Fredericton — Nashwaaksis Memorial School, like most contemporary educational institutions, is vehemently against bullying. That is, it seems, unless the bullying is being carried out by school staff themselves.
The school has been bullying a father on social assistance for $40 to cover school supplies for his son in Grade 3 — even though the kid already has the supplies, which were donated by Greener Village.
Because many teachers at the school prefer to buy the school supplies before the start of the year and have parents reimburse them a set cost of $40, they say that, if a single parent doesn’t comply, they’ll be forced to foot the bill from their own pocket.
“Do you think teachers are made of money?!” demanded the Grade 3 teacher who’s out $40. “I mean yeah, we have a full-time, secure job with insurance and benefits, we get paid summer vacation, endless ‘teacher development days’ that basically amount to long weekends, and practically a month-long paid Christmas vacation, but how am I gonna come up with $40?! These greedy parents are milking me dry!”
The dad who’s being bullied said school staff have been harassing and humiliating him, and show no signs of stopping.
“My son already has every last item he’ll need for the year, but the principal and teachers say it’s ‘the principle’ of the matter,” he said. “They said if we don’t pay up, we’ll be sorry, but it’s not like $40 is so easy to come by. They’ve asked me for the money in front of other parents, they’ve demanded that I put money for my kid’s extracurricular activities toward this fee — everything short of actually stealing my wallet, but I wouldn’t even put that past them.”
The principal explained herself.
“Would we allow a student to bully another student out of $40? Of course not! But would we ourselves bully parents for it? You bet your ass we would. We’re adults — and that somehow makes it very different.”
We spoke with psychologist Karen Estey, who explained that the school has been exhibiting all the typical behaviours of bullies.
“Every last one! The need to control and dominate others; being quick to anger; having poor impulse control; a lack of empathy for others; being intolerant of differences; not accepting responsibility for their actions; having feelings of superiority; and blaming the victim,” said Estey. “But middle school bullies tend to grow out of this type of behaviour, whereas these fully grown adults have not. In fact, it sounds like they’re on a power trip.
“And most likely, these people were losers who became educators so they could have some sort of control over anyone more vulnerable than them, for once in their sad, pathetic lives.”
The school administration have begun a sort of underground mafia to intimidate parents who don’t obey their rules. They’ve been crank-calling their homes late at night, letting the air out of their tires, egging their houses, and mugging them at corner stores.
Their official slogan is: “Those who can’t do, teach. And those who can’t teach, bully.”