Sunday 10 July 2016


Reader Jennifer found that bullying is not always confined to fellow pupils when she fell out with one of her teachers at school...

Jennifer says:
I had never had a problem with school until Year Eight. I'm not a troublemaker, I'm actually more on the geeky side as good grades and hard work mean a lot to me. School is important - it's your chance to get a good start in life, and I have always been determined to do the best I could. English has always been my favourite subject and I'd always got good grades... until Year Eight.

We had a new teacher... let's call her Miss B. She was young and fun and fresh out of college, and everyone liked her a lot because she was less strict and stuffy than the teacher we'd had before. The problem started when I got my first essay back, and it was marked as a C grade. OK, that isn't bad... but I've been getting A grades ever since I can remember, so it was a shock. Then, as I looked through the essay, I saw she had corrected a spelling that wasn't actually wrong... and worse, knocked marks off for poor grammar on a sentence when it was actually correct. I told myself she must have been tired when she was marking it, so I stayed behind after class and pointed out that she'd made a mistake. Not my best move. She went very red and I could tell right away that she was angry. She told me she was the teacher and I was the pupil, and that she knew the rules of grammar and spelling better than I did, but I could tell she knew that she was wrong.

After that, English lessons were awful. Miss B never ever called on me to answer a question, never asked me to read out, but that wasn't all. Every day she would make snide remarks and jokes at my expense. She'd say I tried too hard, that I was big headed and thought I was better than the others, that I wasn't half as clever as I thought. She made comments about my choice of shoes, my hair, even y skin (I have acne). My classmates laughed along with her, and that hurt more than anything. I started to give up on English and dread going to school, and at parents evening she told my parents I was rude, arrogant and lazy.

My parents went mad... they went to the Head and complained. Miss B denied everything, but one of my friends stood up for me about some of the things that went on in class. Miss B was away a lot after that and left at the end of the year. Lots of stories came out then about how she wasn't coping with her classes and how other people had complained too. I'd like to say I'm sorry, but I'm not... she wiped out my confidence and rebuilding it will be a hard task. My love of English is at an all time low. I hope things change, but I won't be holding my breath.

Cathy says:
This is such a sad story. A teacher under stress has lashed out at a pupil and demolished her self esteem... and, ultimately, her own. I hope Jennifer can get her confidence back. Have YOU ever been bullied? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!


  1. I spent the majority of my school life being bullied because I had other problems that made me a bit different and stand out. Being cornered in the girls toilets during lunchtime and having my hair ripped out was a regular occurrence. So was being followed home with the same things, sometimes having stones thrown at me. There was one incident where one of the boys stole some Mr Muscle spray from the cleaning cupboard. I was pinned down after school and had it poured into my eyes. Unfortunately in my case, none of the teachers took me seriously. At home I was just told bullying was part of life and to get on with it...... <3 xxx

    1. I'm so sorry, I hope things get better for you soon (;

  2. I was bullied by two teachers at school. Once was in P4. I don't know why she took a dislike to me but she did. She'd been told she had to face me to speak because I half-relied on lip reading so she made sure to stand behind me to speak then yell at me for being "ignorant" and not listening. She moved me down into a lower maths group. She made fun of my voice. She called me lazy and stupid and I believed it. My mum went to the school but nothing happened. I was making myself sick before school so I could stay home. Thankfully, I was only in her class for a year. Mum demanded that my brother was not put in her class when he was in P4. The school complied and put him in her class in P3 and P5. Meanies. She tried to bully him but he said "You can't treat me the way you treated my sister" in front of his whole class so she backed off. She was apparently quite nasty to a deaf girl in my brother's class though. Something against hearing aids? I don't know.
    The second time was in S3 and S4. It was the art teacher. Like Jennifer's teacher, she was young and popular with the pupils. Maybe in order to cement her popularity, she disliked me along withmy classmates. She put me at a table for the pupils with behavioural difficulties despite the fact I was quiet and just got on with my work. I was sat almost entirely alone at a large table except for a boy opposite who made sexual remarks to me. When I told the teacher, I was told to stop making things up (she liked this boy because he had a crush on her which was an ego boost for her). I was constantly getting pulled out of class and yelled at for the tiniest thing - like listening to my mp3 with headphones which was allowed in that class. Or maybe just allowed for the kids that weren't me. I was self harming at that time (obviously, the bullying wasn't helping) and she made me take off my hoodie and wristbands so my arms were exposed. The class saw and had a giggle at my expense. She saw and yelled at me for "upsetting" the class. She reported it the first time because the gossip would have reached the head and she would have been in trouble if she didn't report it but after that, she made a point of making me uncover my arms then not reporting it. I was thankful for that at the time (I don't like conflict) but it was actually kind of irresponsible for a teacher to not report behaviour to the head of faculty, at least. She gossiped about me though - the HE teacher who she shared a car to school with accidentally let me know that. She told me I wasn't normal which may be true but it's not very nice to say that to someone you have authority over. I spent the two years wishing I'd chosen RMPS instead of Art. The RMPS teacher was lovely and I almost cried every time my friend had to go to RMPS and I had to go to Art. When a friend joined the school and took Art, the teacher promptly moved her away from the near-empty table she was sitting at because we were talking. Chatting was allowed but again, this rule apparently didn't apply to me. She also yelled at my brother for saying he was being bullied (by some pupils she liked) and I overheard her talking about a trans pupil, saying he was "a disgusting pervert" and "shouldn't be allowed to mix with normal children" and should be sent away. So she was pretty poisonous. I was thankful to get into S5 and away from that class. I had a study class in the art room in S6 but aside from laughing at my hair with the new art teacher, she left me alone. Thankfully.

    1. I actually am speechless. Yeah, some teachers don't necessarily love me, but to bully is just atrocious. I have a friend who gets picked on by a teacher, and it's horrible because she always cries, but it must be horrific for you. Also, you sound like the good ones in the class! Just to let you know it's not okay xxx

    2. I'm so sorry, he seems like this teacher is truly giving you and your brother a hard time and I hoped she is fired soon and not allowed to teach. Good luck



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