We’re keeping an eye on the bills that have been pre-filed in advance of the 2021 legislative session. One that caught my eye is HB 256, filed by Representative Philip Cortez, a Democrat from San Antonio. It proposes a new section to T.E.C. 11.1513, which is already a lengthy statute spelling out what needs to be included in a school district’s employment policies. The proposed new section reads:
The employment policy must include anti-bullying measures to address bullying in the workplace, including provisions to address the bullying of a teacher by a parent.
That seems like a good idea. Certainly our teachers, just like our students, should not be bullied. But how would this be enforced? A parental ISS room? Written reprimands? Suspension from attendance at extracurricular events?
The same bill was introduced in 2019 and did not get too far. We shall see what happens this year. However, the best protection for teachers who are being bullied by parents is not a statement in school district policy. The best protection is 1) the teacher’s enforcement of personal boundaries; and 2) administrative support for those boundaries. Regardless of what the official school policies say, administrators should “have the back” of their teachers and do what they can to help teachers who are being verbally, electronically, or physically abused.
DAWG BONE: HAVE BOUNDARIES. COMMUNICATE YOUR BOUNDARIES. ENFORCE YOUR BOUNDARIES.
Tomorrow: COVID and the Americans with Disabilities Act…