Bad Apple Bullies

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

The Bad Apple Bullies' allegations - and my response.

What sort of allegations do abusive "Bad Apple Bully" administrators make against teachers?

 

  • A workplace psychopath can take nothing at all and turn it into an allegation against you which is never explained, but which will destroy your health and your career.

 

  • "Mediation" can be abused by Education Queensland Bad Apples to "fish" for allegations against you that will "stick".

 

  • A Bad Apple Bully will make verbal allegations against you during the mediation and see how you respond. If you can disprove the allegations, the Bad Apple Bully will change the allegations.

 

  • Then you will waste a lot of time and energy documenting your responses to allegations that have been secretly changed.

 

  • Never, ever respond to any allegation that is not written down.

 

  • Never respond to a vague allegation. Keep asking for specific names, times and dates.

 

  • The Education Queensland "official Grievance / investigative process" will deny you natural justice again and again. The "investigative process" consists of continually making new allegations against you and then declaring the "internal review" / "independent investigation", whatever, "finalised". The new allegations will be very damaging to you, but not quite damaging enough to create an official "need" for you to respond. You will have to wait for several years to find out under FOI what the new allegations against you are. Then, when you finally find the allegations and respond, nobody will read your response because your case has been declared "finalised".

 

The real-life experiences on which these conclusions are based:

 

On 29 November 2000, Lynch-Mob State School acting principal Mrs GR and Lynch-Mob State School acting deputy principal Miss AL had a formal meeting with me to give me a letter to advise me that-

 "Following our discussion on Monday afternoon regarding the implementaion of a Diminished Work Performance program ... It would seem reasonable that the initial phase would be better instigated at the commencement of next year....

Given that Lynch-Mob State School usual principal Mr EL will be returning to the school next year as Principal, he will be overseeing the process, beginning with a 20 day informal supervision period.

(I have spoken with him about the matter and he is in agreement that the process is warranted.)"

2421 File F Lynch-Mob State School document 59.

 

Lynch-Mob State School usual principal Mr EL had not been into my classroom at all during Terms 1 and 2 of 2000.

He had been into my classroom for five minutes during Term 3 2000.

He had watched some children doing an Indonesian play and laughed.

He had been on leave all of Term 4 2000.

Usual principal Mr EL had not discussed the situation with me before agreeing with acting principal Mrs GR that "the process is warranted".

Usual principal Mr EL's "agreement" with acting principal Mrs GR was made in breach of -

  • Natural Justice,
  • The Education Queensland Code of Conduct,
  • The Public Service Regulations,
  • The Diminished Workplace Performance (DWP) Policy,
  • etc.

 

I asked the District Director to investigate this abuse of the DWP process on 14 December, 2000.

 

On 25 May 2006

- yes, that is how long it takes Education Queensland to organise an investigation -

Usual principal Mr EL, the principal I respected and trusted absolutely, told the Verifact Investigator :

 

" ... there were no concerns with regards to (my name) 's subject knowledge or curriculum that she offered.

This was first class.

The problem was the way that she interacted with some of the students.

Mr EL admits that there were odd occasions where he had noticed this problem between (me) and the students, ..."

(340/5/1295 The number of this document is obscured but seems to be 975.)

 

Lynch-Mob State School usual principal Mr EL made this statement concerning me to the Verifact Investigator, knowing that it would be put on my official record and that I would never be allowed to respond.

Even if I write a letter to the Director-General of Education Queensland, my letter will be automatically filed and not read.

 

I can only respond to Mr EL's 25 May 2006 allegation on the internet:

 

" ... Mr EL admits that there were odd occasions where he had noticed this problem between (me) and the students, ... "

 

Mr EL,

You charmed me and persuaded me to stay at your school in 2000.

You knew that I wanted to get away.

You assured me that you would deal with the problems at the school.

You did not mention your allegations against me when you were persuading me to stay at your school.

You only saw me teach for five minutes during Term 3 2000.

You did not discuss this allegation with me during Term 3 2000.

And you were on leave during Term 4 2000.

You were on leave when you agreed with acting principal Mrs GR that "the process is warranted".

You did not discuss this allegation with me on 28 or 29 November 2000, before you made the agreement with acting principal Mrs GR that "the process is warranted".

And you did not discuss this allegation with me during January or February 2001, before you -

 

  • dismissed my Stage 1 Grievance about Mrs GR's abuse of the DWP process (and your own abuse, I realise now, although I could not believe what acting principal Mrs GR was telling me about you at the time).

 

  • Or before you decided to put me into Stage 1 of the MUP process (if my understanding of your new "story" in the June 12 2008 FOI documents is correct).

Mr EL, you made this new allegation concerning me for the first time on 25 May, 2006.

And it was concealed from me till after 12 June 2008.

 

Mr EL,

The Queensland Teachers' Union (QTU) Code of Ethics states:

"Teachers shall assert their professional, industrial and civil rights ..."

And that is what I am trying to do now, Mr EL.

"... and support their colleagues in the defence of these rights."

 

So I hereby request the support of all members of the Queensland Teachers' Union in dealing with Lynch-Mob State School usual principal Mr EL's abuse of my professional, industrial and civil rights.

 

Lynch-Mob State School usual principal Mr EL,

if you had raised this allegation with me during Term 3 2000, this would have been my response-

 

On 25 November 1999 I had applied for a transfer.

I did not want to work at Lynch-Mob State School in 2000.

I did not even want to be an Indonesian teacher in 2000.

2733 File G Administrative Law Services Branch documents 49-51 (using the numbers at the bottom of the page) are my application for a transfer to Brisbane to work as an English as a Second Language teacher.

I had very good qualifications in that area.

 

Why didn't I want to work at Lynch-Mob State School during 2000?

I had begun working as an Indonesian teacher at Lynch-Mob State School in January 1999.

During 1999 you were full of praise for my work, Mr EL.

You often told me, "You have raised the profile of LOTE (Languages Other Than English - Indonesian) at the school!"

Acting principal Mrs GR (she was your deputy at that time) also commented, "You amaze me!"  a few times, because of the variety of Indonesian activities that I organised for the children.

Acting principal Mrs GR was responsible for supervising the teachers' aides and the office staff at Lynch-Mob State School.

In about August 1999 I had organised a special "Indonesian Day" for three local schools, Lynch-Mob State School, White-Wash State School (where I also taught) and one other state school. 

Special funding to support this event had been sent to Lynch-Mob State School.

Your school, Mr EL.

The office staff later explained to me that the Indonesian Day grant had been put into a central school fund and that the money was not readily available.

Because of this situation I endured weeks of stress before and after the "Indonesian Day" because the Indonesian teachers' aides - there were about fourteen of them altogether - the other Indonesian teacher, the ATSIC aides, the White-Wash State School P and C and the secretarial staff at White-Wash State School were repeatedly asking me to remind the office staff at Lynch-Mob State School to pay them, send them receipts, etc. and I could not get the Lynch-Mob State School office staff to co-operate.

I had never, in thirty years of teaching, had such a dreadful experience with a school office before.

There was also a cultural conflict with some of the Indonesian teachers' aides who wanted me to pay them in cash.

The other Indonesian teacher involved rang District Office Employee Ms CHR to complain about some of the problems created by one particular member of the Lynch-Mob State School office staff.

This other teacher had not consulted me before contacting District Office Employee Ms CHR

District Office Employee Ms CHR seems to have been involved in the decision, one year later, to put me on Diminished Workplace Performance.

 

The White-Wash State School P and C, frustrated by the lack of response from the Lynch-Mob State School office staff to their requests for a receipt for money that they had paid, eventually asked me if they could bring a J.P. to my home one evening.

They wanted me to give the J.P. a sworn statement that they had paid the money to Lynch-Mob State School.

 

I was shocked by the fact that the White-Wash State School P&C were so concerned about the situation that they were willing to drive across town at night with a J.P. to get my sworn statement that they had paid this sum of money.

And so I went to acting principal Mrs GR and told her about the problems with the Lynch-Mob State School office staff.

I told acting principal Mrs GR that there was potential for "something really bad to happen " (I didn't use the word "embezzlement", but I meant embezzlement), because the Lynch-Mob State School financial records seemed to be in such confusion.

 

Acting principal Mrs GR did not, at this stage, seem to feel aggressive towards me for talking to her about the situation.

She explained the situation to me as a "personality problem" with a particular employee in the Lynch Mob State School office.

She did not identify this person.

But the person in the Lynch-Mob State School office that my fellow Indonesian teacher had complained about to District Office Employee Ms CHR was promoted to the Premier's Department a few weeks later.

 

Acting principal G.R. was also responsible for supervising the Lynch-Mob State School teachers' aides in 2000.

During the second half of 1999 I also had a problem getting my Indonesian workbooks made by the Lynch-Mob State School teachers' aides.

After being asked to become an Indonesian teacher, I had made several trips to Indonesia to collect "realia" - real materials used by Indonesian children - and I had designed Indonesian workbooks for my classes which reflected the real-life experiences of Indonesian children.

These books were better than the generic books published by the Department because they were specific to Indonesia and they helped the children to understand Indonesian values, children's daily lives, what they were taught at school, what their homes looked like, the food that they ate, the games that they played, etc.

In 1999 Indonesian was very popular with the Lynch-Mob Grades 5 and 6 that I taught.

I had a lot of positive feedback from usual principal Mr EL, acting principal Mrs GR, the Grade 5 and 6 parents and the Grade 5 and 6 teachers.

My Indonesian students at both White-Wash State School and Lynch-Mob State School were often in the local papers.

This may have caused some professional jealousy.

 

But the Lynch-Mob State School Indonesian workbooks had been printed on cheap paper that had been donated by parents.

Pages of the Indonesian workbooks were torn or had holes in them.

Pages were missing or were in the wrong order.

The printing was unclear or the words were printed "half off the page".

I asked the Lynch-Mob State School teachers' aides to check the pages of the workbooks before they stapled them together.

Usual principal Mr EL asked me about this situation.

Not wanting to "dob in" the teachers' aides, I told him that it was only a minor problem with the LOTE books.

Usual principal Mr EL corrected me.

He said, "No, this is a big issue!"

But he did seem to listen to me.

 

Then acting principal Mrs GR came into the room.

 

This was the day in 1999 when acting principal Mrs GR's behaviour towards me seemed to change.

She became very aggressive towards me.

 

Mrs GR held her hand up in front of my face.

She was not interested in the facts.

Mrs GR refused to listen to my explanation.

She seemed determined to "beat up" the situation and maximise the drama.

 

Acting principal Mrs GR just kept repeating,"The teachers' aides are very upset!"

Acting principal Mrs Gr was engaged in a strategy that I now recognise as:

"Mrs GR's Malicious Go-Between Strategy"

In this "Malicious Go-Between Strategy" Mrs GR inserted herself between individuals and groups, preventing them from communicating and "beating up"  problems between them.

Mrs GR used this strategy a lot.

Mrs GR did not deal with problems in a normal professional manner.

Mrs GR seemed to continually "beat up" problems out of nothing at all.

 

I was very distressed to think that so many members of the Lynch-Mob State School staff were feeling hostile towards me.

I had been through weeks of stress trying to get the Lynch-Mob State School office staff to co-operate, and now the teachers' aides were all feeling hostile towards me!

I liked the teachers' aides.

They were nice people.

I was almost in tears.

I was also upset because I had tried to 'do the right thing" and handle the situation tactfully and now it appeared that my reluctance to "dob in" the teachers' aides to usual principal Mr EL (because of the poor standard of the workbooks) had resulted in me being demonised.

I said that I had to go to teach my next class.

Usual principal E.L. and acting principal G.R. said that they wanted to speak to me later in the day.

As I left the room G.R. repeated that the teachers' aides were very upset.

I went to teach a Grade 6 class.

Just before the next break acting principal G.R. came into the classroom, folded her arms and stood at the back of the classroom, grinning at me.

She seemed to be enjoying my discomfort.

I was struggling with tears.

At the end of the lesson there was a break.

I went to usual principal A.L.

I was crying.

Mostly I was shocked by acting principal G.R.'s aggression, her refusal to listen to me and the feeling I had that she was enjoying "beating up" the situation.

I told usual principal A.L. that I was unwell and that I would have to go home.

I could not work while I was crying and I was very concerned about the effect of the stress on my health.

I had been warned that I was at high risk of having a heart attack and for the past few months I had been getting pains and various sorts of thumping and banging around my heart when I became stressed at work.

I always tried to stay as calm as possible.

I took the next two days off sick.

By co-incidence, I happened to have most of the children's workbooks at home.

So while I was resting at home I went through all of the workbooks and listed all of the holes in the pages, the blank pages, the pages in the wrong order, the torn pages, the missing pages, the pages stapled upside down, etc..

You can see those lists in FOI 2321 File C The District Office documents 58 and 59 (numbers at the top right hand side of the document) and 2733 File D Administrative Law Services Branch, documents 150 and 151 (numbers at bottom of page).

When a child's book had a page missing, etc. I had to send that child to the teachers' aides with another child and the other child's book, so that the teacher aide could sort out the problems with the faulty workbook.

Often this finding of a teacher aide and sorting out of the workbook took most of the thirty-minute Indonesian lesson.

It distressed the keen, well-behaved children to miss so many Indonesian lessons having their workbooks sorted out.

And it was a big waste of the teachers' aides time.

I gave a copy of these lists of problems with the workbooks to usual principal E.L. and to acting principal G.R. when I returned from sick leave.

At the bottom of the second page of this list I wrote-

 

  • "I did not complain about this work.
  • I do not complain about this work. These things happen.
  • I wanted to discretely, calmly, clearly encourage the aides to try to do better next time.

 

  • Who was responsible for beating this up into a "big issue"?

 

  • At least one aide is fully aware that the books were of a low standard. She delivered them to me with a box of extra pages, 'because there might be a few problems with the books'. I presume that she felt too intimidated to speak out when somebody with a more domineering personality began to beat it up."

 

I did not want to say directly to usual principal Mr EL that acting principal Mrs GR seemed to be "beating up" the situation to cause problems for me, because that seemed to be unprofessional conduct.

But I wanted to try to prompt usual principal Mr EL to think about the situation and to reflect on Mrs GR's professional conduct.

When I returned to work the teachers' aides all behaved perfectly normally.

I had the strong impression that there was no problem with the teachers' aides.

I had the very strong impression that Mrs GR had been "beating up" the situation against me.

Usual principal Mr EL seemed to apologise to me for the situation - he said that if the aides had done such poor work for him he would have asked them to re-do the workbooks.

And he also said something about the teacher aides having to "hack it" if they made a complaint and then their work was found to be sub-standard.

But acting principal Mrs GR said nothing at all.

To be continued

 

 

2000

Term 3

Mr EL, your own poor professional conduct had affected my own ability to teach effectively during Term 3 2000.

I think you must have known that this was true.

I don't think that you wanted to discuss your behaviour during Term 3 2000 with me, Mr EL.

This was the term that I was given my own classroom - the classrom that you have promised me the year before, when you were persuading me to stay at your school.

In about week five I explained to you that there was no carpet in my LOTE (Indonesian) classroom and the chairs and desks in the LOTE classroom made a lot of noise on the floor when they moved.

The teacher in the class next door told me that every half-hour her class was being disturbed by the noise of twenty-five chairs being scraped back and rattled as each child stood up and moved along the line to the door, then twenty-five chairs being rattled and scraped again as the next group came in, found a chair and sat down.

She was right, the noise was terrible.

She asked me if I could do something to reduce the noise of the chairs.

 

You told me that you would ask the caretaker to put squares of carpet on the bottom of the chairs, Mr EL.

I waited for this to happen for a few weeks, but nothing was done.

 

I had classes coming and going every thirty minutes all day long, and I became very aware of the noise.

Mondays and Wednesdays were very hard because I had classes coming and going all day long.

 

"By 11:00am my ears were buzzing with the noise of the chairs and I had a bad headache from the stress of trying to minimise the noise"

(2469 File F The District Office document 43 - number at the top right hand corner of the page. )

I offered to write this 2469 File F document 43 document for acting principal Mrs GR during the meeting on 12 October 2000.

I gave it to her on about 16 October 2000.

You had a copy of this document in my "official records".

The records that you sent to the District Office.

 

" ... my ears were buzzing with the noise of the chairs and I had a bad headache from the stress ... "

I did not realise it at the time, but this was tinnitus, which was being triggered by the stress.

 

I was constantly asking the children to be as quiet as possible.

Children being children, quite a few of them thought that it was great fun to smash their chairs about even more.

 

So then I discussed the noise of the chairs with Mrs GR.

She just said that the school could not afford to buy me a carpet.

 

When you are teaching a language, you want the children to speak in the language.

You often ask the children to ask each other questions in the second language.

Unfortunately the noise of the children all speaking to each other also disturbed the teacher next door.

The plays that the children loved doing were also too noisy.

I tried doing the plays outside but that was also too noisy.

 

I had to think of a way of teaching Indonesian that did not involve using the chairs and tables and minimised speaking.

So the children sat on the floor and played team games in Indonesian while we waited for the chairs to be fixed.

The children were bored and I was increasingly stressed.

After a few more weeks I spoke to you again, Mr EL.

I had the impression that you had simply forgotten all about the chairs and the carpet.

We waited for the rest of the term.

Nothing was done, Mr EL.

 

Term 4 2000

During an excursion in mid 2000 I had taken Male Student R DA and the other Grade 7 students to City Place to act in an Indonesian play.

Before the excursion I explained to each class that the toilets at City Place were not very good.

To get to them you had to go through a dark passage between two shops, then turn either right or left.

The actual entrance to the toilet is concealed from the view of anybody standing on the pavement.

There was also a back entrance to the toilets which was screened by a large green electrical construction.

So, if a teacher was standing at the front entrance of the toilets she would not be able to see the back entrance of the toilets.

And if she was standing at the back entrance of the toilets, she would not be able to see the front entrance to the toilets.

The toilets themselves were in poor condition with several lose and missing louvres in the windows.

The City Place area is not the best - you can get some drunk or disturbed people wandering about.

I had taken class groups to the City Place area before and I had not felt that the toilet situation was entirely safe.

I was worried about the possibility of a sexual or physical attack on a child while they were in the toilets.

I told the children that we would only be in City Place for about 45 minutes, so they should be sure to go to the toilet before we left the school.

On the day of the excursion I asked each teacher to make sure that their class went to the toilet.

And, as we boarded the bus, I reminded several groups of children to go to the toilet.

After the performance, just as we were about to leave City Place, Male Student R DA asked if he could go to the toilet.

I asked him if he had been to the toilet at school.

He said that he had not wanted to go when he was at school.

I told him to wait till he got back to school.

A few moments later the children were waiting to board the bus.

Mother DA approached me in a very excited state.

She said that R DA should be able to go to the toilet.

I asked her, "Are you his mother?"

She said that she was.

I said, "Do you want to take him yourself?"

She asked me where the toilet was.

At this stage we were standing behind the toilets, near the large green electrical construction that concealed the back entrance to the toilets, so I pointed to the toilet entrance.

I spoke in a calm, controlled manner.

I did and said nothing that could be considered rude by any reasonable person.

When we arrived back at the school, I explained what had happened to usual principal Mr EL

I explained to usual principal Mr EL that I had been concerned about the toilets.

 

I have always agreed that I had did the wrong thing by telling student R DA to wait to go to the toilets at school.

I have always said that I would not do this again.

There has never at any time been any argument about this point.

 

Usual principal Mr EL later told me that Mother DA had phoned him up to complain about the incident.

He said that Mother DA had particularly complained about my asking her if she was R DA's mother.

 

R DA was actually repeating Grade 7.

Last year his teacher had been Grade 7 teacher Ms NT

Ms NT told me that Mother D.A. had become similarly aggressive towards her the previous year when she had taken student R DA to the Civic Centre.

Grade 7 teacher Ms NT told me that she had shouted Mother DA down, telling her that R DA had been told to go to the toilet earlier.

So Mother DA seemed to have a habit of haunting excursions and creating toilet dramas.

 

As I understand the situation, the only difference between my own behaviour and that of Grade 7 teacher Ms NT was that I had spoken to Mother DA calmly, whereas Grade 7 teacher Ms NT argued with Mother DA and "shouted her down".

 

Grade 7 teacher Ms NT was not defamed at a staff meeting.

Nor was she put into a "Diminished Work Performance Program".

 

Wednesday 4 October 2000

I showed Grade 7 N.T. a five minute Indonesian video.

It was entirely in Indonesian and there were no subtitles.

The idea of this process was that the children should "infer" the meaning of the language from the action and the vocabulary that they already had.

I stopped the video and asked the class some questions about the video.

Then I started the video again.

This time there were subtitles and I was facing the screen translating the subtitles which were passing pretty quicky.

In the corner of my eye I noticed that Male Student R.D.A. had his hand up.

I pointed at the screen but did not stop translating.

A moment later I noticed that R.D.A. was asking the class teacher if he could go to the toilet.

 

To be continued