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THERE is a lot of discussion about bullying, therefore, we should also highlight workplace bullying. In education, workplace bullying centres around the relationship between superiors and their subordinates.

Principals, headmasters, district education officers, state education officers or superior ranking education officers are the perpetrators, while their victims are those in lower job grades and designations, usually new and young teachers or educators.

Bullying occurs in schools and educational institutions.

Bullies employ various means to show that they are in power. They adopt behaviour that is threatening, intimidating and belittling.

Victims feel disrespected when they are treated like children. Social isolation, favouritism and nepotism are features of workplace bullying.

A colleague, who has been in an educational institution for more than 10 years, said his scholarship application had been denied 10 times in a row, while his colleague of less than five years had his application approved.

Discrimination is a form of bullying, too.

The autocratic and abusive management style demonstrated by bullies often results in apathy among their staff.

As a result, staff members keep quiet during meetings and refuse to raise issues, resulting in organisational breakdown.

Bullying bosses present the most challenging workplace issue.

Standing up for yourself may not play out well, since bullies are in a higher position of power. They could make your life a living hell if you do something that bruises their egos.

To handle workplace bullying, it is worthwhile to remember that good documentation is a powerful tool. Keep everything related to the bullying, particularly emails and texts.

For teachers and educators, the next step is lodge a report with the Education Ministry by calling the anti-bullying toll-free line (ADU DISIPLIN) at 1-800-884774 or e-mail kpkkpm@ moe.gov.my.

Azizi Ahmad, Kuala Lumpur

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