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Breaking the Silence

Breaking the Silence
Overcoming the Problem of Principal Mistreatment of Teachers

First Edition

August 2002 | 208 pages | Corwin

Recognize destructive behavior and cultivate constructive support!

The detrimental effect of abusive principal behavior not only deteriorates teacher morale and performance, but also erodes school effectiveness, student learning, and quality of life for everyone involved. Unfortunately, this type of mistreatment—with its devastating implications—has largely been ignored and treated as a taboo subject.

In this groundbreaking book, Blase and Blase begin the critical dialogue about abuse by exposing the various manifestations of mistreatment, and offering practical solutions for its prevention and correction. The invaluable information presented is based on findings from the first-of-its-kind study conducted by the authors, in which they interviewed elementary, middle/junior high, and high school teachers from rural, suburban, and urban areas across the United States and Canada.

The text masterfully provides the tools necessary to identify destructive behavior and raises awareness of this common phenomenon in order to break the cycle of abuse. It is the crucial first step toward preventing further mistreatment and fostering teacher development, student achievement, and school improvement.

Key features include

  • Real-life examples and testimonials
  • Specific forms and indicators of mistreatment, categorized into three levels
  • Detailed description of the effects on schools and teachers, professionally and personally
  • Solutions for overcoming this problem, including six survival skills, "Bullyproofing," "Bullybusting," and other individual, organizational, and legal resolutions 
Don Saul, AASA American Superintendent of the Year
Gary Anderson, Professor of Educational Administration
About the Authors
1. The Problem of Principal Mistreatment of Teachers
2. The Many Faces of Moderate Mistreatment: From Discounting Teachers to Offensive Personal Conduct
3. Escalating Mistreatment of Teachers: From Spying to Criticism
4. Severe Mistreatment of Teachers: From Lying to Destruction
5. The Effects of Principal Mistreatment of Teachers: Lasting Wounds and Damaged Schools
6. Worlds of Pain: The Undoing of Teachers
7. Overcoming the Problem of Principal Mistreatment of Teachers: What Can We Do?
Research Method and Procedures

Truly a groundbreaking effort and one that deserves serious attention.

Don Saul, AASA American Superintendent of the Year, 2000
From the Foreword by Don Saul

The book is based on extensive research, loaded with real examples, and it reflects the authors' concern to improve the conditions of all schools. Because of the book's comprehensive focus, it will be valuable to practitioners, fledgling administrators, and other educators who are striving to improve the conditions in schoools.

George E. Pawlas, Professor of Educational Leadership
University of Central Florida
The School Administrator, January 2003

Breaking the Silence is the first empirical report of the actual experiences of abused teachers; that is, what constitutes principal mistreatment and its impact on teachers and their work.

Chicago Union Teacher, May 2003

Blase and Blase sound the alarm on principals’ mistreatment of teachers, and begin the important work of finding constructive solutions. Not just an exposé for the purpose of raising awareness, the book is also a guide, providing practical strategies for preventing and correcting this mistreatment.                    

Georgia Association of Teachers (NEA) Newsletter, 2003

Required reading for educators around the country.

Long overdue, and finally brings this serious problem to the public’s attention.
Phenomenal…every abused teacher’s story on every page. 

American Society for Ethics in Education website

The book fell from cyberspace…the answer to our prayers.

Blase & Blase have the integrity to reveal what has been a very deep, dark, destructive secret.

The descriptors of abuse are so accurate that few teachers could read this book without pits in their stomachs and tears rolling down their eyes.  

National Association for the Prevention of Teacher Abuse website

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ISBN: 9780761977728

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