I have learned very valuable lessons from reading your blog, but perhaps you might want to do a separate entry called "Things I Learned During This Process." You could include the various lessons that ALL of us at the ESC can learn.
1. Your email is not your email. Even when you print out an email of praise from a supervisor, that paper is not yours to keep. It is district property and must be returned.
2. You may keep NO personal files, copies of resumes, images, sounds, songs, or ideas on your district computer. Nothing. No screen savers of your kids, no images of your significant other, nothing. If you do, you are misusing district resources. ESD employees are to immediately purge their laptops of anything personal.
3. After your leave the district's employment, you are still subject to their whims. You may not work for other agencies whose interests may conflict with the district, nor can you take any lessons learned or information processed with you when you go. The ESD will determine who you can work for, even after they terminate your employment.
4. All administrators at ESD are evil, with the exception of Ken Limon, who is, I believe, the only administrator NOT mentioned on the blog so far.
5. If your boss' name is Marla or Manny, quit now. It won't end well.
6. If you download porn onto a district computer, watch it during the day. No one will find it.
Editorial: Thank you to this contributor. Without a name I can't forward your residuals when I sell the movie rights. By the way, Ken Limon was apparently involved in further targeting staff that were forced into early retirement and bullied by administrators. He signed the no trespass order against these contributors. He, of course, is welcome to draft a rebuttal and I will be happy to have it ripped apart on the blog.
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Sorry to burst your bubble.
Mr. Limon was the upper administrator who refused to investigate the original allegations of bullying at Meadowdale Middle in April and May 2004. (Even worse, he agreed with the staff member who brought it to his attention and then the next day, presumably after consulting with the bully, changed his mind and told the staff member that he agreed with the bully, nothing like that was happening.) A year later, when HR refused to "investigate" the second round of complaints of bullying (June 2005), Limon was sent an e-mail affirming that the behavior was continuing. Limon is the one who went to the bully (July/August 2005) and asked if the bully was bullying the teachers. Naturally, the bully said, "No." Limon then responded to the writer (August 2005) that the writer wasn't being treated that way; he had "investigated" by asking the bully! When the bullying escalated (August 2005- March 2006) and the victim complained in a very public way (because he had tried all regular avenues of redress), Limon was the one who signed the no trespass order against the victim AND THE VICTIM'S WIFE when they continued to try to point out that the bullying had not stopped even though a new principal had taken over at MMS (June 2007).
Mr. Limon's lack of and poor handling of the situation was a major cause of 12 or 13 people leaving MMS (end of 2005-06 and early 2006-07 school years. Some were pushed out, some left to get away from the poisoned atmosphere, some retired early, giving up hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary and lost retirement benefits.
Sorry. If there is one person who should have done something about the bullying at MMS, it was Limon. And he chose to do nothing.
Sorry. I was so distracted by the post that I didn't read down to Mark's editorial.
Mr Limon, tick tock your time is coming. The wheel. Just a reminder, the top becomes the bottom in time! Remember you write it. I recieve it. I will never STOP!
Careful, please. They will assume that your comments are a physical threat to district employees and go to court to try to shut the blog down.
My no-contact order was instituted in part because I freely discussed that during my depression I had thoughts of "what life would be like without X and Y." This remark was a confirmation of a statistic that I picked up in "The No Asshole Rule" by Robert Sutton, Stanford Business School (one of the top 4 or 5 business schools in the country, just to put that in perspective). Sutton notes that research indicates that the victim of bullying is 5 times more likely to kill or harm themselves than their bully. I was merely reporting to a former colleague (who had shown me kindness when it was greatly needed) that, by my experience, that was a true statement. (As a sidelight, I spoke to a district parent later who reported to me that because he drives an Army surplus camouflaged truck with a gun rack in the window, he was subjected to a "risk assessment" from his employer. In no way did this person seem "scary" to me.)
While to my mind, these feelings are comparable to George Bailey wishing he had never been born (my background IS drama after all) in "It's a Wonderful Life," somebody twisted it to be a direct threat to faculty and staff. Limon and Osborne denounced/slandered me (and spouse) in front of my former colleagues and perfect strangers as a physical threat to students and staff, stationed an LPD car in the parking lot, and threatened everyone to not contact us using District equipment or they would face disciplinary action. Talk about intimidation! This was 15 months after I had left the District "for health and personal reasons" and we had moved 220 miles away. (The "health reasons" [which Tam was very happy to hear about] included increased blood pressure and racing heart beat which would not reset. BP 160/110, HR 100BPM for over 4 weeks, night and day. That's what bullying does to people; it raises your anxiety level and makes it very hard to work.)
10 minutes after the end of the contract day, former colleagues were calling us (on THEIR cell phones, OFF school property) to ask what the hell was going on. "You won't believe what they are saying about you!" "Actually, I would." "These people are very afraid of you." "Politically, they should be; physically, no. Here's what this is all about." I'd fill them in.
When people hear the truth rather than the cooked up story (or silence) put out and enforced by the administration, they cannot believe their ears. They apologize that such a thing has happened to us.
But it is not their place to apologize; that responsibility rests elsewhere, doesn't it Ken? Tam? Dan? Dave? All those who did nothing when there was still a chance to save the situation or do the right thing.
Most of the current district upper management are a cross between the Keystone Cops and the Sopranos. Incompetent nit-wits, with the ability, and inclination, to do great harm to others. Stay out of their way and don't ask for or expect their help.
Yes, but "staying out of their way" allows them to stay where THEY are, as well.
Change doesn't happen without confrontation. Confrontation is scary, especially when "they" seem to hold all the power. The long-term benefits of eliminating this type of behavior are, however, greater than the cost of the confrontation. I would mind my situation much less if I knew that it had created change-that no one else would be subjected to the treatment that I endured and witnessed for 2 1/2 years. At the building level, there was some change (except that the next administrator began to behave in the same way as the old one); it needs to happen at the ESC level, too.
The choice is yours. If no one objects (or they can pretend that no one does), nothing will be done. Think about the Freedom Riders in the 1960's; no Riders, no voting rights for blacks in the South.
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