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Bullying, Stress & Suicide - and the Power of Art to Fight Back

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by martygull, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. "Stress is driving increasing numbers of
    teachers out of the profession, with some even considering suicide..." (The Guardian, 25 April 2011)


    is just a euphemism for bullying these days. Corporate management has refined
    bullying into a murderous art form. You’d be surprised (as, indeed was I) at
    how systemic bullying has become legitimized through a grotesquely Darwinian ‘ramp
    of improvements’. Like water-boarding, it’s not torture now - it’s ‘data
    retrieval’ or ‘performance management’. It’s plausibly deniable, backed up by
    pots of money and QCs. When you control the data machine, you control the

    is becoming increasingly entangled with politics and business. Headteachers don’t
    teach. They chase pots of money and marketing opportunities. Anything that gets
    in the way is crushed without scruple. When you factor in the profit potential
    of privatization and outsourcing (via masonic golf-clubs), the idea of management
    having a legal duty of care towards staff as well as students has become…
    quaintly laughable.

    wonder if there's scope for M.A. and PhD studies on how organizational mafias
    operate, in schools these days, with links to politics and business? I hope so.

    I would
    like to bring to your attention my action research project and education/arts
    blog which is a preamble to a PhD proposal on this very subject – and the power
    of art to fight back.

    see the following:



    particular posts which may be of interest…

    Blog #130. Marty Gull - Targets


    Blog #62. Is education a commodity?


    Blog #92. "Do Protests Still Work?"


    Blog #25: Marty Gull Song #11. You’ve Got To
    Kick A Teacher Or Two


    #213. The Biometrics of How Schools Work


    #214. Staffing Costs Less With Death By

  2. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Sorry Marty,
    I'm too busy teaching in the run up to SQA exams to contribute to your studies and think I may become more stressed and depressed by dwelling on it. All jobs are stressful but most of us have bills to pay and have to put up with it - I think it's called life.
  3. Thanks for your brief response Jon.

    A brief critique:

    <ol>[*]Are you really 'too busy teaching'? Or are you too busy servicing the needs of the data machine? This is not the same thing at all.[*]Not all jobs are stressful. To make such a sweeping claim is demonstrably untrue. In any event, teaching should not be stressful. Stress is counter-productive to health and learning. The focus of my action research is on how stress in teaching is artificially created. It is created by systemic and endemic bullying. Bullying is unacceptable and unforgivable. [*]I am advocating that all bullies must be identified and publicly named and shamed. They must be publicly humiliated and disgraced and ejected from public service in show trials to set an example and act as a deterrent. Management bullying is destroying lives and learning. It is wasting billions of pounds of tax payers' money and undermining this country's future. Complacency is not an option here. In education, it is unforgivable. [*]Anyone who endorses bullying, or acquiesces to it, or is complacent about it, is also unfit for teaching or any other public service. To claim that this disgraceful behaviour is 'called life' is unforgivable in a teacher. Shame on you. Depression and bills are no excuse for kowtowing to evil. Make no mistake, bullying is evil. Or do you wish to defend it as 'part of life'? </ol>
  4. &lsquo;Education
    is the emptying a bucket over the lighting of a fire&rsquo;. (Not William Butler

    sorry for the delay in reply. As a consequence of prolonged bullying, after 10
    years teaching I am about to become homeless. It&rsquo;s been preoccupying my mind,
    as it must preoccupy the minds of those still fortunate enough to be fearful
    for their jobs.

    that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing&rdquo;
    (Popular 20th century saying, paraphrasing Edmund Burke [1770] and often
    misattributed to him)

    bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an
    unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.&rdquo; (Edmund Burke, Thoughts on the Cause of the Present
    , 1770).

    rapacity of evil men, and the folly of appeasing them, was revealed to the
    world in 1938. That was 73 years ago. The lesson is clear. If evil is
    unchallenged, it is encouraged.

    specific regard to education, I am personally aware (as, I suspect, are you) of
    headteachers and senior management who have felt free to engage in the
    following activities:

    and systemic bullying (&lsquo;reigns of terror&rsquo;)


    intimidation, sexual assault and abuse of power

    appointing and promoting sexual abusers



    scale fraud and embezzlement

    refer to the broadly representative examples below for case studies in the
    public domain:

    Disgraced head teacher is suspended again


    Revealed: The racist, sexist, foul-mouthed
    primary school HEADTEACHER who called parents 'Muslim f******'


    Disgraced headteacher Nigel Griffiths gets
    three year exam ban


    Headteacher, 44, stole thousands from school
    fund to pay for daughter's hen night pirate costumes


    Headteacher jailed for eight months


    Top headteacher held over &pound;500,000 Cuba trip
    expenses fraud


    Headteacher breaks silence to deny &pound;1.5m
    fraud claim


    cases are mere public protrusions. There are vast icebergs of corruption
    beneath the headlines. The fate of lookouts and whistleblowers is well known (but
    not spoken of). They are drowned in sacks by moonlight&hellip;

    recent News of the World scandal is a
    microcosm of our education system. Schools have sacrificed truth for sales
    figures, integrity for boardroom intrigue. Corporate misgovernance, systemic corruption,
    sickening hypocrisy, the callous destruction of human beings for personal
    profit - all of these News of the World
    shenanigans are everyday events in the British education system.

    I stand
    by my comments. In fact, I go further. Bullies, and their allies, and their
    apologists, must be purged from the
    system by all means necessary. Education
    is more than a &lsquo;safe job&rsquo; (actually, it&rsquo;s nothing of the sort). Education is
    the survival of our nation. If teachers and management don&rsquo;t have the stomach
    for the fight against corruption, then they may be part of the problem and
    perhaps need to quit the field. To borrow from &lsquo;Bomber&rsquo; Harris:

    &ldquo;The management
    started this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to
    bully everyone else, and nobody was going to fight back. At News of the World,
    Southside Business College, and half a hundred other places, they put their
    rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going
    to reap the whirlwind.&rdquo; ~ Marty &lsquo;B*stard&rsquo; Gull

    &ldquo;We are
    going to scourge corrupt management from end to end. We are purging
    institutions scandal by scandal and ever more terribly in order to make it
    impossible for idiots to go on running them. That is our object, and we shall
    pursue it relentlessly.&rdquo; ~ Marty &lsquo;B*stard&rsquo; Gull

    &ldquo;I do
    not personally regard the whole of the remaining management of Britain as worth
    the bones of one decent teacher.&rdquo; ~ Marty &lsquo;B*stard&rsquo; Gull

    has your Board of Governors put you at the mercy of a psychopath? In a 2005
    study at Surrey University (http://works.bepress.com/katar?ina_fritzon/1/),
    3 out of 11 personality disorders were found to be more common in senior
    management than in deeply disturbed criminal psychiatric patients. The study
    described such management types as successful psychopaths and the criminals as
    unsuccessful psychopaths&hellip;

    was a 2005 study conducted by Belinda Board and Katarina Fritzon, psychologists
    at Surrey University. They interviewed senior management personnel and gave
    them profile tests designed to identify various personality disorders. The resu...lts
    were then compared with those of criminal psychiatric patients at Broadmoor
    Hospital. As stated, 3 out of 11 personality disorders were more prevalent in
    senior management than in deeply disturbed criminals.

    The 3 most common personality disorders identified in senior management were:

    1. Histrionic personality disorder: including superficial charm, insincerity,
    egocentricity and manipulation.

    2. Narcissistic personality disorder: including grandiosity, self-focused lack
    of empathy for others, exploitativeness and independence.

    3. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: including perfectionism,
    excessive devotion to work, rigidity, stubbornness and dictatorial tendencies.

    Do any of these ring a bell? If so, your Board of Governors may have put you at
    the mercy of a psychopath. Psychopaths have no mercy whatsoever. They will
    happily bully you to death and thoroughly enjoy the experience of power.

    See also: &ldquo;Is your boss a psychopath?&rdquo; by Oliver James



    Information for teachers and lecturers experiencing workplace bullying


    claimed that &lsquo;education is not the filling of a bucket but the lighting of a
    fire&rsquo;. Unfortunately he was wrong. As Hume demonstrated, you can&rsquo;t derive an
    &lsquo;ought&rsquo; from an &lsquo;is&rsquo;.

    Education nowadays is all about standardization. Yeats wou.d take one look at
    our schools and rewrite &lsquo;education is the emptying a bucket over the lighting
    of a fire&rsquo;. Standardization is indoctrination by the back door.

    Big business and tiny minds now contradict the laws of wisdom. The more
    disastrous their ideas are proved to be, the more they are promoted as the
    future of education.

    It&rsquo;s as though terrorists prefaced each atrocity with a PR statement claiming
    that it was regrettable but necessary &lsquo;progress&rsquo;.

    &ldquo;Ah, progress. Why didn&rsquo;t you say so before? That&rsquo;s alright then. Nobody can
    stand in the way of progress&hellip;

    What&rsquo;s that? Define progress? Don&rsquo;t be stupid. That&rsquo;s philosophy. We fired all
    the philosophy faculty last month. Who needs to think when the answers are in
    the company brochure? That&rsquo;s progress for you...&rdquo;

    In the
    UK, the establishment has now completed its transformation of schools into
    corporate indoctrination camps. It is impossible for free thinkers to exist in
    the UK education system.

    American friend recently elaborated on his definition of indoctrination. I
    thought it seemed a fairly accurate description of schools in the UK...

    1. It
    is a set of unprovable principles.

    2. Such principles are often instilled at such an age that the individual has
    not yet developed the cognitive abilities to recognize them as false. This
    means that they are instilled as not to be questioned.

    3. But when they are questioned it is met with slanted answers or outright
    false claims.

    4. There is almost always an underlying hidden self-serving agenda by those in
    the ranks (elected leaders, elite in society, administrators, etc.) for
    requiring such a doctrine to be instilled.

    5. It almost always (such as with religion or patriotism) demands your blind,
    unquestioned loyalty or at the very least that you remain obedient to this set
    of principles.

    repeat, such disastrous indoctrination, and such shameless parasites feeding
    off the public purse, need to be publicly ridiculed and humilated and driven
    out of office. Ridicule won&rsquo;t do the job on its own. But, to destroy the &lsquo;reign
    of terror&rsquo;, it&rsquo;s a good start&hellip;

    the Shark


    &copy; Chris Port, 8th July 2011

    (to the tune of Rupert the Bear http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLrMLPHJ7iI)

    There&rsquo;s a little shark

    he&rsquo;s swimming through the dark

    up at you

    in the park

    loves a little spark

    your Fu Manchu

    a billion Chinese to be sold

    Stars from Hong Kong

    with Wendi and her government

    sing along

    Rupert, Rupert Murdoch

    buy his news

    Rupert Murdoch

    play along

    or you
    will just lose

    is Becca Brooks

    Jamie Murdoch too

    they&rsquo;ve made their bones

    are Rupert's hacks

    they're listening to you

    So I&rsquo;d
    lock your phones

    a mega deal not far from here

    they call it News Corp!

    you'll meet a little emperor

    start a war&hellip;

    Rupert, Rupert Murdoch

    buy his news

    Rupert Murdoch

    play along

    or you
    will just lose

    Rupert, Rupert Murdoch

    buy his news

    Rupert Murdoch

    play along

    or you
    will just lose

    bloody Rupert



    Peaceful Song For The Summer)


    &copy; Chris Port, 7th July 2011

    (To the tune of Hey Jude http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMTqvhV_nDM)

    Gove, don&rsquo;t go insane

    Take a
    pension to pay a banker

    starving like dead men out in the rain

    So you
    can fart around like w*nkers

    Gove, don&rsquo;t cross the road

    would hate you to get run over

    living are stepping over the dead

    As you
    begin to move them closer

    every time you steal the milk, Hey Gove, your guilt

    spilling its guts over our torture

    well you know that it&rsquo;s a sh*t who pays the rich

    making our schools a whole lot poorer

    Na na
    na, na na, na na na na

    Gove, don&rsquo;t trust your seat

    You have
    flushed us right down the sh*tter

    and school is out in the street

    In the
    sick heat with pints of bitter

    So lap
    it up and drink it down, Hey Gove, you clown

    waiting for Schama to perform to

    don&rsquo;t you think that it&rsquo;s the calm before the storm

    laying its hand upon your shoulder?

    Na na
    na, na na, na na na na, yeah

    Gove, don&rsquo;t take it bad

    your pension and live in clover

    living are stepping over the dead

    As we
    begin to move much closer

    closer, closer, closer, closer, oh!

    Na na
    na, na-na na na

    Na-na na na, hey Gove

    Na na na, na-na na na

    Na-na na na, hey Gove

    Na na na, na-na na na

    Na-na na na, hey Gove

    Na na na, na-na na na

    Na-na na na, hey Gove

    Na na na, na-na na na

    Na-na na na, hey Gove

    Na na na, na-na na na

    Na-na na na, hey Gove



    &copy; Chris Port, 18th July 2011

    (To the tune of Onward, Christian Soldiers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZOufj40teM&feature=related)

    politicians, waving like a flag

    your jobs and pensions safely in the bag

    See the
    mogul Murdoch, legal as the shark

    in the water, murder in the dark

    politicians, waving like a flag

    your jobs and pensions safely in the bag

    first sign of trouble, advertising flees

    Go then
    Rupert Murdoch, go down on your knees

    foundation trembles at the spread of rot

    the nation&rsquo;s temples on this curs&eacute;d spot

    politicians, waving like a flag

    your jobs and pensions safely in the bag

    stampeding a*seholes saving their own ****

    cows are running into abattoirs

    are divided, factious are the tribes

    of the action, buying peace with bribes

    politicians, waving like a flag

    your jobs and pensions safely in the bag

    may perish, nations rise and fall

    But the
    corporations always make the call

    will always vote for their money

    just float tiny boats on their lawless sea

    politicians, waving like a flag

    your jobs and pensions safely in the bag

    then you Gleesters to your happy songs

    sips of Lethe, drowning out all wrongs

    pulls the drawstrings of your puppet grins

    of Orwell singing, hanging your washing

    politicians, waving like a flag

    your jobs and pensions safely in the bag
  5. For anyone interested in what is happening to the arts in
    education and politics &ndash; this conversation thread has become quite


    &rdquo; &hellip; Schools are now heavily promoting the entertainments industry in
    the arts curriculum. This is inherently right-wing because it tends to
    favour an uncritical approach to &lsquo;traditional&rsquo; values. Tapping into the
    current vogue for light entertainment and humiliation contests, schools
    are disastrously misappropriating an X-Factor/Apprentice approach to
    give them a spurious &lsquo;relevance&rsquo;. Most students are now taught a love of
    fame and money over love of the art form. Many develop inflated egos
    and delusions of grandeur.

    The entertainments industry has one of the highest unemployment rates
    of any profession. It is also notoriously brutal and corrupt with a
    glut of wasted talent. To exploit na&iuml;ve young dreams for school
    publicity, then cynically throw them into shark-infested waters is
    morally disgusting and nothing to do with education.

    Even more sinister is the creep of religious fundamentalism under the
    guise of faith schools and traditional values. As the &lsquo;good harmless
    fun&rsquo; of entertainment is whipped up to hysterical levels, analytical
    subjects such as Film Studies are being quietly pushed out. I can&rsquo;t tell
    you the devious games that management play to &lsquo;prove&rsquo; that there isn&rsquo;t a
    demand for these subjects. Having spoken off the record to students,
    there IS a demand. But this is diverted through sneaky ploys when
    students are given &lsquo;advice&rsquo; on their subject choices.

    The underlying reason for these sneaky power games is political.
    Right-wing, narrow-minded traditionalists have infiltrated senior
    management, boards of governors, and local councils. They secretly view
    the intellectual side of the arts as politically biased and dangerously
    subversive. This may have been true in the 1970s and 1980s as the
    Marxists fought their last battles in the system, but it&rsquo;s a damnable
    lie now. The arts are the epitome of even-handed analysis and criticism.
    It&rsquo;s the right-wing who are the new dangerous subversives, hijacking
    the education system for political indoctrination&hellip;&rdquo;
  6. You do know you've posted this on the "Scotland" section of TES? It's just that your posts reference English education so you might want a wider audience.
  7. Hi Airy.

    Yes I did know, thanks. I wasn't picking on Scotland! I was just following up a blood trail from 'Bullying of teachers by senior staff' at http://community.tes.co.uk/forums/p/199610/6677969.aspx#6677969

    It actually suited my purpose to pursue the debate in a forum slightly removed from English local realpolitik. As it happens, the politics of bullying in education seems to transcend borders. I think there may be underlying reasons for that.

    I take your point that I might want a wider audience. However, at the moment, I'm more interested in the 'curious incident of the dog in the night-time'. Even in Scotland, Perfidious Albion creeps while sleeping dogs lie...
  8. Makes me wonder why on earth do we go through what we do even to get a teaching job? **** job.
  9. 'If
    a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time,
    all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be
    there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist,
    without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence
    for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom
    teacher's job.' ~ Donald D. Quinn

    'It is rather like sending your opening batsmen to the crease, only for
    them to find that their bats have been broken before the game by the
    team captain.' ~ Geoffrey Howe

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