It’s hard to believe that violence in the workplace still exists in schools. Sadly, there are still incidents that require leadership to step up and alleviate it. With national Violence Prevention in the Workplace month coming up, I wanted to touch on one issue that I had to deal with.
A few years ago, we decided to go with a computer program that required quite a bit of training and recalibration. Needless to say, some were not happy with the switch, as it required starting from scratch in a variety of ways. One of the seasoned secretaries was just having a rough go at all of the change. While a myriad of training both online and in-person was offered, the secretary just could not understand. During one session over the summer, a representative from the company came to the school to conduct in-person training. The representative entered into the office to find a group of people around the secretary’s desk trying to assist with the program. When the representative signed in and asked where to go, the secretary responded with, “You’re here for this training? I’d sure like to punch you in the face.”
The representative was taken back, and rightfully so. Never had she, or I either, heard a secretary say she’d like to punch her in the face. The representative conducted her training without a hitch. A few hours later, the CEO of the company called me at the office to inform me what happened. I was furious. I was upset. I was shocked.
I immediately contacted the secretary’s supervisor and asked for an immediate investigation. Naturally, the secretary denied her actions, but the representative had recorded the entire conversation and had it on tape. The secretary was relieved of the position that afternoon.
No association, union, or group will advocate for a member who engages in workplace violence. No leadership will tolerate such behavior, and, if they do, they should be removed as well.
As the saying goes, “If you see something, say something.” Don’t be a bystander to violence in the workplace. There is no excuse for it.