Another type of bully
Bullying is getting national attention and being taken more seriously than in days past. But the focus is decidedly on kid-on-kid abuse. While the mean girls, the taunters and tormentors, the physical abusers, and the excluders are very real threats, so too are educators who abuse their power over the very kids they are supposed to protect.
But when teachers verbally and even physically abuse kids, the abuse is often blatant and rarely called what it is — bullying — reinforcing the false notion that only kids, not the grown-ups in charge, are bullies. (Read 12 bullying myths.)
Amid mounting data that bullying is on the rise, there’s a glaring absence of statistics on adult school bullies. In part, perhaps, because bullying by a teacher or principal is far more complex to identify, address, and rectify. It’s difficult to know what to make of a teacher who crosses the line from basic discipline to regularly berating, intimidating, humiliating (and even physically abusing) a student — so much so that a child’s afraid to be in school.