I’m being harassed by my administrator….now what?
Having your career derailed is not a great experience. Especially when it’s through no fault of your own. You may be a victim of a bigger agenda against tenure protections. Perhaps your administration has someone else in mind for your position. Maybe you were too vocal? The reasons for your bullying are endless.
Let’s see if we can help guide you through this horrible ordeal.
Step 2: DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! Take pictures of notices, schedules or anything else you are being given that you feel is evidence of harassment. Save DOE emails to your own personal email system. Create an online folder for all this using either dropbox.com, Google Drive or iCloud.
Step 3: Depending on your relationship with your Chapter Leader, and their relationship with your administration, notify them.
Step 4: Try not to let the harassment get you and affect your work and livelihood. We know that is easier said than done, but bullies like to see a reaction. Smile at them.
Step 5: File a grievance. You can file it by yourself, with your chapter leader, or with your Borough Office. Don’t know where your Borough Office is located? Click here. You should file an Article 23 Special Harassment grievance. See more here. Follow up all phone calls/in-person conversations with an email and write down whom you speak to.
Step 6: Ask to see your file in writing (email leaves a “paper trail”). If your principal refuses, file a grievance. More on that further down. If there is anything negative in your file, write a rebuttal.
Step 7: You might need to lawyer up if your principal continues with the harassment or if it gets worse. Ask a lawyer to compose a Notice of Claim threatening of your intent to sue if the harassment continues. You can also file a PERB charge against your principal with a lawyer’s help.
(Note: This column by UFT Solidarity does not constitute legal advice. We ask you to consider expert opinions of members of the legal profession before you make this next move).
Step 8: THIS IS A LAST RESORT. Have you been applying to schools outside of your current district? Email principals outside of your current District your cover letter and resume. Here’s a how-to guide on how to find principal emails.
Step 9: Keep on smiling. Keep on doing your best. Take care of yourself in the best ways you know how.