After a year in Ottawa I came back to my home town to work. I have worked in many different places with different children. One of the biggest reasons I got into childcare was yes I loved children but I would be a voice for them. I would stand in the gap for them no matter what it cost. I would make a difference in the lives of those precious children. In the 35 years as an educator I have spoken out on 5 different occasions from things that needed to stop and when I spoke to the people in charge it continued or was ignored. It’s amazing how many people in this day and age turn a blind eye to what is happening. At one of the centres I had a boss from hell. She was a bully to children and adults and for some reason she targeted me. Every morning she would yell at me to come into her office and I would have to do her paperwork. Then she would make me prepare all these stories for resources. Lots of people were scared of her including the pastor who worked at the church. She yelled at Parents, staff and the children. One day she was outside stuffing a piece of cucumber into a child’s mouth making her eat it and she was gagging. I lost it and went over to her and told her to get away from that child. In front of all the staff and children she freaked out at me and told me to get into her office. I told her no I’m not coming and that’s the last time I do your paperwork do it yourself that’s what you get paid for. She was so livid she left.
After she went home I went to ask the staff and said enough is enough I’m done with her yelling and bullying all of us and that we need to band together as staff and stand up to her. I was shocked how many of them were worried about their jobs. I told them that the loss of their jobs was insignificant at this point. Only one of the gals decided to support me I told them that I would go to the press and the media and that today was the last day this would ever happen again. Later the staff stepped up because I told them how do you sleep at night knowing this is going on. We went to the church board and it was reported and the woman eventually got fired and left.
The other ones I reported were just me but each person went under investigation and each one was fired for what had happened. Even though its really hard to do what I did I had to be a voice for the children. I had to speak out for each one. It was the right thing to do. If I hadn’t spoken up for them that behavior would have continued. I also believe when you cross that line then it’s easier and easier to keep doing it.
For me I set the bar high and if I ever crossed it then I would step away from child care. One thing I heard over and over again in school was if you came from an abusive situation or home that you were more likely to repeat that with children. That horrified me to no end. Nobody in school ever knew where I had come from. When we were asked to recall when we were a child to remember things we did. The generational abuse that happened in my family ended with both my brother and I. We both stopped it. Even though I don’t have children my brother has a son. My nephew just turned 16 and he’s had so much love in his life. I love that guy.
What bothers me is how people use their abuse to take advantage of people and children and then blame it on their past. You have all read about my past and it was really horrific but I have never ever justified what happened to me as a child to turn around and do it to others. I’ve worked so hard on myself to be a better person and have had lots of support in my life. I have made a difference in the lives of others and will continue to do that everyday. Will you stand in the gap for people today and stand on bullying?
Wednesday February 23rd is anti bullying day in Canada. It’s a topic near and dear to my heart. We will wear pink and be reminded that there is zero tolerance for bullying. I know full well what is like to be a person who has been bullied much of their life. I no longer have to fear that but can stand strongly against it. 💗