You would think that adults know how to behave properly in the work place, but apparently some teachers in Iowa and California need a reminder.
Districts in both states are adopting new rules aimed at preventing teachers from bullying one another. In fact, The Desert Sands Unified School District in California has already spent $45,000 on consulting fees and training for its new anti-bullying policy. Although the Sioux City School District adopted a similar program, they didn’t have to pay for it since a local philanthropic organization covered the costs.
According to USA Today, Desert Sands and Sioux City school districts are the only two that have adopted anti-bullying policies that focus on adults. But other states are expected to follow their lead.
Steve Crary, human resources director for the Sioux City school district, said bullying among educators is not rare and the new program is encouraging teachers to come forward and speak out against the mistreatment they’ve experienced on campus.
“We’ve had a number of situations come forward,” Crary said. “I think it’s doing what it was supposed to do. It created a heightened sense of awareness. People who for whatever reason didn’t feel comfortable coming forward before are now coming forward and telling us about things.”
Bullying among co-workers is nothing new. Last month the Illinois state Senate passed the Abusive Work Environment Act, which provides protection from workplace bullying for public workers.
There were never any official anti-bullying policies adopted at my place of work. All of my co-workers have the common sense and courtesy to respect one another without being told. If someone does step out of line, he or she faces the consequence of termination. It doesn’t make sense to spend $45,000 on consulting fees to make that point clear.
On the other hand, bullying is such a severe problem on school campuses, and if teachers are treating one another poorly in front of students, there is no reason to believe students won’t mimic the same behavior.
A recent article I wrote detailed how school officials at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Mississippi bullied a lesbian student by inviting her to a fake prom. That particular case proves that educators don’t always act like adults.
What are your thoughts? Does it make sense for a school district to spend $45,000 on anti-bullying policies aimed at teachers when the district faces a $15 million budget shortfall for the next school year?