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Bullying: At School or Work – it is Unacceptable

By Theresa

It’s a new school year and I would guess that many teachers are getting briefed on recognizing and dealing with bullying in school. Bullying is defined as “a repeated pattern of behaviour intended to intimidate, offend, degrade or humiliate a particular person or group—the bully’s target.” (http://alis.alberta.ca/ep/eps/tips/tips.html?EK=11594)

As I’m writing this blog it brings back memories of my bullying experiences in junior high school (mind you back then the term “bullying” was not even a part of a school’s language). I remember how it felt being the target. I remember feeling embarrassed and alone. Fortunately, for me, the bullying was short-lived. However, whether short-lived or not, it has left its mark on me forever. Yes bullying at school is painful and unacceptable.

Yet bullying is not exclusive to schools. There is also bullying in the workplace. Picture the employee who is teased day after day by co-workers for how he/she dresses, walks, talks, performs a certain job task, etc. Is that you?  Picture the employee whose boss degrades him/her over and over again in front of co-workers. Is that you? Picture the employee who has rumours spread about him/her regularly. Is that you?

Bullying in the workplace can impact many areas of life:  health, job performance, job attendance, self-esteem, etc. It can also impact the workplace in general. Co-workers’ assignments may increase if the bully’s target begins to underperform due to the bullying.

Unfortunately bullying in the workplace does exist. It is just as painful and unacceptable as bullying in our schools. It needs to be addressed as soon as it is identified. The site listed above gives important information for employers. If you are an employee check out this tip sheet:  http://alis.alberta.ca/ep/eps/tips/tips.html?EK=11608.

Stand up against bullying in our schools and workplaces.

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