A major USA Today article dated November 19, 2008, entitled “Bullying devastates lives,” and chronicled the sad stories of three women who experienced constant bullying in school – one for having red hair, one for being shy, and one for being “different.” The three women, now ranging in age from 28 to 52, continue to be affected by the bullying that they suffered in school.According to Daniel Nelson, medical director of the Child Psychology Unit at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, “…there’s no question that ‘unrelenting,’ daily hostilities that maybe escalate to threats or actual aggression can be on par with torture…,” or that ” repeated and severe bullying can cause psychological trauma.” Nelson went on to observe that “There’s no question that bullying in certain instances can be absolutely devastating.” A companion article talked about a high school girl whose epileptic seizures – of all things!
She was so traumatized by the tormenting that she dropped out of school and is now pursuing independent study; the young woman “suffers so much that she could not be interviewed” for the article.
I am concerned about how the recent situation with (employee’s name) is being handled.
Unless I am unaware of additional information or documentation relate to this matter, my concern is that by (employee)’s supervisor telling her/him that she/he may not express any negative emotion in any way either verbally or nonverbally, that a grave mistake is being made. Moving forward, I recommend that the/an HR Director must review all written directives to employees before they are given to employees to avoid the communication of inappropriate directives such as in this example.
I have written previously on workplace violence; this time, I am going to offer a few thoughts on bullying in the workplace, which a number of experts see as a form of workplace violence. Gary Namie has described bullying as “psychological violence,” and I think that is a very good description.
The article will also touch on cyber-bullying, a new form of bullying that is as current as today’s headlines.