Hi, This is long - sorry!
I have found somewhere to connect with others who may understand. As it is hard to speak to anyone as some of my friends are parents at the school where I'm being bullied (so i can't talk to them) - I am a teacher being bullied by two of my colleagues (one is the leader) and now my immediate boss also. The situation began June/July when I first started contributing towards planning (I am a new teacher and was encouraged to take on more by my boss as she could see I was not being allowed to contribute much).
Things quickly went downhill ; undue criticism, refusal to work collegially, exclusion from conversations between her and other colleague (we all work on same year level), conversations stopping when I entered our shared office, ignoring my input/ideas/ talking over me at workshops etc/ belittling me basically. She would agree to do something for me, then not do it but swear she had "I'm sure I sent that email." etc I finally realised the amount of lying, backstabbing and deceit I was dealing with was unbelievable. I spoke to her directly (as proper procedure) and asked if I had done anything wrong/upset her etc and she brushed it all off. She would just mention a family situation or health issue occasionally as if that excused her behaviour yet weirdly seem to deny any wrong behaviour too. So...I went to my immediate boss and told her the situation. She listened, didn't say much other than she wouldn't put us together next year and that she would talk to the colleague.
No follow up was made, however in the days following my talk with my boss in
fact, the behaviours grew worse, snapping at me, leaving me out of
conversations again, not allowing me to contribute to year level input or
organsiation. I approached my boss who said she had talked to my colleague but gave me no
further advice or feedback.
After 10 days of this worse treatment I again approached my boss saying that (and emailing) I
needed to have this situation resolved urgently, as obviously their talk with the colleague had
only made things worse. My boss tried to set up a meeting with the 3 of us and totally ignored my request to avoid meeting with just the 3 of us as I felt it would not be appropriate without support person and I had to be very
assertive to get a support person involved.
An in-house mediation meeting took place after much stalling and time wasting. The 'overall boss' spoke well and reminded my colleague she was not to override me, that we were professional teachers and should be able to countribute and work in a civil way. It was suggested follow up to ensure all would go well. My colleaguge denied all the behaviours during the meeting and blatantly lied about me, I had witness names to back up my claims yet she would give no names! No apology was given although I asked for one and she was prompted to give one - she didn't.
Following the meeting, my 2 colleagues behaviours settled for a period of
6-8 weeks (3 of which were school holidays). then, around the time it was announced that they were working
together again next year, there was a re-starting of the bullying behaviours
(isolation/exclusion/refusal to collegially cooperate) from them both. I again spoke to my immediate boss who brushed it all off, saying I should think of the other persons feelings as I had made allegations against her and that she now felt she couldn't speak to me at all! My immediate boss also made unnerving implicit threats to me during this meeting (there was just the 2 of us) about 'who I had been seen talking to' and 'what some people had said about me' but would give no names!.
Things carried on badly, I had several days signed off due to depression (doctor knows it is through workplace bullying). I returned (thinking of my poor students) to the same situation, I was then 'set up' with another meeting with immediate boss and a colleague of hers (not told she would be present) and just because I asked for some assistance was belittled, had sarcasm used, she went back on an offer made in front of our overall boss and I spent the meeting in tears. I went straight to our overall boss and poured my heart out - saying I had had enough, that now my boss was behaving in a bullyin manner too. (There is a long history to her bullying behaviours but I had thought she would not repeat them with someone new this year).
I have been signed off work by my GP for 4 days, seen a great psychologist on his referral who said it is systemic bullying in the organisation and that I need to remove myself from it to protect myself unless something changes rapidly. I am due to return to work Thursday. Physical and mental toll? Lack of sleep, depression, anxiety, disengagement with husband and children, social withdrawal, losing self-confidence, loss of appetite, etc I LOVE teachng, my students and their families are great. I also have some supportive, great colleagues who have seen what is happening (and some who have been bullied too) BUT how long can I go through this for? WHY should I be the one to leave what would otherwise be my dream job? It's all so unfair. I am awaiting union advice but I have had no contact from my boss or their boss since I informed them I was not coping with the situation and that was Thursday morning - great duty of care!