A little over a week ago I published a post called Watch Your Back. In that post I asked for feedback both positive and negative as feedback is the only way I know whether my thoughts and observations have any validity or not. I mentioned I would be happy to post a follow up if feedback indicated I was on the wrong path. Well, this is that post.
Most widely read post I have ever published
Watch Your Back was the most widely read post I have published so far. However, the reason for the follow up is not to report I received a lot of negative feedback saying what I posted was wrong or off base; just the opposite. I have received zero negative feedback from this post, indicating to me most who read it agree with it.
This is not a conclusion based on a scientific poll of some kind just one based on human nature. People are just more likely to provide negative feedback than positive. Think about how many times you have contacted a company to give them positive feedback and compare that to how often you have contacted them to complain. No one has felt strongly enough to dispute anything I said.
I have received comments on Facebook, on the blog and in person that have been very favorable and in agreement with what I wrote but none indicating otherwise. The reason I felt this needed to be shared is to encourage anyone who did read it and think you were the only one who held these feelings.
YOU Are Not Alone
Many “suffer in silence” believing they are the only ones who notice or are experiencing this dynamic when, in fact, they are not. After well over 2000 views of this post, I can say with confidence in this case YOU are not alone. That is the primary reason I thought this post was necessary. Without this follow up post you might have thought there was only one other person who understood your situation. Based on the response to Watch Your Back you can add at least a couple thousand others to that group. I also know in the past the blog statistics I see do not reflect the total number that normally read the post but I can verify well over 2000.
Other reasons I thought this post would be worthwhile are:
- If knowing there are many more in the same situation helps just one person know they are not alone then it was worthwhile.
- If it helps one or more to speak out then it was worthwhile.
- If it encourages one person to get involved, attend more meetings, and vote in the next election who might not have otherwise, it was worthwhile.
Not exclusive to teachers
My previous post was triggered by the board meeting I attended and subsequent lawsuit filed by Mrs. Dean. However I suspect there are others in town who are not teachers in the Enterprise City School System that share similar feelings about their jobs as well.
What can YOU do?
- If you have concerns I encourage you to talk to school board members, the superintendent, city officials and express your concerns. Attend board meetings and city council meetings. Bring your concerns before the board or city council if you feel strongly about them. If you don’t feel like your concerns are being heard or addressed then there are other options available to you. I will mention a few here but this is by no means intended to be an extensive list.
- On speaking out I know many still do not feel they can freely do this individually and publicly and still keep their jobs or at least suffer some repercussion on their jobs. An experience with some of my comments being posted as a Letter to the Editor in The Southeast Sun reminded me of an option that is available to anyone who wants to speak out on this or anything else and remain anonymous. My comments were inadvertently posted with “Name withheld by request” instead of my name. That was just an honest mistake and there is no harm done from my perspective. However, if you do want to speak out and need to remain anonymous you can send your comments to the Southeast Sun and request your name be withheld. They will do this as long as you do sign your comments. I am not sure if the Enterprise Ledger/Dothan Eagle will do this as well because I have never requested this myself.
- Another way that everyone who lives within the Enterprise city limits can express your displeasure with this or any other decisions and actions taken by the school board and central office is to vote in the next city election. You CAN still cast a vote without any fear of repercussion and elect city officials who share your principles who will appoint board members that also share these principles. That is the only way real change will come. The next city election will be in 2 years in 2016.
Just for reference, in the last city election in 2012 three councilmen and the mayor ran unopposed and in the two council seats that were contested the total votes cast in District 2 was 453 and in District 3 was 630. You can refresh your memory here if that interests you Enterprise Incumbent Council Remains.
In any case, I hope Watch Your Back and this follow up are confirmation to you, if you needed it, that if you do feel bullied and intimidated in your job, YOU are not alone and there is something YOU can do about it.
Until next time…
Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 12/01/2014