Sunday, June 5, 2016


I abhor bullies. I have for most of my life. This may be because at a crucial point in my own life, I was bullied. No one stood up for me,...including me. That was long ago, but it altered everything in my world forever. Because of my own experience, I have this internal switch that clicks on when I see someone being pushed around. And, trust me, adults are better at being bullies than children have the skill set to be.

When I raised children of my own, it was the one thing I could not tolerate. I would never allow one of my children to be a bully, and I taught them to stand up for themselves if anyone tried to bully them. There were many times I embarrassed my daughters, or other adults around me, because I refused to be a bystander in the neighborhood, in the schools, or in the church. I've stood up to more than one adult who tried to bully someone else's child or bully another adult, while others stood by unable to believe my...what? My courage? People who've seen me level the playing field have called it that. No, it wasn't courage. It was disgust. It was anger. It was "I'll burn in hell before I'll see you treat someone else that way!"

I get physically ill seeing another human being taking control and taking advantage of another human being. I shake, my stomach lurches, and all my brain knows is I have to stop it. It may have happened to me long ago, but I will never allow it to happen again - not to me or to anyone else around me. Not on my watch. Not ever.

You know, it's a good thing I am like I am. It is, in part, what makes me a good teacher. Sadly, I find myself fighting bullies on a regular basis with my job. I fight them for children who can't fight for themselves, and the children don't even know the bullies exist. But they do.

The institution of public education cares less and less about children and cares more and more about the 'business end' of education. Yes, education is BIG business. Often times, adults in public education are motivated by greed or power or position or political gain. Along with those people, there are many uninformed, inexperienced-in-a-classroom adults making poor decisions that affect children, and their futures, across America, all under the guise of "it's in the best interest of the children."

It's more than a full-time job to teach children, teachers shouldn't have to fight "the powers that be" on top of that. They should be supported and asked what would work best for their students. We've lost good teachers, and continue to lose good teachers, who just couldn't take it anymore. And, trust me, there are times I get tired and desperately want to give up the fight...

Now, you know why I don't.

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