Stop Teachers from Bullying Students

Target: Association of American Educators

Goal: Prevent children from being bullied by teachers

There have been a lot of people speaking out against bullying in the media, and we understand the terrible effects of being bullied by one’s peers. However, classmates are not always the bullies; sometimes teachers can bully their students. In some respects this type of bullying is even more devastating due to the imbalance of power and the likelihood that parents and other school officials may question the integrity of the child’s claim that he or she is being bullied by a teacher. Even if parents choose to confront the principal of the school about the problem, they may be inclined to defend the teacher.

A prominent psychiatrist recently carried out a study that investigated the issue of teacher bullying, proving that it is more prevalent than one might believe. He anonymously surveyed 116 elementary school teachers, with forty-five percent admitting to having bullied a student. The study found that men and women are equally likely to bully. Why do teachers bully their students? A variety of reasons have been discussed. The student may remind them of someone else that they dislike. If they are a good student the teacher may actually envy their intelligence or potential. Some teachers may take out their stress at home on their students, while teachers who work in troubled schools may bully in an attempt to maintain authority, to avoid appearing weak. The worst teachers just enjoy ridiculing their students, or they let the classroom get so out of hand that they snap and respond with rage and aggression toward their students. Either way, people who do such things should not be teachers.

Parents should make a habit of discussing school with their children to gauge and monitor the child’s interactions with their teachers. If a student mentions that a certain teacher doesn’t like him, or he mentions an instance of bullying, the parent should investigate further and speak to the teacher directly. Educators should be made aware of teacher bullying by their direct supervisors and by their professional association. By confronting the issue, teachers can be on the lookout for warning signals that they may be exhibiting bullying behavior to their students. Teachers who bully will also understand that such behavior is not tolerated and is taken very seriously by both their place of work and their professional association.


Dear Association of American Educators,

In a recent study, forty-five percent of teachers admitted to bullying their students. This needs to stop now, and it is imperative that you take action against teacher bullying. Demand that all schools hold a meeting of teachers and staff to educate them on the issue of teacher bullying, giving them examples and warning signs to look for of such behavior.

Provide materials to schools to distribute to teachers at these meetings, as well as a power point presentation, and other presentational suggestions to make this meeting effective. Let teachers know that if they are suspected of bullying their students they will no longer be welcome as a part of the Association of American Educators.

Please stand up for the students in our schools, and commit to protecting them from being bullied by their teachers.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Marine Connan via Fotopedia

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