Bad Apple Bullies

Bad Apple Bully school principals and departmental officers can bully Australian teachers into ill health - and out of work!

Meetings with Bad Apple Bullies and members of their Bad Apple Bully-Mob.

If you receive a letter from a Bad Apple Bully that says something like -

"I would much prefer that this matter did not become a disciplinary one...I therefore request that you attend a meeting with me and ... (another member of the Bad Apple Bully-Mob that I have groomed into supporting me)",

- it means that the Bad Apple Bullies have already decided to put you on Managing Unsatisfactory Performance ( MUP, it used to be called DWP - Diminished Workplace Performance). 

The MUP process is going to be abused to destroy you mentally, physically, professionally and financially.

The Bad Apple Bully-Mob are planning to drive you into an impoverished retirement.

It is to your advantage to slow down the process as much as possible at this early stage, before you are formally "put" on MUP.

Give yourself time to get organised.

Show the Bad Apple Bully that you are not going to be a push-over.

Most important - show the Bad Apple Bully-Mob that they are going to have to do a lot of writing if they want to bully you out of work.

Bad Apple Bullies are appallingly bad listeners, thinkers, readers and most especially, writers.

That's why they are able to bluff and bully with so much confidence.

They don't know what they don't know.

Bad Apple Bullies genuinely do not realise the difficulty that they are having in thinking, reading, writing and listening effectively.

Or maybe they just don't care enough to listen to you, think about what you are saying, read what you are writing or to keep accurate records.

It is so easy to lie.

The Bad Apple Bully is hoping to shock and humiliate you in front of other members of the Bully-Mob, to pretend that vague complaints have been made about your work and then to wait while you try to respond "on the spot" (with no opportunity to recover from the shock and the humiliation of this Bad Apple Bully abuse, think the allegations over, find out the facts, collect evidence, etc).

Then the Bad Apple Bully plans to disregard your response and move you immediately onto the MUP.

This is a total abuse of the MUP process, but when Bad Apple Bullies abuse the official Education Queensland policies they know that there will be no consequences.

Bad Apple Bullies know that, if you complain, your complaint about their bullying will simply be "archived" (lost) and they will be celebrated and promoted.


It is very much to your advantage to find out your rights as an Education Queensland employee before you meet with the Bad Apple Bully-Mob.

It is very much to your advantage to find out about the MUP and related polices and to make it clear to the Bully-Mob that you intend to record every abuse of the process. 

It will take you a lot of time and effort to deal with the Bad Apple Bullies and their Bully-Mob through the Grievance Process.

And the Queensland Teachers' Union's advice to me was that they had never heard of any classroom teacher's Grievance being upheld.




When you battle Bad Apple Bullies, you have to battle on "procedural" grounds.

You have to become an expert on Education Queensland policies and procedures. 

But don't expect the Bad Apple Bully to be following the official policies.

The Bad Apple Bully probably hasn't even bothered to read the MUP policy.

Bad Apple Bullies don't enjoy reading, writing or listening.

They are not really interested in the facts of the situation. 

Bad Apple Bullies gossip and bluff.

Bad Apple Bullies are quite simply malicious liars who enjoy menacing teachers and abusing their powers.


If you are eventually put on the MUP you may decide that battling the Bad Apple Bullies and their Mob is not worth the damage to your mental and physical health.

You may decide that you prefer to resign or retire.

For many targets this may well be the only real decision possible.

But, at this early stage, it is worth fighting for your right to "natural justice".

You have supposed to have the right to know exactly what the allegations against you are and to have a proper opportunity to respond to the allegations before any "decision" is made to put you on Managing Unsatisfactory Performance..

* * * * * *

1. Email an Freedom of Information ( FOI ) request to the District Office immediately, well before the meeting. 

Ask for "all documents (in any form) concerning and related to me, including any complaints concerning me and any response to those complaints".

This is the single most effective thing you can do. 

The FOI process is the only Education Queensland "process" that really works.

It works very, very slowly and very, very reluctantly, but it will eventually work to a reasonable extent. 

And when you apply for your documents under FOI, Bad Apple Bullies have to sort out their paperwork.



When you first receive the FOI documents you will be very shocked.

It will take you a few weeks to recover from the shock of the Bad Apple Bully lies and the lies of the smiley Bad Apple Bully-Mob members.

Try not to be too upset.

The lies are just a strategy.


Think of your battle for justice as eating an elephant.

Start eating the ear today.


The FOI documents may reveal that -

  • The Bad Apple Bully has untruthfully claimed that "there have been lots of complaints" concerning you - but really there have been none.

This seems to be a very common strategy.

  • The records may have been falsified.

The Bad Apple Bully may have secretly placed "records" of imaginary conversations with other administrators, teachers, parents and children on your file.

You need to find these falsified documents as soon as possible so that you can check with the people concerned and find out if the conversations are falsified.

  • There may be complaints on your file that do not concern you.

Complaints about another teacher, a casual teacher or a Religious Instruction teacher may have been maliciously placed on your file.

  • A collection of undated, unsigned scribbles on loose sticky-notes may have been placed on your file.

A Bad Apple Bully can destroy your health and your career with secret sticky-notes hidden on your Departmental file! 

Bad Apple Bullies record their allegations on sticky-notes because scribbles can be made to mean almost anything.

And loose scraps of paper and sticky notes can be added or removed at any time to change the Bad Apple Bully story.

  • Your own emailed documents may have been tampered with and significantly falsified.

Look for changes in the introduction and in the date of your letters.

Look for "lost" pages.

You may find that all but the first page of your Grievance has been "lost" - so that any "investigation" into your Grievance can be based on this falsified version of your Grievance.


Put the secret sticky notes in order of time.

You may find that one scribbled sticky-note contradicts another because Bad Apple Bullies - psychopaths - are impulsive liars and not very clear thinkers.


The Bad Apple Bully's own falsified documents will provide you with evidence that they are an incompetent and illiterate liar.


And when you make an FOI request the Bad Apple Bully will have to read, to write and to think- all things that Bad Apple Bullies do not enjoy doing!


Give the Bad Apple Bully an FOI request along these lines-


Ms Julie Grantham, acting Director General,

Education Queensland,

PO Box 15033,

City East,

QLD 4002


Dear Madam,

I request copies of all documents concerning or related to me ( or from ... and select a date well before the bullying began. This wording will give you copies of your own documents. It will allow you to check which of your letters are "unable to be located" and allow you to pinpoint the person who is 'dislocating" your letters. You will also find out if your own letters and documents have been tampered with.).

I enclose a cheque for $35.25.

I authorise the use of this $35.25 for the FOI application fee.

Sincerely, ....


Send a copy of this letter by registered mail and keep a record of the RD number.

Or take the letter and the cheque to the District Office and watch while the letter and the cheque are date-stamped.

Ask for a photocopy of the date-stamp on the first page of your letter.

Letters may be "lost" or not "arrive" for up to three weeks.

Actually getting Education Queensland to admit that they have received your letters is quite difficult.

And then, even after arriving, many letters "cannot be located".

Under the FOI rules you are supposed to pay for an FOI search.

This may happen - Dealing With The Mob has heard of one person who was charged for their documents.

But the Bad Apple Bully is supposed to give you all of your documents in two months. 

And if the Bad Apple Bully is still concealing, destroying and creating their "documents", struggling painfully to concoct their "story", it will take them much longer than two months.

So you should get the documents free.


Your letter will alert the District Office to the fact that workplace bullying is going on at your school.

* * * * * *


2. Also Email the Bad Apple Bully a typed, dated, signed letter formally requesting current copies of each of these Education Queensland policies-

  • FOI
  • Code of Conduct
  • Workplace Bullying, Harassment and Violence
  • Managing Performance- Teaching Staff and School Leaders
  • Grievance Resolution

State that you have not had the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the current policies.

You should actually always try to have current copies of the polices at home, but there is a risk that the Bad Apple Bully will launch a pre-emptive strike if he/she finds out that you are looking at these policies on the intranet, so make a signed and dated request for the policies first.

If you don't get any of these documents in three days, email a reminder.

"You have failed to provide me with copies of... as requested ... and failure to provide me with these documents within a reasonable time-frame constitutes refusal." 

Always use email because you can prove that you have sent an email.

Letters will be lost, "not received" etc.

Keep reminding at regular intervals.


Before the meeting with the Bad Apple Bully and the Mob, read each of these policies very carefully and highlight in red all points relevant to your case.

Walk into the meeting carrying this pile of policies.

At the meeting raise each of these points slowly and methodically and ask the Bad Apple Bully for a response.

Circle any point that the Bad Apple Bully does not answer to your satisfaction.

After the meeting, photocopy the policy documents with the weak areas in the Bad Apple Bully's case against you highlighted.

Give the Bad Apple Bully a copy.

Also the other members of the Mob who were at the meeting.

Attach a brief letter, "I wish to advise you that your conduct on  (date) may be in breach of policy ... section ... " Sign and date this letter.

Keep a copy of this letter as evidence of a pattern of harassment.


The Bad Apple Bully has probably not read the Education Queensland policies themselves.

Bad Apple Bullies - psychopaths - are impulsive.

If you make it obvious that you are going to read the polices, the Bad Apple Bullies may decide to read the policies themselves.

There is a small chance that the Bad Apple Bully will realise that they are mis-using the policies and you can prove it!

There is a bigger chance that the sheer effort of reading the policies- Bad Apple Bullies hate reading- may discourage them.

There is also a small chance that the sheer boredom of endlessly justifying their own mis-use of each one of the policies may discourage the Bad Apple Bully.

Bad Apple Bullies like drama and denunciation.

The Bad Apple Bully is hoping to enjoy shocking and humiliating you at the meeting.

Don't be shocked.

Be slow.

Be meticulous.

Be very, very boring.

Make it obvious that bullying you is going to require a lot of reading and writing.

* * * * * * *

3. This would be a good time to ring the Queensland Working Women's Service for general advice 1800 621 458.

They will be able to provide a referal to counselling at $35 per hour.

This may prove to be a very worthwhile  investment in protecting your career.

And it will be proof that you have sought advice in dealing with the Bad Apple Bully's behaviour.

* * * * * *


Before you meet the Bad Apple Bully read the Code of Conduct and highlight the Bad Apple Bully's breaches of the Code.


For example, my own Bad Apple Bully seemed to be -

Failing to make competent decisions.

Failing to give directions that are fair and reasonable.

Failing to pay due regard to her legal and organisational responsibilities. (1.3.1)

Failing to be receptive to constructive feedback about how to better achieve the department's mission and objectives. 

Failing to listening to my concerns and reservations.

Failing to review her decision in the light of discussions. (1.3.2)

Failing to demonstrate respect for persons by adopting a consultative approach to decision-making.

Failing to inform me of my rights and entitlements.

Failing to fulfill her duty of care towards me .(2.2.3)

Failing in their obligation to treat me - a teacher -  with dignity and respect at all times.

Failing to be responsive, engaging and helpful to the reasonable requests of teachers.

Failing to actively discourage any form of harassment.

Failing to ensure that decisions that adversely affect my rights and interests are procedurally fair, reasonable, honest and impartial. (2.2.1)

Failing to respect the dignity, rights and views of a teacher.

Failing to listen to and seek to understand a teacher's point of view.

Failing to value and acknowledge the contribution that a teacher makes in meeting the department's mission and objectives.

Failing to express constructive feedback which is considered and moderate in its tone.

Failing to be courteous, sensitive and honest in his/her communications.

Failing to be considerate to the needs of others.

Failing to inform others of their rights and entitlements.

Failing to work co-operatively and collaboratively with others to achieve common goals in a harmonious work environment. (2.3.1)

Failing to encourage teachers to demonstrate leadership in the performance of their work duties.

Failing to model appropriate conduct.

Failing to treat Education Queensland employees fairly and reasonably.

Failing to adopt a consultative approach about how work is performed.

Failing to encourage initiative, resourcefulness, responsiveness and leadership amongst employees.

Failing to regularly acknowledge the good work of others.

Failing to be receptive to and considerate of divergent thinking, ideas and modes of operation that may better achieve the mission of the department.

Failing to exercise his/her delegations conscientiously and prudently. (2.3.4)

Failing to acknowledge that teachers have the right to work in an environment which is free from intimidation, threat, humilitation and workplace harassment. 

Demonstrating offensive, abusive, bullying, belittling and threatening behaviour towards others in the course of his/her work duties. 

Failing to demonstrate respect for others. (2.3.8)

Failing to exercise proper application, care and attention when carrying out her work duties.

Failing to act responsibly and to be accountable for his/her official decisions and actions.

Failing to exercise a duty of care towards others. (4.1.2)

Failing to maintain a current understanding of the law, professional ethics, delegations, departmental policies and procedures and other codes of practice to a standard that enables him/her to competently perform his/her work duties. (4.3.2)

Failing to consider the ethical principle of economy and efficiency in public administration.

Failing in his/her responsibility to ensure that public resources are not wasted, abused or used improperly.

Public resources include financial and material resources as well as intellectual, information, system and knowledge reserves that underpin the work of the department.

Work time is a valuable resource that must be managed effectively to create a productive outcome. ( 5.1.1, 5.1.2)

* * * * * *


5. Should you ask the Union Organiser to attend the meeting?

Tape record the meeting. 

  • A tape recorder can't be threatened.
  • It will not be afraid to record a Bad Apple Bully's threats.
  • It will record the tone in which words are spoken - the malice and the menace
  • It will be able to remember what happened.

When considering asking the union organiser to attend the meeting you need to consider -

  • Has he/she been pre-groomed by the Bad Apple Bully? Ask him/her exactly what the Bad Apple Bully has already told him/her about the situation.
  • Has he already made any agreements with the Bad Apple Bully?
  • What role is he/she planning to play at the meeting?
  • If he/she tells you that they will be "impartial", does that mean that he/she will just passively allow you to be hurried into the DWP?
  • How well does he/she understand the situation? 
  • Has he/she taken time to talk to you and find out your "side" of the story?
  • Has he/she made sure that you have copies of all of the relevant policies?
  • Has he/she advised you on applying for WorkCover ? WorkCover is the great secret that the Bad Apple Bully-Mob do not want you to know about.
  • Has he/she made sure that you have received a written copy of the specific allegations (and not just some vague "concerns about...bluff...bluff...bluff"?)
  • Has he/she advised you to respond to the allegations in writing?
  • Has he/she advised you that you need to collect evidence from witnesses/ supporters in writing?


Remember that if you take a union organiser to the meeting he/she will be there 50% to look after your interests and 50% to look after the interests of the Bad Apple.

You will have half a person supporting you.

The Bad Apple Bully will have at least one member of their Mob and half of the union organiser supporting him/her.

Do the maths.


Anbody who -

  • has made any sort of secret agreement with the Bad Apple Bully before the meeting
  • allows you to be menaced and threatened
  • frightens you into giving up hope of justice
  • doesn't make sure that you are given time to talk about what you think needs to be done about the situation
  • claims not to be able to remember things that you said at the meeting
  • claims not to be able to remember you being menaced and threatened
  • won't give you a written record of the meeting

will do you harm.


A person who claims that they can't remember things that happened at the meeting will make you look like a liar.

You are placing your mental, physical, financial and professional future in the hands of the union organiser.

Think about the situation very carefully.

If you are reasonably intelligent you may be better off speaking for yourself.

You know your own case better than anybody else.


The best person to take along to support you would be a person who has studied law.

If you take a fellow teacher to support you at the meeting they may be victimised.

One person who was being bullied took their vicar to one of these meetings.

He actually sat outside the room but made it obvious he was there to pray for the target and to support her.

Would your grandma support you?

People like your father, mother, boyfriend, vicar or your grandma are good supporters because they are 100% for you, they can't be intimidated and they assert the moral values of the normal world.

And they can ask your Local Member to do something about the bullying.


6. If you have time before the meeting, has some good suggestions for "Battle Techniques"  to use during a meeting with the Mob. If you don't have time to look it up, here are some ideas adapted from that site -

  • Try to act as if you are detached.
  • Act calm, sincere and direct.
  • Speak slowly and clearly.
  • Use short, simple sentences.
  • Try to maintain a relaxed facial expression and body language.
  • Smile to show nothing bothers you, even under vicious attack
  • Respond to most attacks by asking questions of the bully.
  • Never explain your questions: just repeat yourself clearly.
  • Ask your question, then stop talking (don't ramble).
  • Listen intently to the bully's responses,
  • If the Bad Apple Bully says something really abusive/ untrue/ offensive, ask them to repeat what they have just said. This gives the Bad Apple Bully (and the other people in the room) time to think about what they are saying. Then re-state the abusive comment yourself very slowy and clearly, while ostentatiously writing it down.
  • Then ask follow-up questions to seek clarity.
  • Ask why, why, why until you've reached the bully's underlying motivation.
  • Use variety in your phrasing of the question "Why?"  - And why is that? - Why do you believe that? -What's your reasoning on that? - What makes you think that?
  • It is important to get the bully to state clearly what they think the problem is and what evidence they have to support their "concern".
  • If the bully menaces you, repeat his/ her words slowly while ostentatiously writing them down. Ask any witnesses to make a note of those words and to give you a copy of their notes after the meeting.
  • If the bully threatens you, count the threats aloud, "That is four times now that I have been threatened at this meeting. Would you make a note of that, please." And keep on counting aloud each time you are threatened. " That is five times now that ... "
  • Ask the bully to explain their threats in detail so that you can make notes.


Do not respond to any allegations.

Listen, and then ask for the allegations to be given to you in writing.

If you respond to the allegations during the meeting, the "meeting notes" will record different allegations, different people making the allegations, different responses, everything will be changed to your disadvantage.

Be very well-mannered.

Bad Apple Bullies will try hard to provoke you.

Bad Apple Bullies - psychopaths - maliciously enjoy abusing their power to abuse you. 

And if the Bad Apple Bully manages to provoke you, he/she will be able to justify punishing you.

Education Queensland Bad Apple Bullies can behave appallingly badly.

Your complaints about their abuse will simply be "archived" (lost) and the Bad Apple Bullies will be celebrated and promoted.

But if you respond, you will be punished.

That's "the process".


Let's deal With The Bad Apples values effective union organisers.

If your QTU organiser helped you when you were being bullied, harassed, mobbed, discriminated against or victimised, email and we will publish their name.

Queensland  teachers need to know who will really help them when they are being bullied.