I’d be grateful if you could give me some advice on how to deal with a trial I am going through at the moment. I have been doing a postgraduate course for teacher training (primary school) since last September. In that time, I feel I have been the victim of bullying from members of my course. There are five girls who always hang around in a group together and for reasons unknown to me, they seem to strongly dislike me. Evidence I have for their dislike (even hatred) is as follows. 1. When I went out with some of my coursemates to a social evening, these girls were sitting together and when I arrived, one of them said to the others, “What is she doing here?” in a very angry, hateful voice. 2. Once when I walked into a seminar, I was faced with a row of these girls staring directly and hatefully at me. 3. We always have to sign the register in our seminars and one day, when the register came round to me, they had written an abusive word next to my name, “bent”, which is slang for homosexual. 4. As I walked out of a lecture, I walked passed two of the girls and they called me a “*****”. 5. When we returned from our placements and met as a group at uni, one of the girls gave me a chilling look as if to say “what are you doing here?”
As a result of all these things, I feel very desolate and angry. I am certain I have done nothing to provoke or deserve this hatred. For about three months, I have asked many people for advice; the uni counselling service, Chaplian,a priest and friends. They have all given me different advice, ranging from ignore them to tell someone in the department. I really do not know what to do. I have told my course tutor (in confidence) and he says he will speak to them at the end of the course. However, my soul is torn as to the right thing to do. If I ignore them, this would be following Christ’s advice to turn the other cheek. But also, it will mean they have got away with it without having any idea of the distress they have caused. What if they become teachers and start bullying their colleagues or even children? What if God is asking me to bring them to justice?
Please could you give me some advice? I have prayed and prayed and prayed but I still do not know what is the right thing to do. I guess I am asking two questions 1. Is it bullying? 2. What it the right thing to do?
Thank you.

  1. Yes, it is a form of bullying.

  2. You’ve already been given advice several times, but seem to be torn as to which to do. You have to make that choice. The one thing is, bullying is only successful if the person who is being bullied feels torn down by it. (this form of bullying anyway, there are other more physical ones). This girls likely will leave you alone if they find out it isn’t bothering you, but as long as they feel like they are making you miserable it will continue. The one thing I will say is that reporting them may have the opposite effect of making them better, but might increase their dislike and distaste.

Now that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be reported, but just keep in mind that simply getting in trouble isn’t going to change them over night. Neither is ignoring them. They have to want to change, nothing any of us can do can force that. The one thing I can advise that I don’t see you mentioning above is for you to spend some earnest time praying for them. Praying that God will take care of them, cleanse their hearts, and heal whatever it is that has happened to them that has made them into who they are now. Then live out the love for Christ for them. Try to understand that they are living out what they have been taught, experienced, and have seen. It’s not right what they are doing, but they likely don’t know that in their mind… even if their soul is calling out for them the truth.

Thank you for your advice, it has really helped. I have prayed for them a lot and tried to bless them and love them - God knows this. But I still don’t have any answers as what to do. At them moment, I am thinking I should get up the courage to speak to the ringleader privately and explain how she has made me feel. At least then, the ball would be in her court. If she says she is sorry or that she doesn’t care, at least I will have dealt with it. I also think I should ask my tutor not to do anything…it will only cause more conflict. It makes me angry…why should they call me names? I am not a ***** and I want to know why they have called me that. I feel very depressed because I am starting to think that I can’t deal with people at all. I am starting to worry that my personality is too sensitive and weak for teaching, even though I know that God has called me into it.

I have had this happen to me at various times in my life, and have just decided that there are some people who want to be the king of the hill and they are upset because I don’t bow down and worship them. It is really bizarre to me, but they are just weird people.

The thing is, if you talk with them, you will get nowhere. You are much better off if you ignore them, don’t let them get to you, and pray for them. If you hope they will change, praying for them is way more effective because God is so much bigger and more capable than we are.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with you or with what you have done. Just remember that people often do things that are not a reaction to anything you have done, so you shouldn’t take those things personally. You should strive to ignore them, because others will soon figure out how manipulative and nasty they are and not pay any attention to them.

I’d give you a hug if I could, because it sounds like you could use one!

aka Annie, homeschooling mother of 4 :slight_smile:



Do not let them undermine yourself,nor your choice to teach.They are outpouring on you the worst they have inside for a reason you have nothing to do with,and you do not even need to know.Stay physically apart from them as much as you can.And do report them to higher authorities if necessary,we do not need this type of “teachers”.
See yourself in the classroom,enjoy this vision of kids loving you,cause they really do love us, fill your heart,see their smiles,big eyes open to a world you will display for them to enjoy.
You will love it,Alex.
Those ladies in the classroom may give you a better picture of what bullying feels in a classroom,maybe…God is giving you an opportunity for compassion you may once need to display as a teacher.Prayer goes for you,future teacher! You´ll make it through!:slight_smile:

Report them. Its not just bullying, its harrassment. Report them to the department, report them to the dean if necessary and if that doesn’t work, report them to the police. Document everything you’ve told us, and continue to document everything they continue to do in the future.

Agree.We do not know how far they may go,you may not only be needing advice but protection.Get it now.

I agree you should report them.
I like confrontation. If it were me, I would go up to one the next time they do something obnoxious, and ask do you have a problem?
If they say something racist, sexist or whatever, keep going – what do you mean by that?
I’d ask them if they’re children or adults, this is very childish behavior.
And I would be sure to do this in front of other people, in public, call them on their silliness.
Nasty looks I would just ignore.

But I’m not saying you should do that, but keep in mind, if you ever plan to teach teenagers, they will try to push your buttons too.

Thank you for all the advice. This coming week I am going to try to find the courage and the opportunity to speak to the ringleader. I will be interested to see what she has to say for herself. The one thing I won’t be able to take is if she denies it or belittles my feelings about it. So please please pray for me and these girls. Although, they have hurt me, I feel that God has protected me thus far and He has given me the strength to carry on with my vision of becoming a teacher. I just need courage now to speak out and not to let myself get caught up in a cycle of self-destructive thoughts.

Report it so it’s on record in case something happens.

Otherwise, this is really quite minor bullying and its not a large group, so they can’t self-reinforce their behavior very well. Ignore it and it will go away. I would advise against confronting them, but if you must, I certainly wouldn’t talk to the ringleader. Instead, pick off the “weakest link” first, like a lion. Rawr.

Spiritual warfare approach:

  1. Daily Rosary.
  2. Bless yourself with Holy Water in the morning.
  3. The prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

You may also consider the Chaplet of St. Michael.

“For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect.”

~~ Ephesians 6:12-13


Yes, it is harassment. You people are not not in grade school. It is time that these girls learn a very valuable lesson; playground bullying is not allowable in the adult world. It is the subject of many hostile environment lawsuits.

If there is one thing that might work, if you had the guts, is to ask one of the girls why this is happening, if you ever see one of them isolated. People in a group will do things people individually will not, and visa versa. You might be able to lesson the animosity of at least one of the people if you talk to them where they have no friends that they have to impress.

I would advise you not to do this. Sometimes bullies just get more ammunition for their attacks this way. You are still vulnerable to them and what if she unleashes a tirade on you? Maybe you are getting better grades that they are? It really doesn’t have to be anything in particular, though. The ringleader may just need a target, and she picked you. If you talk to her, being rational, even kind, she will not respond well.

I’d do like a previous poster said. The next time any of these girls says something to you, speak out quite loudly and say, “Excuse me? What did you say?” This works very well when you are in the company of others and they are trying to goad you by whispering comments or saying things under their breath. If they mumble again, just repeat, “What? I didn’t hear you, could you say that again?” Do this EVERY TIME they speak to you in anything but a polite manner. If they say something RUDE, then repeat it back out loud. “Did you just call me a FREAK? Is that what you said?” They will try to laugh and get everyone to join in, but they will also know you aren’t going to let them get away with it.

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