Furthermore, in some troubled schools, students bully teachers -- and teachers dish it back to avoid appearing weak."Teachers are often physically scared of students," Twemlow says.In his anonymous survey of 116 teachers at seven elementary schools, more than 70% said they believed that bullying was isolated. "I was surprised at how many teachers were willing to be honest," Twemlow says.
Like many parents who have had mostly positive relationships with teachers, Jan believed her son was overreacting. I told him, 'Just stop it.' It affected his mood and it affected our relationship." Before long, Jan herself saw signs of the teacher's outbursts. "He said, 'Your son is ruining this,'" Jan recalls. I'm driving there, and I'm ready to tell him he's grounded.
When I got there, the teacher said, 'Oh, it's fine.' "He was already over it." The clincher came when Jan visited another family with a daughter in the choir.
"The teacher lunchroom, that's where people talk about kids.
So for the next four years, you've poisoned them." Jan concluded that the teacher was brilliant but volatile, and she's unsure why was her son was a "lightning rod," she says.
"This is not being done to victimize or criticize teachers.
There are a few bad apples, but the vast majority of teachers go beyond the call of duty.But teachers do bully for various reasons, experts tell Web MD. Or, in a surprising reversal of the "teacher's pet" syndrome, insecure teachers may bully bright students out of envy.Other teachers suffer from personal problems -- job burnout, marital woes, or severe behavior problems with their own children -- and they take out their frustrations in class."This is the type of teacher who usually is passive and lets a class get out of control and responds with rage and bullying.These bully-victim teachers are often absent from work, they fail to set limits, and they do a lot of referrals to the principal because they like other people to handle their problems." These teachers could benefit from training on effective classroom management, he says.Teacher bullying spans "the range of human behaviors," Twemlow says.