Abuse at School -- Don't Know What to Do

Discussion in 'General Education' started by justacat, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. justacat

    justacat Rookie

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    I'm posting this anonymously because I have another account. I started a new middle school this August and have been through hell ever since. A student assaulted me last month, but nothing happened to him other than 3 days of out-of-school suspension. Two weeks later, this student threatened me after I told him to leave my room when he wasn't supposed to be there. He said, "Remember what happened the last time you p***ed me off!" Immediately after he made this comment, he was put in in-school suspension for ONE DAY but broke out and was walking back and forth past my classroom. (He received no out-of-school suspension for threatening me. He was in my class again the next day.) He makes statements every day, saying "I hit you because you touched me" and "The administration hates you."

    On top of that, a student grabbed my butt a month ago. Nothing happened. Another student shot a rubber band at my face. Nothing happened.

    I have asked the school to remove the kid who hit me out of my classroom, but they wouldn't. I have asked them if they could put me in another grade level. They wouldn't.

    I finally asked to be released from my contract. I can't handle this abuse in the workplace. On top of that, teachers' cars are broken into daily and there are gang initiations frequently.

    My school has been dragging its feet on finding a replacement. Some teachers came in late last week to do demo lessons, but the principal won't tell me anything.

    I am about to break my contract. I've lost about 10 pounds in the past two weeks because I get sick if I eat, and I've pretty much stopped sleeping because all I think about is how horrible my job is. My district says I will have to pay $500 and could be reported to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. It is not clear what happens after then. I have spoken to my lawyer, and he says I have a lot of documentation if the state wants to suspend my teaching certificate.

    I do have another job lined up in another school if I can get out in time. I just don't know what to do. I can't take being in this school any longer than I have to because I'm just being abused daily. All I do when I'm alone is cry. I didn't get into teaching for this. I don't know what to do anymore.
     
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  3. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I'm so sorry! No job or salary amount is worth what you've gone through. I'd be bringing the law into this. I'd be pressing charges against the students who assaulted you and did the other things AND I'd sue the school for not doing anything about it. I also would have been documenting since day 1. I hope you have been.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Horrible. Horrible, horrible, horrible.

    I wouldn't be back tomorrow. And I so serious.
     
  5. justacat

    justacat Rookie

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    Ms. I: I have been documenting anything. NOTHING happens to the students at my school. I was told if I press charges, nothing would happen except me probably getting my car broken into or stolen.

    JustMe: I cry every morning when I get into the car to drive to the school. I pretty much cry all the time now. I'm so depressed. I feel like I have no one in my corner at all.
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    When do you need out in order to accept the new position?
     
  7. justacat

    justacat Rookie

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    They want me to start as soon as possible. However, my school has been dragging its feet for the past two weeks. I asked to be released three weeks ago. Some people came in to be interviewed for the position last week and even gave demo lessons, but I haven't heard jack. No one will tell me anything.
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I would contact administration and tell them your last day will be (fill in the blank...Friday sounds great to me!) and let your new school know you'll begin Monday. Obviously I don't know your contract , but this is insanity.

    And *cough, cough*, aren't you suddenly feeling sick?
     
  9. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Oct 22, 2013

    So who told you nothing would happen? Your school or your lawyer? If it was your school, do you really think they can be trusted at this point?
     
  10. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    Talk to a lawyer about possible recourse given your school's reluctance to provide you with a safe work environment. The last time I was threatened, the student was gone immediately.
     
  11. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Go see a doctor and go on medical leave until your present school finds a replacement...
     
  12. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    OMG I'm so sorry. I would maybe go one more day to gather all of my things and then I'd be done. I would be working on pressing charges against the students and suing the school district. Do you have a union?
     
  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Tell the other principal that you'll be there tomorrow morning. Call your (current) union rep, give them your documentation, and explain exactly what you will never step foot in that other building again.

    Not an exaggeration. You should never go into that school again.
     
  14. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Oct 22, 2013

    I'm agreeing with the others.

    Nobody should be teaching in a classroom where they fear for their personal safety.

    Documentation is invaluable here... should you choose to deal with any legal issues (or should the district press any legal issues regarding breech of contract).

    Your welfare MUST come first. Always.
     
  15. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    If you are not in a union, join now! My friend joined a really good one in Ga. that stepped up for her when she needed assistance.
     
  16. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    Do not spend another second in such an unhealthy work environment! Gather your documentation, contact your lawyer, and take care of yourself. I'm so sorry this is happening to you.
     
  17. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I agree with Proud, go to a doctor and go out on medical leave. So sorry you are going through this.
     
  18. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I was in a similar situation in my first job. I was never touched, but they found out where I lived. They would stand on the sidewalk outside my house all hours of the day and night. My doorknobs would rattle. They stole things like pictures of my family. I was throwing up blood every day. I was literally hired the day I graduated. My student teaching and methods had all been elementary, but I was hired for Jr High. I was in over my head. I walked in and told my principal that I was done. That would be my last day. She was incredibly hateful about it, but I never looked back. Now, 17 years later I'm still teaching and loving it. Walk away from this knowing it's the wrong place for you, and don't let this define you.
     
  19. Expo Markers

    Expo Markers Rookie

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    I never would have thought teaching would be this dangerous!

    What is happening to you is through no fault of your own. It sounds like a truly dangerous situation all around.

    Walk out of there with your head held high.

    And, if they try to strong-arm you about your contract, it would work to your benefit to find a lawyer to help you get out of it. Which is expensive, but you've been assaulted. It wouldn't do you much good to stay there, because it seems like this has been the way this school has operated for a while.

    Best of luck to you, OP.
     
  20. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oct 22, 2013

    justacat, I PM'd you! :)
     
  21. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Oct 22, 2013

    Yikes.


    Do any of your colleagues know about this? (I know admin is dragging their feet, but how about the other teachers? Have they said anything?) Did your lawyer give you any immediate steps you could take?


    Please be careful. You only get one life. I will pray for your safety.
     
  22. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Oh honey...

    I am SO sorry you are having to deal with all of this. This is truly disgusting to read.

    Contact your lawyer, your union (if you are in one) and the media. Contact the law about pressing charges and get restraining orders served against the students threatening you.

    At this point, I'd go in tomorrow before school starts, gather everything you need and turn in your keys. Tell the admin to get a sub until they can find a replacement for you, but you will no longer work in such an unhealthy, unsafe workplace. You worked hard to become a teacher and you certainly deserve better.
     
  23. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    So the worst case scenario is that you start a new job, which you've already been offered, and have to pay $500 to get out of your current job? I guess I'd see that as money well spent. I would also contact a lawyer and try to get the money back after the fact, saying that I paid it under duress or something.
     
  24. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Wow. Just. Wow. I'm praying for a safe resolution for you!
     
  25. creativemonster

    creativemonster Cohort

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    Nothing beyond what everybody else is saying - just hugs and sympathy. My heart goes out to you. There are parts of our job that are rough and then there are things that are NOT part of our job and no principal should ever allow them to be. Get out of that school asap.
     
  26. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Agreeing with everyone else. Get out now, don't even go to work tomorrow. Stop by after the students are gone, pick up everything that's yours and quit. Or tell them you're going on medical leave.

    You have been harassed, sexually harassed, bullied and assaulted - there is NO reason you should go back.
    And I can't believe the school isn't doing anything. You should sue them. This is horrible.
     
  27. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    The situation you are in sounds absolutely horrible. I agree with medical leave or quitting. Personally, I would also get a lawyer.
     
  28. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    I believe she already has a lawyer.
     
  29. justacat

    justacat Rookie

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    Thanks, guys. I actually came in today, but I feel like throwing up. I already packed up most of my things a few days ago so when I could leave there would be nothing stopping me.

    I live in Georgia, so there's no real union here. We have something that are known as "unions," but they're not very helpful. The one I am a member of was not helpful at all. I eventually learned that this union is made up of administrators from my county, which is probably why they weren't very helpful or understanding.

    I'm actually scared about quitting. I'm scared the state is going to take my certification, even though I know I have every reason to quit.

    My lawyer sent me a letter last night that he drafted that I can send to HR to state my last day. He wants me to send it to the superintendent as well.

    I just feel sick to my stomach. I'm really horrified that I'm going to lose my license.
     
  30. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Send the letter. You have more than enough documentation to back up your claims of an unsafe working environment.

    At the same time, have the lawyer file a notice of intent with the district, as that is the first step in suing a public institution like a school
     
  31. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I would call the police and possibly consider listing the school administration as accessories after the fact. You were PHYSICALLY ASSAULTED and they allowed the assailant to continue menacing you.
     
  32. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    There's nothing more that I could add, but just wanted you to know that I'm praying for you and sending virtual :hugs: This situation stinks, and I'm sorry that you are going through this. I would go home sick today and not come back. Start that new job on Monday.
     
  33. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    justacat, I'm not too sure where in Georgia you are but my friend joined MACE and they really supported her when she had issues with our principal. It might be too late for you to join but you could always check it out. They used to be open until after 10 PM -- not too sure if this is still the case.

    "MACE started in the Fall of 1995, and within its first week of soliciting members, it had already enrolled two former presidents of GAE locals (Fulton and Cobb), a former president of the Atlanta Federation of Teachers (AFT), and other leaders of other educational organizations. These teachers joined MACE because they knew that MACE was totally committed to the protection and empowerment of classroom educators. The message of MACE resonates with Georgia’s teachers. The good news of MACE continues to spread throughout Georgia, and MACE now represents teachers in over forty school systems in Georgia.

    MACE does not allow administrators to join. Why should MACE? Administrators have their own organizations (like GAEL, GSSA, GAESP, etc.); however, administrators continue to flood the membership ranks of GAE and PAGE. This is one of the main reasons that GAE and PAGE cannot speak forthrightly for classroom educators. Sometimes, to advocate for teachers, you have to be critical of the misconduct of administrators. Sometimes, you even have to call names. But what happens at GAE and PAGE when there is a conflict between a teacher and a principal and both are members of the same organization? You know! It’s a classic case of conflict-of-interest. Furthermore, the assistant superintendent and/or the superintendent may also be a member of that organization. What will GAE or PAGE do? Nothing, probably. And, that’s what often happens – nothing. The teacher’s interests do not get served. Frustration and a sense of impotence set in. Not so at MACE! MACE knows that the administrator is not a member of MACE. MACE knows that there’s no conflict. MACE knows whom we serve and for whom MACE advocates; therefore, keep spreading the good news that there is a union for teachers, a union which does not apologize in advocating for teachers. Keep encouraging other teachers to join the growing union that packs a powerful punch. When you say “MACE,” administrators listen."
     
  34. justacat

    justacat Rookie

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    Hey everyone, thanks for the well wishes. Yesterday, one of my supervisors said that a recommendation for hire has been made and the school is just waiting to hear back from HR. My principal said a few weeks ago that I can be released when a replacement is found, so I am hoping he is true to his word. I have an email from him that states that, so I'm going to hold him to it. I hope I still can get out of here as soon as possible.
     
  35. BookReader813

    BookReader813 Companion

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    Everyone has said what I wanted to say, but here are some :hugs: for you. I hope everything with HR goes through quickly so you can be released to start anew at a school where you won't be treated so poorly! Best wishes, justacat.
     
  36. justacat

    justacat Rookie

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    Thanks again everyone for your thoughts. I found out today that tomorrow is going to be my last day. I've already packed up everything, and I'm just ready for tomorrow to be over with.
     
  37. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Glad to hear... sorry for the poor sap that'll be walking into such a terrible situation, but glad you're getting out. Hoping you can start fresh with that new school ASAP.
     
  38. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Congratulations on your release! May your health rebound.
     
  39. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Oct 25, 2013

    If a similar experience happens with a student file a police report at the time of the incident. It forces the school to follow through. In some states it is in the ed code that all physical assault or threats to a teacher must be reported to the police.
     
  40. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Glad you're finally free, darling!
     
  41. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    So glad that horrible part of your life is over for good! Are you still going to do something to make sure the right people get what they deserve?
     

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