An investigation into Teachers' experiences of Bullying and Harassment in Australian Schools is a La Trobe University project aiming to shed light on teachers' experiences of being bullied and harassed by students and/or their parents in Australian primary and secondary schools.
If you, your partner or a loved one have been the victim of student or parental bullying or harassment, you are not alone. While there has been little research in Australia undertaken on teachers' experiences of being bullied or harassed by students and/ or their parents, international studies show that the incidence of uncivil behaviour toward teachers is prevalent and insidious.
What is bullying and harassment by student and parents?
We define bullying and harassment as 'a communication process that involves a real or perceived power imbalance where “a teacher is subjected, by one or more students [or their parents], to interaction that he or she perceives as insulting, upsetting or intimidating” (Kauppi and Pörhölä 2012) this may be verbal, nonverbal or physical in nature, it may be premeditated or opportunistic, be a single instance or recurring and or of short or long duration'.
How common is bullying and harassment of teachers?
- In Australia 80 percent of teachers reported having been bullied or harassed by a student or parent (Bilett et al., 2019)
- Studies in the US have found that around 7 percent of teachers reported being threatened with injury and 4 percent were physically assaulted by students during the previous year (Dinkes et al., 2007).
- Almost all teachers had been subjected to rude or disrespectful behaviour and almost half of all participants had experienced obscene remarks and gestures from students (Gregory et al., 2012).
- In Canada, over 70 percent of teachers who took part in one study have been victimised by their students in some way (Wilson et al., 2011).
- In the U.K studies suggest that teachers are among the highers cohorts to experience bullying and abusive behaviour (Hoel and Cooper 2000).
What does this project aim to do?
Our project aims to gather evidence of the experiences of Australian teachers who have been subjected to bullying or harassment by students and/or their parents.
How you can participate in this project
You can take part in two ways; by taking a short anonymous survey or participating in an interview. Feel free to take part in one or both ways. It is totally up to you.