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I work at a public school that recently hired a new principal. There have been many retirements this year and the principal has been shaming the older staff.

One senior teacher came to me crying today as she was told, not during a performance review, but just in a regular meeting, that the entirety of her work this year was "useless", that she had brought nothing of value to the meetings all year, etc. She has exactly two more months to retire, if she returns after the vacation. This is not the first teacher to get these kind of comments, but the first to tell me first-hand what she was told.

I can see that some of the older staff are tired and not putting in a good effort, but that is only true of most.

Two staff have resigned when they could have stayed on just three more months to receive full retirement benefits, because their family members saw the situation was putting so much stress on them. They don't want to attend their retirement parties. The principal won't even say hello to them.

I simply do not think this kind of behavior is acceptable and cannot understand how a person can treat these retirees like this, given they will be retired in no time, and they did a difficult job for much of their life. What can I do about it?

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    What is your role? Are you a teacher yourself or someone in the administration? – Sourav Ghosh May 18 at 9:01
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    Sounds like the principal was brought in to get rid of older staff and perhaps save on pension costs ALso which country are you in as with sane employment laws the persecuted could raise unfair dismissal claims – user151019 May 18 at 9:31
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    In the US that could easily be interpreted as age discrimination and the potential legal consequences would be a lot of trouble for the school. You colleagues may have a lot of leverage simply by talking to a lawyer and hinting at legal action to the school district. – Hilmar May 18 at 14:03
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You say that there are several teachers in the same position.

They should do either of the following:

  1. The simple way: Just live with it, it is about just a few months.
  2. The other way: ALL of them together (maybe through a representative) should go to the relevant authorities (they are specific tho the country / area of the school) and make a formal complaint. A teacher's union would be a good initial, step, especially if it has a good record of doing the right job for the people.

I guess that the most "innocent" charge would be "harassment", but somebody with law knowledge will be able to identify significantly better charges.

Under no circumstances should they quit one by one - that is obviously the outcome desired by the new principal.

Note: if you are not a union representative, lawyer, one of the older teachers, then you can only be sympathetic to their cause, and give them unofficial, friendly advice.

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If you talk to that teacher, then tell them: What this new principal is doing, is harrassing them, in order to make them quit before retirement and save the school money. The logical consequence is that the one thing that they must not do under any circumstances is to quit before retirement.

Tell them that when they see the supervisor, they know he is an *******, he knows he is an *******, and everyone else knows he is an *******. Everything he says, everything he complains about, can be safely ignored because its nothing than the foul-mouthed effort of an ******* to get rid of them.

If there is a retirement party, they need to make sure it is at a point where everything is legally done and there is nothing the ******* can do to hurt them. And at that point, they can go to the party, with their head held high, and tell everyone as loud as possible what an ******* the principal is, and most importantly, that he lost.

  • School doesn’t pay their retirement unless it’s a private school (retirement is a function of the school board). Additionally, they would have to replace the teacher for the next school year. Don’t disagree with anything else you said though – Donald May 18 at 16:51
  • @Ramhound: In that case just change "save the school money" to "earn brownie points with the school supervisor and board by saving the district money". Gnasher's point remains valid: The new principal is a very successful *******. – A. I. Breveleri May 18 at 22:27

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