Thousands of teachers in thousands of public school districts across the United States are abused. They are abused by administrators, local school boards, state boards of education, and their unions. The NAPTA web site will document this mistreatment with the hope of stopping and preventing this abuse in the future.
Whether you are a parent, a teacher, or a citizen, we offer you information, emotional support, and anonymity, if need be, so you can find the courage to join us, and make our schools accountable to our citizens rather than political devices for administrators. Many of our districts are closer to tyrannical dictatorships than healthy hierarchies. We desperately need to expose this.
If you are an abused teacher, read the stories of your colleagues and join NAPTA. If you are a teacher working in an environment where you observe injustice and abuse of your colleagues, join NAPTA and make teaching a safe profession for all teachers. If you are a parent, learn how the abuse of teachers ultimately affects the education of your children and join NAPTA. And if you are an ordinary citizen, be aware that
"Education is Everybody's Business". PSEA
Delving beyond the surface...
Awhile back a scandal broke in Chicago about teachers helping their students cheat on standardized tests. Across the country, stories abound of wrongdoing by teachers, adding to their already-negative image. It does not occur to most people to delve beneath the surface to find the truth about the allegations, nor to ascertain why teachers, usually caring, moral, and idealistic, would engage in such unethical behavior. It is impossible for most people to believe that the teachers might have been under pressure intense enough that they would compromise their integrity.
In addition to being pressured to make certain that their students perform well enough to protect the image and jobs of the administration as well as to assure federal funds for high test scores, teachers are brainwashed and terrorized into keeping "dirty little secrets" from the public. Most public-school teachers suffer from the Stockholm Syndrome, a term coined to describe the bizarre bonding between captors and captives. Stockholm Syndrome is a survival technique in which victims believe they will escape persecution if they cooperate with those in charge; victims even play up to their captors, seeking in a child-like way to win the approval of those who can destroy them. Victims deny any wrongdoing by their oppressors. Consider the following story about a Saudi father:
He kidnapped his two daughters from their American mother when they were very young, and raised them in Saudi Arabia. When these daughters were in their twenties, the mother engaged the government and media to help her reunite with them for the first time since they were torn from her side. Needless to say, this mother approached this moment with great joy, having thought that she might never see her girls again.
When brought to England and interviewed, however, the young women indicated no desire to see their mother and, amongst other comments, stated that Bin Laden is a peaceful man. Do you believe them, or do your immediately assume they are terrorized and brainwashed and cannot speak or even be in touch with the truth? We know it is the latter, because it is inconceivable to think that they could characterize the person who took responsibility for the murder of thousands of innocent people as peaceful, even if they could have rejected their own mother.
What most people do not realize is that a parallel process has taken place with our teachers in the United States. They have been terrorized and brainwashed so that the public will never know what is really going on in the corrupt empire, otherwise known as our public schools. We are a group of teachers who, for the first time, have organized to break through the distortion that an abusive regime can so easily substitute for reality, so we can all take our schools back."Teaching is one of the most profound professions. Teachers have more impact on children..." First Lady Laura Bush
Teacher abuse - a force mighty enough to change good teachers into disappointments - is the deep, dark secret we have united to expose.
In the Wizard of Oz, the wicked witch disintegrated in water. In the US, our corrupt public schools will disintegrate once teachers are free to speak out and shower words of truth. To that end, NAPTA is dedicated.
"Teacher abuse has a profoundly negative affect on our teachers' ability to make an impact on our children, particularly since it has been virtually a taboo to even discuss, thus allowing it to fester into a fatal disease." NAPTA
"There are times when we must work for money rather than meaning, and we may never have the luxury of quitting a job because it does not make us glad. But that does not release us from continually checking the violence we do to others and ourselves by working in ways that violate our souls. Nor does it relieve us from wondering whether preserving integrity is a luxury. What brings more security in the long run: holding this job or honoring my soul?"
Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach
MISSION: Our mission is to serve as whistleblowers, informing parents of what many of our schools are really about, so they will help teachers find the courage to speak out, and help other parents see what they need to do to make the schools responsive to the real needs of their children. We want to build trust between parents and teachers by helping parents understand the current limitations placed upon our teachers.
Administrators intentionally created a schism between us to divide and conquer us. By eradicating teacher ABUSE, and making sure that teachers are treated humanely and have civil rights, right-thinking people will be able to voice their opinions for the public good.
In addition, by elevating teaching to a true profession, it will attract the brightest and best in our society, rather than the academically below-average students, who view a degree in Education as an easy path to a college degree. Presently, anyone with a critical mind and/or a spiritual outlook is tortured when attempting to work in our public school system. Hence, according to many authors of educational reform literature and our own experience, there has been a mass exodus of highly qualified teachers who are unable or unwilling to compromise their values, or who experience harassment when their ideals and values do not allow them "to go along" merely to "get along." Sadly, these are the very teachers who have the most to offer our children, in terms of inspiration, developing values, and motivation to do something with their lives.
A good teacher analyzes each student and determines his needs, using information from the past and the parents along with her observations and expertise. Each piece of information, when organized together, forms of picture of that child and what he needs to reach his potential. If all the pieces are there, success can occur. Sorting out what is happening in education is no different. Yet, there has been little success. Why hasn't there been? Because without all of the information, or the truth, it is like putting together a thousand piece jig saw puzzle with important pieces missing. Until you have a significant section of the puzzle assembled, it seems hopeless that it will ever look like anything. The pieces NAPTA has to offer you will make the picture appear. It will take work discovering these pieces, but just as it was for us, it will be a worthwhile labor - for our children.
As you journey through our site, please keep in mind that we started this organization out of love for our profession. We are disappointed and saddened, and have often been shocked, at the level of corruption in what ought to be most important profession one can have. This site is composed in a collective voice, based on the experiences of teachers who have personally suffered abuse --often unimaginable abuse-- at the hands of administrators, school boards, so-called teacher associations, and law firms. We've compiled this site with the dedication and passion we have for education, and for the students we were fortunate enough to have taught. Most of the founders of this group have been exiled from teaching or have chosen to stay away after experiencing severe trauma. But the passion we feel for our profession has not been eliminated, just redirected, in hopes that we might bring about positive change for the children, who indeed are the future of our race. We hope our efforts will transcend the improvement of presently deplorable teaching conditions, and in a very real way reshape the future of our world. Something is DRASTICALLY wrong when PEOPLE LIKE US need to be cleansed from the system.
However, our motives are two-fold.We also need to expose this so that teachers can have closure and a senseof justice in their lives. What this institution has done to us parallels rape.Rape is associated with one’s body. But a mind can be raped as well. This is known as psychological rape amongst experts on bullying. One of our members can speak from experience on thesimilarities and why it is essential that justice prevail for the sake of many severely damaged teachers.Rape is not really about sex.
"Concealed is a truth about movements that is often ignored: in deciding to live divided no more, the individual goes beyond criticizing an institution and becomes self-critical as well. By choosing an undivided life, I implicitly acknowledge that the institution would not have had power over me if I had refused to go along with it. No longer are ‘those people’ or ‘that place’ my immediate problem. My immediate problem is me and the silent conspiracy I have had with the institution, the conspiracy that allowed that institution to rule my life."
Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach
Dedicated to our children, we remain,
President, Karen Horwitz, Wilmette, Illinois
Researcher, David Blomstrom, Seattle, Washington
Advisor, Jeff La Marca, Rancho Santa Margarita, California