Bad Apple Bullies

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

When I met John Ryan in Brisbane on 13 October 2004, he asked me if I wanted to make a 'Victim Impact Statement'.

At the time I told him that I was very reluctant to describe the impact of the bullying on my life, because Lynch-Mob State College acting principal Mrs GR had seemed to me to be enjoying bullying me.

I was concerned that Mrs GR would enjoy reading about the impact of her bullying on my life, and that her dysfunctional behaviour would be rewarded.

I did not expect, in October 2004, that I would still be waiting - in July 2010 - to be told what the real or imaginary allegations were that Mrs GR claimed to have found in the "notes to Leigh from Desley", and to know what the other "lots of allegations" were that Mrs GR claimed had been made against me, and to be given copies of Mrs GR's "lots of pieces of paper to prove how things may have happened" and still be waiting - in July 2010 - to have the opportunity to respond to Mrs GR's mystery allegations and to prove myself innocent.

So I have decided to describe some of the effects of the workplace abuse - and the systemic failure to deal with the abuse - on my life to this date, 21 July, 2010 -

1. The greatest effect of the workplace abuse - and the subsequent systemic abuse - has been to destroy my world. The world that I believed in.

Before acting principal Mrs GR attacked me  -

I respected and trusted the usual school principal absolutely.

I believed in Education Queensland.

I believed in the Queensland Public Service.

I believed in the Queensland government.

 

I had always been an active member of the Queensland Teachers' Union ( QTU ).

 

For several years before Mrs GR attacked me, I had been an active member of the Labor Party.

 

I had spent many hours of my time supporting the two Local Members, organising groups of people to lobby in the local area on Sundays, conducting surveys, distributing election material, helping out on election day, attending fund-raisers, etc.

 

I now realise that the world that I believed in was a sham.

And that incompetence, malice and corruption rule.

 

I feel far less safe nowadays.

Because I know that incompetence, malice and corruption rule.

And that anything is possible.

 

When I met Ken Smith on Thursday 23 November, 2006, I understood him to say that I could walk into the Education Queensland District office at any time and apply for work.

 

I asked Ken Smith how he would like to go to work with a group of people who had comprehensively tricked him and lied about him.

 

I could never feel safe working for Education Queensland again.

I have lost all respect for Education Queensland.

 

Other than losing the world that I believed in -

2. My life - and my income - has been limited by the damage that the bully and the Mob have done to my professional reputation.

I expect The Mob will say that this is nonsense - they will loudly retort "She's deaf! She retired because she was deaf! We gave her a pension! What more does she want?'

And it is true that I was allowed to retire on the grounds of ill health, and that I am very grateful for my small pension.

But I was grateful to be able to retire because I believed what the QTU had told me - that the bullying would destroy me mentally and physically, and that there was no hope of justice.

 

At the time of my retirement I thought that we had dealt with a pretty difficult situation quietly and informally.

Ross Clark, the Cairns District Director, had twice assured me that he had the bullying under control, and Ross's word was good enough for me.

But

In 2004 I discovered that a mass of falsified 'records' had been secretly placed on my Education Queensland official records.

And that this had created the false impression that these falsified 'records' had been discusssed with me.

And that the offical records of my 31 August 2001 grievance / disclosure to Jim Varghese had also been falsified by being 'lost' and jumbled in with other documents in other files.

And that all of my letters and emails to and from Ken Smith and John Ryan during several months of 2004 had also been 'lost'.

So there was no official record of my complaints about the falsified documents.

The faux 'investigations' into my complaints about this situation - the bullying and the falsification of my official records to conceal the bullying - took till mid 2006, and the documentation of the investigation was not released to me under FOI till January 2009.

If I had not been bullied, I might not have chosen to retire.

I might have asked to be re-deployed (to a job that I could do despite my hearing loss) .

Or I might have applied for part-time work as an English as a Second Language teacher in the district - I had very good qualifications and experience in ESL, and it would have been possible to do this work with a hearing loss as I would have been working with individual children.

Or I might have chosen to take an ESl job overseas.

This is what I had always planned to do when I retired.

But instead of this, I have had to spend ten years of my life making and re-making FOI applications.

And writing over and over again to Queensland public servants, explaining that I had been bullied and that my documents had been falsified to conceal the bullying, over and over and over again.

Collecting thousands and thousands of letters and documents.

 

This huge mass of documents has taken over my home.

But I am afraid to throw away any of the FOI documents because the FOI documents that I requested in September 20003 - the 'secret reason' why I was found guilty and an agreement was made that I 'had to be' punished - still have not been released to me.

I still do not understand what is 'going on'. 

If I pack away the documents and find a job overseas, will these secret allegations suddenly emerge?

Will I have to come racing home to unpack my documents and prepare to defend myself?

 

3. For several years I have been stalked by -

a) an employee - now a retired employee - of Education Queensland

b) and also by a member of my old branch of the Labor party.

The Legal Aid website defines stalking behaviour as:

  • following a person or
  • repeatedly contacting a person or
  • intimidating or harassing them

http://www.legalaid.qld.gov.au/Legal+Information/The+justice+system/Offences/Stalking.htm

In 1987

 I was appointed to the Cairns District Office of Education Queensland by a group in the district who were engaged in a power struggle with another group.

The workplace bullying / harassment began as soon as I arrived in Cairns.

From time to time I would attend meetings at the Cairns District office.

One highly intelligent but extremely unpleasant bully would creep up behind me at these meetings and suddenly hit me in the middle of my back, so that I shot forwards.

I had never had to deal with this sort of 'professional conduct' before.

At other times we had meetings at the Cairns Education Centre.

And at the end of meetings at the Cairns Education Centre this Highly Intelligent bully would call out loudly, "Who's arsey? Who's arsey?"

"Oh, Robina's arsey is she? Robina's arsey!"

Because my initials are RC.

This Highly Intelligent Team Leader Bully loudly, cruelly and publicly 'put me down' on a regular basis.

I was told lies that made it difficult for me to work effectively.

After several months I realised that this person had lied to me.

I said to him, "When you told me ... , you were lying, weren't you?"

He laughed at me and said, "You were just out-maneuvered by a more experienced operator."

This was the first time that I had ever known a fellow professional to lie about a workplace issue, to do it to create professional problems for a fellow teacher, to feel unashamed to admit that he had lied, and to describe his lie proudly as "out-maneuvering".

I often suspected that lies were being told about me.

Towards the end of my first year - 1987 - I made an appointment to speak with the local QTU organiser (at that stage he had some sort of a role with Education Queensland as a counsellor for teachers who were having workplace problems).

I remember sitting in a corridor, weeping and describing the harassment that I had experienced during the year, as people walked past.

The QTU organiser advised me to take up yoga.

I had expected the QTU organiser to actually do something to deal with the harassment, but he wanted me to accept the harassment, and to stop complaining.

This was the first time I had experienced this very Queensland approach to dealing with problems - in Queensland they deal with the person who says that there is a problem.

They shut them up, one way or another.

 

The power group who had appointed me to the Cairns District Office moved on in less than a year and I was left to protect myself from the surviving gang.

In 1991 I made a formal complaint that the Highly Intelligent bully had published a booklet that I had written under his own name as 'editor'.

Lesley Fletcher of the Cairns District office liaised with me about this situation.

500 copies of the booklet had been published.

The booklet even had an ISB number - under the name of the Highly Intelligent Team Leader Bully!

I had not been allowed to proof-read the booklets before they were published and there were big problems - many pages had been printed twice, etc.

I spent a couple of days detailing the problems with the booklets.

I believe that all of the booklets had to be trashed.

 

On 31 August 2001 I had made my Stage Two Grievance / Systemic Disclosure to Jim Varghese, Director-General of Education Queensland.

I described the workplace abuse that I had experienced in Cairns since being appointed in January 1987.

After I made my 31 August 2001 Grievance / Disclosure to Jim Varghese, the Highly Intelligent Team Leader Bully began appearing at my local Post Office, in my local shop and at the cinema.

He aggressively greeted me and loudly 'put me down' in these public places, in front of my friends.

He seemed to be gossipping about me to people in my local community.

During one conversation with me he told me that his income the previous year had only been $8000.

I had the impression that the Highly Intelligent Team Leader Bully was worried that I might sue him for some reason.

Later I discovered under Freedom of Information that one, or possibly two, 'Cairns District Office Reports' had been written concerning me.

These 'Cairns District Office Reports' were concealed from me at the time, and have been refused to me to this date, 8 August 2010.

Education Queensland claim that all copies of this Cairns District Office Report have been 'lost'.

But all Queensland public service decisions concerning me seem to be based on the findings of this 'lost' report.

Kim Newman - the only Education Queensland Department of Ethical Conduct officer who seems to have left some "records" of her activites - made diary notes of her discussion of the Cairns District Office Report during a phone call that she made to Principal Advisor - Regional Services Lesley Fletcher of The Cairns District Office on 27 January 2006

Kim wrote:

"- Ms Fletcher … CDO (Cairns District Office) report never given to her and was lost?-

Need to look - at report."

2875 File J Workforce Standards and Performance Unit document 221.

 

Was the Highly Intelligent Team Leader Bully contracted by the Cairns District Office to write these reports?

This would explain why the Cairns District Office Reports have always been concealed from me.

 

On 11 March 2003 I wrote to Ken Smith , again describing the workplace abuse that I had experienced since 1987.

I told Ken Smith that since I had made my 31 August 2001 Grievance / Disclosure to Jim Varghese, the Highly Intelligent bully had begun appearing at my local Post Office, in my local shop and at the cinema.

And that he had aggressively greeted me and loudly 'put me down' in these public places, in front of my friends.

After my 11 March 2003 complaint to Ken Smith, this harassment stopped.

But in June 2010 it has started up again (see below).

 

And on 26 January 2011 the Highly Intelligent Team Leader Bully was given an Order of Australia medal.

 

Meanwhile, in about 1997 -

I became an active supporter of Labor party member Mrs C, who was campaigning to be Local Member.

For several months during 1997-1998, I organised groups of Labor Party supporters to go to local suburbs on Sundays and campaign on behalf of Mrs C.

During 1997-1998 I often rang Mrs GR and asked her to help with this campaigning.

She never agreed to help.

I first met Mrs GR at the Labor party celebrations after the election of Mrs C as Local Member in 1998.

The next year I was appointed to Lynch-Mob State College as Indonesian teacher.

And I found that Mrs GR had been appointed acting principal at the college.

By this time, Mrs GR was also chairperson of one of Local Member Mrs C's "Branches".

 

I had participated in many activities supporting Local Member Mrs C's 1998 campaign.

But I was not actually a member of one of her branches.

 

I had been a member of Local Member Mrs B's branch of the Labor party for several years.

I had attended several meetings of this branch over the years and had also participated in various activities with Local Member Mrs B's group.

During these meetings I had met Labor party member "Richard" briefly.

Richard would sometimes discuss Labor party issues with me when we met in local shops.

He seemed to speak with a foreign accent.

I had the impression that Richard was an intelligent man.

But that his ideas were often "quirky".

Probably reflecting his different cultral background.

 

When I was attacked at work by Mrs GR, I immediately "dropped out" of all activites with both of the local branches.

I did not hold Local Member Mrs C responsible for the behaviour of Lynch-Mob State College acting principal Mrs GR.

I knew that the branch members were a very 'mixed bag' and I understood that the Local Members had to 'do their best with what they had got'.

I did not want to involve the local groups in the situation and cause problems for either of the Local Members, both of whom I respected and trusted.

At this stage I saw the situation as a misunderstanding.

Mrs GR seemed to be inexperienced and very impulsive.

I presumed that Mrs GR had impulsively "beaten up" some trivial incident, and that it would all be easily explained.

I expected that the situation would be quietly resolved and then then I would be able to resume my activities with the local Labor party groups.

I did not expect that the abuse would continue for more than nine years.

 

For several years now, Labor party member "Richard" has been stalking me.

Richard is quite a big man, taller than me.

Richard seems to spend many hours wandering about the city.

At first he would walk up to me, raise his arm and fist in front of me and shout, "Up the workers!".

He repeated that several times.

Then he began to raise his arm above his head as he approached me.

More recently he has simply hovered around me, grinning.

 

Some time ago, perhaps in early 2007, when Labor party member Richard approached me, yet again, at the entrance to the Cairns Central shopping centre, I tried to explain to him that he did not understand the situation.

I explained to him that I had tried very hard for several years to deal with the situation in a way that did as little harm to the Labor party as possible.

I made it plain to Richard that I wanted him to stop approaching me.

But he does not stop.

 

I do not hold Local Member Mrs B responsible for the behaviour of this member of her branch.

But I do wonder what Labor party member Richard has been told about me that would prompt him to stalk me.

 

Thursday 2 August, 2007

I emailed John Battams, General Secretary of the Queensland Teachers' Union-

 

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

I used to be a member of (Local Member B'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.

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

 

7 August 2007

Graham Maloney, Deputy General Secretary of the Queensland Teachers' Union ( QTU ), replied:

"... your request covers essentially the same ground that was rejected

  • by me by email on 19 December 2005 and 3 January 2006,
  • by Kevin Bates acting in my role by letter dated 18 August 2006
  • and by Jeff Backen acting in my role on 11 April 2007.

Accordingly, I do not intend to approve legal assistance requested by you."

 

So it seems to be the Deputy General Secretary of the QTU who refuses QTU members legal assistance.

Or other QTU officers who are "acting" in his role.

But do any of these QTU officers have legal qualifications?

And is "I do not intend to approve legal assistance requested by you" the only legal advice that these QTU officers allow Queensland classroom teachers?

 

Wednesday 28 May, 2008

As I parked my car in the city, Labor party member Richard approached.

I was with two friends. 

Labor party member Richard B. walked up close to me and made a loud grunting noise.

 

Friday 4 July, 2008

As I left City Place, Labor party member Richard saw me.

He raised his arm above his head.

Then he stood in front of me, blocking my path, so that I had to walk around him.

 

Friday 2 January, 2009

I was shopping at Rusty's, the local fruit and vegetable market.

Labor party member Richard appeared in front of me in one of the narrow passageways between the local market stalls.

At first he seemed to be friendly.

He was smiling and he had his right hand held out wide, as if he was going to hug me.

I said "Oh, hello!", in a friendly manner.

Then Labor party member Richard doubled up his fist and held his fist very, very close to my face.

And said "Up the workers!" in my ear.

 

Monday 1 March 2010

A television news program about the working conditions of teachers was broadcast in Cairns.

I appeared in the program.

Tuesday 2 March, 2010

The next day at about 12.30pm I went shopping in Woolworths, Abbott Street, Cairns.

I was looking at some items on the shelves.

I turned around and saw Labor Party member Richard standing nearby, watching me.

I recognised that I knew him and I automatically said "Oh, hello, how are you?"

Richard looked down and shuffled his feet.

I then realised who he was, and I immediately began to move towards the checkout.

Woolworths is being renovated and I had to walk down a long passageway for half the length of the store.

Labor Party member Richard followed very close behind me - he seemed to be less than one metre behind me - for the whole way to the checkout.

Then, when I reached the checkout,  Richard moved in front of me and walked through the checkout.

 

Richard had bought nothing in Woolworths.

Richard's sole purpose for being in Woolworths seemed to be to make me aware that he was watching me and following me.

I walked directly to my car, worrying that Richard would approach me again.

 

Tuesday 9 March 2010

One week later.

I am often in town on Tuesday to do volunteer work.

This week I parked my car in a new spot - outside Myer - and walked around town, avoiding Woolworths in case Richard was waiting for me.

When I arrived back at my car, I found that the mirror on the left hand side of the car had been torn off.

 

Tuesday 30 March 2010

Three weeks later I was again in town to do some voluntary work.

At 12.45pm I was again in Woolworths, at the same spot, looking at the same items.

I turned around and realised that Richard was once again standing in the same spot, watching me.

He tried to speak to me.

I put my head down, said "Hi", and moved past him.

He put his hand out, and held it over the side of my supermarket trolley.

I moved to the checkout.

Richard did not follow me.

Once again, Richard was holding nothing. 

Richard's only purpose for being in Woolworths seemed to be to watch me and to let me know that he was watching me.

 

Friday 18 June 2010

I had agreed to meet a friend in my favourite Cairns cafe.

As I walked into the cafe, the Highly Intelligent Team Leader Bully followed directly behind me.

More old friends were also in the cafe at another table.

The Highly Intelligent Team Leader Bully began to loudly and effusively greet me, pretending that we were good friends.

I tried to ignore him.

I felt trapped. 

If I had been alone, I would have walked out of the cafe.

I knew that my behaviour seemed strange and that my friends were staring at me, but I was worried that the bully might begin his loud personal abuse and his hitting.

It was a horrible, humiliating experience.

 

The loud, effusive greetings continued.

( Six months later, on 26 January 2011, this Highly Intelligent Team Leader Bully was given an Order of Australia medal. )

 

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Four days later, as I walked towards my favourite cafe, Labor party Richard walked towards me and veered suddenly towards me as I arrived at the entrance of the cafe.

 

I felt very oppressed by these experiences.

I decided to write myself free of these people - to use the FOI documents to tell my story on this website and to throw away as many of the FOI documents as I can.

 

Thursday 22 July 2010

As I sat in one of my favourite cafe's with a friend, Labor party Richard walked past, looking carefully at everybody in the cafe.

He did not catch my eye.

I cringed and pointed Labor party Richard out to my friend.

She commented on his strange appearance.

She said that I seemed very calm about the situation.

She asked me if I was afraid.

I told her that I had often been afraid since December 2000.

She said that she would move away from Cairns if he was stalking her.

I said that I thought that was what Labor party Richard was trying to do - to frighten me and to drive me out of Cairns.

 

 

2.

The workplace bullying, the mobbing and the continuing harassment has affected my health.

12 October 2000

This was the day of my meeting with Lynch-Mob State College acting principal Mrs GR to discuss her behaviour towards me during and after the meeting with Mother D.A.

Acting deputy principal Miss AL later came into the meeting.

During this meeting acting principal Mrs GR seemed to lie.

She seemed to say that she had not asked me to stay behind in her office after Mother DA had left the room.

This was not true.

During the meeting with Mother DA, I had said very little.

Mrs GR had sat with her back slightly towards me.

While Mother DA abused me, Mrs GR kept saying to Mother DA, "I will speak to (my name) about that later."

 

I now realise that this was the start of a systemic pattern of "abuse by refusing to listen"  -

  • Mother DA abused me, shouting down my explanations.
  • After the meeting with Mother DA, Lynch-Mob State College acting principal Mrs GR told me that she was too busy to listen to me.
  • Usual Lynch-Mob principal Mr EL was on leave and made his 29 November 2000 agreement with Mrs GR that "the ( DWP ) process is warranted". He had not discussed the situation with me before making this agreement.
  • The Cairns District Office "lost" all but the first page of my Stage 2 Grievance, so they "did not understand" what I was complaining about.
  • John Ryan instructed all Education Queensland staff not to read my letters.
  • Peter Beattie refused to read my letters.
  • Rachel Hunter refused to read my letters.
  • John Ryan and Ken Smith "lost" all letters and emails to and from me during many months of 2004.
  • The CMC refuse to read my letters.
  • etc.

The Department of Education "process" consists of never allowing classroom teachers the opportunity to respond.

Because classroom teachers have to be guilty.

That's the process.

 

When Mrs GR seemed to claim that she had not asked me to stay in her office after the meeting with Mother DA, I was deeply shocked. 

This was not the way that school principals normally behave.

No school principal had ever lied about me, right "to my face".

 

I was also shocked by Mrs GR's manner.

She did not seem to be affected in any way by her behaviour.

 

I began to realise that, if a person is a liar , they have no problems at all.

They had nothing to worry or stess about.

Because if there was any problem, they could simply "change their story".

And the next day they could change it again.

 

Now I realise that this is the sort of behaviour pattern that psychopaths exhibit.

But at that time I knew nothing about psychopaths.

 

From that day I felt very unsafe in dealing with Mrs GR.

I felt that anything was possible.

That nothing that Mrs GR said could be relied upon from one day to the next.

 

At the end of the meeting, I told acting principal Mrs GR and acting deputy principal Miss AL that I had tried to contact Mrs GR at the weekend to discuss some health problems privately.

I told them that I had not intended to discuss these problems with acting principal Miss AL (who was usually a reading teacher, sitting next to me in our shared office).

I asked them both several times not to gossip about my health because it had caused problems for me at another local school when I had told the principal my health problems.

(I had told a principal that I was deaf and he seemed to have told either the parents or the children because, being children, they began following me around, shouting at me and then saying, "She can't hear anything. She's deaf!")

I told Mrs GR and Miss AL about the problems that I had with my heart banging and thumping.

I had been told that I was at very high risk of a heart attack because my cholesterol levels were very high.

I was advised that stress might be a factor and that I should try to reduce stress.

On Monday 9 October 2000 I had taken a day of sick leave to recover from the stress of the abuse by student D.A., Mother D.A. and acting principal Mrs GR.

I was worried that acting principal Mrs GR would "beat up" this day of sick leave against me.

I told Mrs GR and Miss AL that I sometimes took a day of sick leave after stressful situations to try to give myself time to recover.

I hoped that they would understand that I was not "slacking", I was just looking after my health.

 

I said, "I expect that you have noticed that I ..." and then I stopped, because I did not feel safe telling Mrs GR that I was hard of hearing.

I was apprehensive that she would maliciously tell students B.O.J. and B.O. S. to "be kind to (my name) because, you know, she's DEAF!"

And that this would, of course, undermine me greatly with these naughty children, and create more problems for me.

 

17 October 2000

After that meeting I was very worried.

I felt that my relationship with acting principal Mrs GR had been destroyed because she had seemed to lie about me and we were both very aware of this situation.

Or I certainly was.

Mrs GR also seemed to be very worryingly impulsive, repeatedly jumping to conclusions and "beating things up" into a drama, rather than asking questions and finding out the facts.

 

I felt about as unsafe at work as you could possibly be.

I felt that there were no boundaries.

That anything could happen.

 

12 November 2008

This was the day after I had spoken to the staff about the unsupervised groups of children who were missing from the Grade 7 classrooms when I arrived to take them for Indonesian.

My friend warned me that Mrs GR was "out to get you".

My friend warned me that I was "the person" that Mrs GR had been talking to the staff about at the staff meeting.

"The person" who had been "humilitating children".

She told me that Mrs GR had told her that I had told student BOS to "put her nose against the wall".

I rang Mrs GR and she confirmed that this was correct.

I was very, very shocked by Mrs GR's aggression towards me.

And her seemingly irrational and deeply unprofessional behaviour.

I became very ill.

I was continually crying.

On the morning of the next Monday, 13 November 2000, I felt "jittery" and unable to think clearly.

I was afraid that I might really do something wrong if I went to work, because I could not think properly.

 

My heart was thumping and banging in lots of different ways.

I had pains on both sides of my heart.

I had a loud roaring sound in my right ear (tinnitus).

I was on sick leave for the next week.

 

I had had roaring in my ears before.

I had it for the first time while I was working at The North State School in about 1992.

The behaviour of the children in Queensland was much, much worse than the behaviour of the children in New South Wales, and there was very little support for classroom teachers.

I was dealing with a difficult class and I had tinitus for a couple of days.

After that I would get it about once a year, always when I was under stress.

 

2469 File F The District Office documents 40-43

I now realise that the tinnitus had become much worse during Term 3 2000.

This is the LOTE (Indonesian) update that I wrote and gave to acting principal Mrs GR and acting deputy principal Miss AL after the meeting on 12 October 2000.

The date on the first page of this document - document 43 - is falsified.

Mrs GR seems to have written “19/11”, which was the Sunday before I returned from sick leave after the shock of Mrs GR’s announcement to the staff concerning me.

The true date of this document would have been about one month earlier, 16 October, 2000.

I felt quite ashamed of the way that LOTE had been limited during Term 3 2000.

I explained that there was no carpet in the LOTE (Indonesian) classroom and the chairs in the LOTE classroom had made a lot of noise.

The teacher in the class next door complained to me that every half-hour she was being disturbed by the noise of twenty-five chairs being moved as twenty-five children got up, then twenty-five chairs being moved again as twenty-five children sat down.

I had classes coming and going every thirty minutes all day long, and I got very stressed worrying about the noise.

I did not explain this in the document, but actually I had spoken to usual principal Mr EL about the noise.

He told me that he would ask the caretaker to put squares of carpet on the bottom of the chairs.

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

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.

"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"

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

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.

We waited for the rest of the term.

Nothing was done.

The children were bored and I was increasingly stressed.

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

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

 

 

When Mrs GR gave me the letter dated 29 November 2000, to advise me that she and usual principal Mr EL had agreed that "the (DWP) process is warranted" and that I would be on DWP in 2001, the letter seemed to be full of Mrs GR's usual mysterious hints, warnings and threats.

At this stage I had no idea at all why I was being attacked.

I felt under great stress for the rest of Term 4 because I knew that any trivial incident could be "beaten up" as an excuse to launch an even more serious attack on me.

The tinnitus continued for several weeks.

I had never had it for such a long period of time.

I understand that tinnitus is directly related to stress.

I went to Bali for the holidays.

After enduring several weeks of my heart thumping and banging in lots of different ways, pains from both sides of my heart and continual roaring in my ears, I fell over in the road while I was walking into town.

 

 

 

 

The thumping and banging of my heart, and the pains on both sides on my heart continued till I went to see my GP in January 2001 and she gave me a sick-leave form for one month.

At the time I had presumed that I had these continual pains, thumping and banging because I was getting old.

My father had died at 53 and so I presumed that I was going to die of some sort of heart attack.

But when I was given sick leave the pains from both sides of my heart and the thumping and banging of my heart stopped absolutely.

And it has never returned.

It was only then that I realised that the stress of the bullying was causing the pains and the thumping of my heart.

So I was very grateful to be allowed to retire because of a hearing loss.

Because I believe that, if I had had to return to work, the stress of the bullying and the abuse of the DWP process would have killed me.

 

And, I now believe, that may be the real purpose of the DWP process.

During the "mediated" meeting on 27 November 2000, the QTU organiser had told me that there was no hope of justice, and that the DWP process usually affects people's mental and physical health.

Older teachers seem to be being deliberately attacked and driven into ill health retirement.

So they can be replaced by cheaper, less experienced, more easily manipulated teachers.

Who can be sent out to work in the remote areas.

 

 

 

To be continued

"What does anyone do with their life? My thinking on this is that you have to experiment to see what you can put up with, what satisfies you, and after some experimentation you get an idea of what your personality demands."

Julian Assange, "the brains behind the whistleblowers' website WikiLeaks", quoted in Searching for Assange, Richard Guilliatt, pp15-19, The Weekend Australian Magazine, May 30-31, 2009.