Saturday, 19 April 2008

Good Advice

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

False allegations against teachers are commonplace and it can happen to you or maybe one of your colleagues. You need to protect yourself today to minimize your own risk and to appreciate the full magnitude of the consequential impact on you, your life and that of your family.
  • Be prepared - get a copy of your school’s disciplinary procedures.
    (Ref. ‘Be Prepared’)
  • Minimize risk - adopt the ‘two deep leadership rule’.
    (Ref. ‘It Can Happen To You’)

If you think that you are being bullied :
(Ref. ‘My Head’s A Bully’)
  • At any meetings, take a representative with you.
    (If you find yourself in a one-one meeting, then insist that the meeting be adjourned until you can be accompanied - it is your legal right.)
  • Keep a diarized account of any incidents and note any witnesses names.
  • File any documentation that might relate to an incident.
  • Do not make my mistake - If you recognize or think that you are being bullied, then address the problem. Speak with your union or seek independent legal advice.
If an allegation is made against you :
  • At any meetings, take a representative with you.
  • Until advised by either a union representative or solicitor, do not make a statement - say nothing.
  • Do not discuss the allegation with colleagues - they could betray you.
  • Contact your union as soon as possible.
  • Document everything that you can recollect about the events that relate to the period of the allegation.
    (Provide your representative with a signed and dated copy.)
  • Seek independent legal advice / opinion.
  • Write a daily diarized journal of events / feelings - it is more than a good therapy and can provide a useful record that might help your defence.
  • Your health and that of your family will be impacted. Eat well and look after yourself. Tell your GP, he will be able to help and provide advice.
  • Maintain a useful and productive routine.
  • Learn to relax – the process is slow. Months can elapse without any progress / developments.
  • Don’t quit – remember that you are defending your life and your fundamental rights.
Refer to the article in Horror Stories’ - ‘How you can protect yourself against such harmful claims’.