Bet you never thought they would all be the same person!
Further to what I wrote last month “Bullying – by a Teacher”, regarding the secondary school teacher of Japanese who overtly bullied her student in front of other class members, the story continues.
A meeting was eventually called, when representatives of the High School could be found to attend!! It appears the Head Master was busy with other more important issues, the Deputy Head Master was on leave, so the case was handed onto a Stand-In Deputy, (a Mathematics teacher), who knew nothing of the original incident that took place in the Japanese classroom, ( and this was at the meeting – can you believe he had not been briefed?), the school teacher of Japanese ( who was at fault), the Year 8 Year Advisor and the Head Teacher of Languages.
Attending on the Students behalf were his mother and paternal grandparents ( ironically also former school teachers). The objective of this meeting, was to address the task given by the teacher of Japanese to her students – which was to tell them how annoying she ‘John’ to be in her classroom, then to write the name of the student they found most annoying in the Japanese class on a piece and hand it in to her. Unacceptable to say the least!! This is mis-use of her role as a teacher and is abuse towards a student.
During the meeting it was mentionedI that there were two classes where ‘John’s’ behaviour was disruptive to the class. Let it be said that the teacher of the other class, has since sat down with John, explained to him what disturbed him about his behaviour and John got it! He apologised, stopped doing what he had been doing, and there has never been a problem since.
Isn’t it funny how respect works? Anyway, on with the story.
The mother suggested a monitoring book be put in place. This was a blue monitoring book, which was to be taken to each class, signed by teacher after each lesson and brought home each night to be seen and signed by the mother. This way when something was done by John it was noted rather than an immediate detention being given.
It was also agreed that this process would continue until the end of term, and that John would, (after the school holidays) start Term II afresh.
Next, it was decided by the Stand-In Deputy (against the mother’s wishes) that John was to continue attending the Japanese class with the same teacher, who made it obvious she had nothing but contempt for the student. Because those at the meeting (namely the representatives of the school) did not want this issue going any further, and were keen to find a solution, it was also decided that the teacher of Japanese was to formally apologise to John’s face. The mother said he was not be alone with the teacher so the Stand-In Deputy agreed to bear witness to the apology.
The day of the apology came. John and the two teachers were in a room and what took place was a joke! The teacher of Japanese relayed point by point, the ‘story’ that led up to this enforced apology. She relayed to John everything that had happened including why she had asked the students to write his name down on a piece of paper and hand it in. She never used the word ‘apologise’ or the word ‘sorry’. Not once!
So young John came home and told his mother what took place, which resulted in yet another phone to the school. After a few days the Stand-In Deputy phoned back and said that he was there and the teacher did apologise and just because she never said the words ‘sorry’ or ‘apologise’, does mean that the apology was not given.
Do you think if the situation was reversed, that a student who did not mention the words ‘apologise’ or ‘sorry’, would get away with it?
Talk about outrageous and totally unacceptable behaviour on the part of both teachers.
The derisiveness of the Stand-In Deputy only further escalated the issue.
Then it was school holidays and of course there must have been a sigh of relief by these particular school teachers, in the hope that everything would be forgotten.
The first day of John’s return to school, he was issued a red ‘Back from Suspension’ book and told to take it to every class.
He had never been suspended!
The difference between the red and the blue monitoring books meant that if a teacher disliked one thing he did, or didn’t do, no questions asked, it meant immediate detention! This was the way this High School performed a FRESH START!
John learned quickly what this book meant. He went to the toilet without asking and received immediate detention.
In a Maths Class two boys behind sitting behind John commented loud enough for him to hear that they thought his mother was hot and would like to f%*k her. He could not respond, he could not walk out of the class, he could not tell the teacher. Was he upset? You bet he was.
No voice! No way to seek support! No way of knowing that he would be heard, even if he had reported it!
I have pondered how it would feel to hear something like that and know if you so much as made a sound you would be put in detention, that you have no one in the school who would listen, support or even care?
Another week down the track, another meeting called, and this time the mother and the grandmother attended. Originally, the meeting started with the ‘new’ female Deputy Principal for Years 8,9,10 but because of differing computer information the male Deputy Principal for Years 7, 11, 12 had to be called in to verify information.
The problem was become obvious, that there was a break down in communication within the school. No continuity. Not one teacher interested enough to see anything through to an appropriate conclusion. Never once was this important enough for the Principal of the High School to take notice of. With his continued absence, in my view, he is condoning the behaviour of his staff.
Every person with whom John’s family had a meeting, was never briefed and had no idea of the original disgraceful act of the bullying teacher in the first instance. As the grandmother who was in that meeting I was appalled at several things that happened. Every time I opened my mouth to speak I was spoken over the top of by the male Deputy in particular. Neither Deputys would look you in the eye when speaking to you. When I remarked about the lack of continuity around this whole saga, I was told by the male Deputy that they can’t re-arrange leave of teachers for my grandsons benefit!!
And he was telling me that because?
What an impossible man, no manners whatsoever. he showed no desire to hear what either of us had to say, or that he even wanted to listen to what was being said. The situation around the issue of the red book was a mistake and he clearly was not going to take responsibility for it.
What is it about teachers, that an apology from them, or owning their own stuff ups is never forthcoming?
How are students supposed to become respectful young adults when they are spoken over, put down, derided, not heard and made wrong before being asked if they have anything to say? Unbelievable!
What about three strikes and you’re out.
What about the Student, any student having a voice and having the right to be heard?
Immediate punishment seems as though it from the dark ages. How does anything positive come from negative, fearful, controlling attacks and never hearing the voice of the student?
We have already seen how the teacher who sat and communicated his frustrations towards John in an adult manner, got the results he wanted.
One positive is that the Deputy Principle for John’s year is a woman. She was obviously quite shocked at what had transpired in John’s Japanese class and further dismayed that John had felt he was unable to say anything to a teacher about the lewd comments made by students about John’s mother.
She promised us that she would attend to John’s welfare at school and that she would actively ensure he felt he had support of the school and she would do away with the red book immediately.
As fate would have it (or luck) as John was walking into his Japanese class that afternoon, arriving late because of a broken key, he opened the door to be instantly attacked for being late. What he did not realise was that the female Deputy Principal was right behind him and a witness to this appalling victimisation. The teacher of Japanese was promptly told that her rebuke was unnecessary and removed John from the classroom. She told him he was not to attend that class again. He was transferred to another Japanese class.
Not to be beaten, that same teacher of Japanese accosted John in the school yard last week. She is totally unable to see him without drawing venom and hissing like a snake.
Interesting isn’t it?
In fairness the female Deputy has given great help and aid to John, she ensures his wellbeing, by seeing him almost every day. Unfortunately it has come to our attention that the teacher of Japanese has performed the same bullying tactics on other students. What astounds me is that she is STILL a teacher at that High School. Appalling to say the least!
Furthermore I am astounded that no written letter from the High School has been sent to the mother of John explaining what steps they took in ensuring the teacher at fault would not conduct further bullying behaviour towards students, John in particular.
In case you are wondering, John is applying for acceptance at another High School through their EXCELLENCE programme. He will (if accepted) be put up a year and be finished with High School in three years. His Academic qualities are outstanding, he even got over 80% in his Japanese class, against all odds!!!!