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HISD’s firm stand: bullying won’t be tolerated anywhere, including the workplace

2014 September 11
by HISD Communications

Bullying is something we work tirelessly to prevent among our children, in our classrooms, playgrounds and playing fields, and now even in cyberspace. We know the effects: fear, distraction, loss of confidence, depression, and even suicide in the saddest cases.

But the reality is that bullying and its impact is an issue at all ages and places — and we’re proud to have taken a strong stand in HISD last month to eliminate workplace bullying. In fact, as the first school district in the U.S. to adopt an anti-bullying policy for all our employees, we’re receiving national attention this week.

We’re honored to host Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, who is recognizing our Board of Education; Wretha Thomas, president of Houston Educational Support Personnel; and myself for our collaboration on the policy.

Now, in that board policy outlining generally unremarkable standards of behavior, attire, use of electronic devices, and other employee regulations, you will find this powerful statement: “The district considers workplace bullying to be unacceptable and will not tolerate it under any circumstances.”

The new policy goes on to define workplace bullying as verbal, electronic, or physical. It addresses harm or fear of harm; the feeling of intimidation, threat, or abuse; and the exploitation of the balance of power between an employer and employee.

Serving our employees extends far beyond providing adequate tools to do their jobs, nice surroundings, and competitive pay and benefits. We’re proud to take leadership in protecting our workers — and our children — by standing up to those who would bully them.


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