January 13, 2018


Hey Brandon,

My gym teacher is EVIL! I don’t mean to be rude, but it’s true!! When we have warm ups, she tells me to fix my posture because she says I look “like a goat giving birth!” And that’s just one of the many things she says to me. I’ve told her that I don’t know how to improve, but she just doesn’t care and forces me to work even harder! What should I do?!

Teacher Trouble

Hey Teacher Trouble,

What IS IT about gym teachers? It seems like it requires a very twisted sort of person to enjoy making other people sweat.

But look, there’s a difference between teachers who you don’t exactly want to be BFFs with, and teachers who are plain old bullies. It is NOT okay for a teacher to tell you that you look like a goat giving birth!

And if that’s really just one of a whole bunch of unacceptable comments this teacher has made to you and others, I think you should consider taking action. By that, I mean talking to your parents and letting them talk to the teacher and possibly the guidance counselor or principal.

I can understand why you might not want to – what if they do nothing and then your teacher knows you complained and gives you an even harder time? I hope that doesn’t happen. The thing is, if she talks to you like that, I’m sure she talks to lots of other kids like that, and it’s just SO NOT OKAY.

And if more than one student is willing to report this teacher’s bullying comments, it will be easier to get some responsible adults to take action.

So, a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Let the parents handle this. It’ll have more of an impact on the teacher and your school coming from parents.
  2. Here’s where YOU come in. Document every incident. Keep a running list of mean things the teacher says to you or anyone else in the class. Write down the date, time, who she was speaking to, what she said, etc. Your parents can approach other parents of kids on the list.
  3. Be careful how you approach this. Your parents shouldn’t go straight to the principal or superintendant. They should try to meet with the teacher, if the teacher is wiling. If not, or if that meeting isn’t productive, they should go to the head of department. Maybe a school counselor. From there the vice principal, and finally the principal or superintendant.

I’m glad you wrote in about this. We talk a lot about bullying in schools, but we’re always talking about kid-to-kid. Adults can be bullies too and it can be pretty scary to deal with!

Have you ever had a teacher who was a bully? How did you handle it? Did you get your parents involved?  Tell us in the comments.