Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bully Impact Statements at Parliament House Victoria

Today was a high STRESS day but I did handle it reasonably well given the events of the day. Thanks to Yoga breathing and a few sneaky little stress stretches. I am looking forward to Michelle's 12 noon class on Friday. It will put me in a Shabbes mood. Easy.
I had to go into the Session on Bullying plus get my car serviced. I took a tram in plenty of time, so I thought. Tram was late. I got to the train station and thought I will run a bit late but I would be on the 2.51 to the city and I would get to Parliament station around five or six past 3pm. I reckoned without some incident at Prahran station. There was a medical emergency. I trotted up to the train driver who was keeping us up dated on what was happening. He had a few teeth missing. Poor bugger.
  'Well, could be thar thum druggie ftheakin', or thumeone thlipped, ya nar between thar platform and thar train. Carn't go ta Windsor mathe, cos thar boom gates go down at Pran and thar motorists geths uspset. Ooorr, thumbody hath a hart tack. Gotta give thar ambos time to get them away.'

Eventually I caught a taxi after several more minutes and got in to the parliament legislative council room at around 3.50pm. Just in time to hear a woman called P speak very coherently about her experiences as a CEO being bullied by superiors and she was followed respectively by a teacher of thirty years standing, a kindergarten teacher and another gentleman who related his experiences and it sounded like a public service workplace. There was also another woman BC who was also a teacher and she spoke extremely well about her experiences of being devalued and denigrated because she threatened the less competent superiors. I was very sorry to have missed some of the speakers. I did give my statement self edited a bit more and I am sending in a few bits and pieces of my story.
I have decided to make it a fiction story and hopefully when I get to the country I will write it as a fictionalised account.
Why fictionalised you may well ask? Well, the aim is to educate about bullying and not to demonise and demoralise those who could be affected by writing a true account and of course I could be sued by those who would feel that I am presenting them in a less than flattering light. Yes, I could ruin reputations and then it would achieve little. I want to eventually change the system to make it more compassionate and nurturing of people and not to destroy people.
My story is about an older teacher married to a younger man (five or six years younger give or take). He is self employed. They go the IVF trip and have twins. She is 43 and he is mid thirties. He makes the decision to be a stay at home father and work on fixing computers at home and look after the twins while she is at work. They are criticised in the small country town and also she is harassed at work for 'castrating her husband' and being a 'career bitch'. They are Jewish. Their only friends are an Indian Hindu couple - the wife is a science teacher and the father does labouring work and a single mother who is a wood works teacher. She has a teenage daughter at a boarding school nearby.
The story opens with the funeral of the teacher who has committed suicide because of the stress and workplace harassment. It is told through her husband and her diary entries. He also has conversations with an Art teacher who she was friendly with and who department officials bullied into changing her statement about the workplace harassment to make it appear that the woman had mental issues and that it was not workplace bullying at all.
I just have to find the time and money to write it. I want to show how bullying happens in the education workplace. How children or students take cues from teachers about their peers and also about other teaching colleagues, the subtle messages that are passed around the small school communities and hopefully we can have some people take note and make for more caring communities and correct the flaws where they occur. It is very easy to do. You just need to care for others, believe in some sort of social justice and value each individual for who they are whether they have a disability either acquired or from birth, whether they are super bright or slower to learn. whether they are the same culture or gender identity as you or not. They are still human beings who deserve some level of RESPECT and to have their dignity intact.
Leaving you with this image of beauty to rest the soul...PEACE and TRANQUILITY

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