Constructive anti-bully tactics

14th July 1995 at 01:00
I can identify with Kevin Brown's suggestions to stop workplace bullying (TES, June 30).

I have been a victim of bullying over the past few years. At my previous school I was summoned to the head's office one day and asked to bring a friend with me. I was told that my behaviour was unacceptable, that several parents had complained (these complaints were never substantiated) and that I should leave the premises immediately and seek medical help. Disciplinary action would follow if I did not follow the head's advice. I had a couple of weeks on sick leave and received some private counselling which was of some use. I eventually got promotion in another school, having been denied any promotion where I was even though I had taken relevant courses and was doing the extra work.

I recognise that my present head can be a bully. Two months ago I had a period of ill health and was on sick leave because of personal problems aggravated by work. On my return the head made it clear that she would encourage me to take early retirement on health grounds and tried to persuade me to take such action and implied that she would take disciplinary procedures if I didn't go.

I am more able to assert myself and have been fortunate in having counselling from my local authority. I have not given up. I choose the right time to communicate with the head on professional matters as I am aware that she has mood swings. I find that she listens more to what I have to say and does respond to my views.

I do not want to retire yet (I am 50). I am considering a change of job and the head seems to be supporting my applications.

My advice to victims of bullying is to follow Kevin Brown's advice - be constructive, don't give up, get support. It does work.

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