response to my complaints.

Can it really be Queensland Government policy to destroy the career and the health of a competent teacher in two days?

Can it really be Queensland Government policy that incompetent and illiterate administrators are promoted and celebrated for five and a half years?

 

Yours sincerely,

 

- - - - - - -  - - - - - - -

 

Documents enclosed:

10/11/00 Staff Meeting notes.

23/03/04 Stephannie Kalas sent me a list of the documents in FOI File F 2421

29/04/04 I wrote to Keith Hynes. I said that my documents had been falsified.

14/11/04 My response to Principal Advisor - Regional Services, Ms CHR of The Cairns District Office's Briefing Note Minister For Education.

00/12/04 Bad Apple Bullies. This is the website I set up in an attempt to communicate effectively with senior Queensland Department of Education officers because they were losing / destroying my emails, letters and documents.

09/03/05 I wrote to Robert Walker, CMC

02/05/05 I responded to the Education Queensland "Internal Review" based on the falsified documents.

27/07/05 Media discussion of the CMC report into ...

16/08/05 CMC stories that did not make sense.

07/10/05 Draft Apology.

26/10/05 Draft Apology.

18/01/06 The - - - - - -  Report.

10/02/06 Draft Apology.

30/03/06 Letter to Peter Beattie asking for his help.

04/04/06 Letter to the Queensland Department of Education from Gadens Lawyers.

10/04/06 Letter to Tom Barton, Minister for Industrial Relations.

02/05/06 Letter to Peter Edwards, the DEA officer who is, I understand, managing an investigation into my complaint.

15/05/06 Letter to David Bevan, Ombudsman.

18/05/06 Letter to Linda Lavarch, Attorney General.