Sadly, teachers often model bullying behavior, yet they are put in charge of stopping bullying by kids.
Some teachers bully kids, parents, other teachers, and even administrators. The following would be true if "teachers" were substituted for "girls": "Girls, in particular, tend to engage in rumor spreading, gossip and exclusion to target other[s]..."
We need to teach the teachers how to deal with their competitive feelings before they can genuinely help children.
The following sentence would also be true if we substituted "teacher" for "second grader": "At one local school, a second grader endured bullying daily during lunch when she went to find a seat. She would go to sit at a table and [peers] would tell her to keep going, that there wasn’t a place at the table for her...She was pushed out from the social circle and isolated in a way that was causing suffering for her..."'
But bullying by teachers doesn't just cause hurt feelings--it sets back the entire educational program.
It is one of the reasons that schools are unable to achieve true reform. Political and personal agendas of teacher cliques, particularly those cliques with strong connections to the teachers union or powerful administrators, trump the agenda of improving education.
I suspect that one of the reasons that CTA (the California Teachers Association) doesn't want test scores published is that poor teachers often resort to school politics to protect their positions, and CTA is very responsive to teachers with political influence.
Schools combat bullying through awareness, prevention programs
May 7, 2012
...With the acclaimed documentary “Bully” in theaters and a new anti-bullying state law poised to take effect, the persistent problem of bullying in school remains at center stage these days.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than one in four students in middle and high schools reported being bullied at school in 2009 and 6 percent reported being cyberbullied, the latest statistics available. In a survey of San Diego County students in 2009, 32 percent said they had been made fun of because of their looks or the way they talk while 23 percent of eleventh graders said they had been targeted by cyberbullies.
“It is more people seeing it for what it is,” said Mara Madrigal-Weiss, a project specialist with the county Office of Education who works on bullying prevention and intervention. “There is concern about what can happen.”
...At Allen Elementary in the Chula Vista Elementary School District, students start each day promising to be “bully busters,” reciting a pledge to treat others with kindness and respect and promising to tell an adult if they notice someone being bullied. The pledge ends, “Being a buddy begins with me.”
Principal Toni Faddis said students are reminded about good citizenship and character traits frequently at the K-6 school She uses student surveys to identify problem areas and respond. This year, she said she put additional supervisors on the playground and has staff systematically check on restrooms after seeing survey results.
She said incidents of bullying have decreased in the five years she’s been at the school.
Faddis and others say parents sometimes confuse bullying with other types of inappropriate behavior, such as when a child is pushed down on the playground by a classmate. To fall into the category of bullying, educators say the action needs to be repeated, intentional and involve a social or physical power imbalance between the bully and the victim.
Even young children can be victimized by bullying. Girls, in particular, tend to engage in rumor spreading, gossip and exclusion to target other students, teachers and anti-bullying experts say.
At one local school, a second grader endured bullying daily during lunch when she went to find a seat. She would go to sit at a table and classmates would tell her to keep going, that there wasn’t a place at the table for her, recalled Madrigal-Weiss, who was conducting anti-bullying training at the school.
“She was pushed out from the social circle and isolated in a way that was causing suffering for her,” said Madrigal-Weiss. A teacher ended up talking to the girls in the class about how hurtful their actions were...