Response to The Bullies

Written on February 13, 2024 at 9:46am.   Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2024  3:00am (PST)

Today, I had a friend share with me this article “Toxic Workplace Leads to Employee Suicide at LA County Department of Public Health.”

My friend shared this article with me with the understanding she believes I have been bullied.  She is correct.

I will give you a BRIEF list of what I have endured:

  • An administrator placed me on paid administrative leave only after I shared with the public there were misallocated funds from a bond.  Five weeks later, school board voted 5 – 0 in my favor to go into the classroom.  The union?  Forced us to hire a lawyer because it would not give us legal support.  Interesting to see what happens when an non-union lawyer comes into the picture.
  • A parent was allowed to harass me for nine years.  Yes.  To their credit, this CTA union did write a cease and desist letter.  Yet, he continued to harass me.
  • An administrator placed me on paid administrative leave based on a student’s accusation that was RECANTED!  That caused misery to me and my family.  Our daughter was in the high school band I directed and it was her senior year.  In fact, same administrator suggested our daughter leave the high school!  HER SENIOR YEAR.
  • Just a couple of more…
    • Directive by an administrator (who is Hispanic male) told me not to say “Mija” or “Mijo” because I am a white man and that is “cultural appropriation”
    • Directive from administrator, “Do not say ‘God’ in the classroom / to the class.”

And my “favorite” directives from my final administrator who was just named “Administrator of the Year – 2024.”

  • Leave Jesus Christ in the parking lot
  • Do not say “I love you” to your students because it is inappropriate
  • Do not use social media because what you (me) posts upsets the students and their parents

For those three “favorites,” the union said NOTHING!  When the union says nothing, you are officially blackballed!  You are done.

I understand what it is like to work in a toxic environment.  I have advice for you.

  1. Allow those closest to you love you the most.  Support those people.  Be there for those people.  Do not give them reasons to NOT love you.  If people on the outside of your family, fellow church members, etc. love you more than those in your inner-circle, you will be in trouble.  Loyalty is no longer a virtue.  It’s fickle.
  2. Keep the job – the job.  A job is not a friend factory.  A job is there for you to support yourself and your family.  If you make it anymore than that, you run the risk of being hurt.
  3. If the job is hurting you and you don’t see it improving – QUIT!  Quitters never win?  I would like to think so.  However, there is no job – NO JOB – that is worth the misery it is causing in your life and those closest to you!  Every time I felt the job was beginning to hurt me and my family and I didn’t see us making it through the misery, I quit.  There is only ONE job I regret quitting and then, I regain my composure and realize I was correct to leave that misery behind.
  4. And then there is one piece of advice that I cannot recommend enough – Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  I am so blessed to have started a relationship with Jesus Christ the Fall Semester 1984!  When the going gets tough, the tough get CHRIST!  Jesus Christ went through many more tough times than I will ever face.  Study Him.  See what He did to overcome temptations.  Numerous times, Jesus Christ was tempted and did not commit the sin.  Committing suicide is the ULTIMATE SIN!
  5. For parents and/or adults training children.  Do not lie to them that bullying is going to be erased; nor will racism be erased.  The NFL can put “end racism” in their end zone all they want.  It would be better to write “Live The Golden Rule.”  Teach children how to recognize and respond to bullying / racism.  Both bullying and racism are international traits in too many humans.  By not raising our children / nation’s future to defend themselves, they will be the next people to be miserable, share their misery with others or do something worse!

Thank you!

I want to again thank my beautiful wife, Diana.  She has put up with a lot from me, my profession, some of my students and their parents.  If the shoe fits – wear it!  An overwhelming number of colleagues, students and their parents are very positive, supportive, and loving.  The small percentage that have been awful have caused a lot of pain.  Diana has also endured that pain.

Thank you to our son (PJ) and our daughter (Katy).  No doubt they shared as much pain as Diana has had.  They are incredible young adults.  Through the pain, they have learned a lot and are better for it.  Life is difficult

Thank you to our daughter-in-law (Ashlee) for your support, as well.  I appreciate her patience and allowing me to be who I am.

To all my friends – friends who know I am still the man I was in 1989!  You are so patient.  I will continue to do what I can to continue to earn your respect.  My blessed is more full and blessed with you in it.


Life is difficult.  And – there are far more positive days than negative.  Be patient with yourself and others.  Know there are 365 days in a year and lean on the Pareto Principle = 80-20.  I look at the Pareto Principle and time this way.  80% of our days in a year are going to be good-to-great.  292 days have the possibility of being good-to-great.  RELAX!  73 days have the possibility of being bad-to-simply-AWFUL!! Get through those 73 days so you can enjoy the 292 remaining days in the year!