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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Mobbing on the PTA

My job was not a paid position, rather I was a volunteer on the PTA of my children's school. The dynamics were that of a mobbing, bullying group vs. me and the affects cut into my soul. Two years later I have left the group and left wondering how this all happened.

I was new to this small town community and targeted from the get go. My first encounter was with the charming sociopathic mother of my daughter's friend. Her plan to befriend me and goad me into joining the PTA. Always willing to give a hand I volunteered. I take pride in my hard work and doing my part so even when it seemed pre determined by the group that I would be secretary I was willing accepted the role. The vice secretary was the sociopatic mom who conveniently was never available to help me. Nobody called her to account. Sure it was a setup, I see that now and I intuited it then but ah the beauty of hindsight. Now this PTA was made up of a tsunami of bullies - all of them minions to the original sociopatic mom. I was aware of their deceptions but really could not get my head around it - it made no sense. Weren't we all there to help the school and our children, I decided to put my head down and do the work and ignore them.

My hard work was recognized and I was offered temporary position within the school system. This added much fuel to the fire as the sociopathic mom became enraged with envy and began psychological attacks on both me and my daughter. Suddenly my daughter was being isolated at school and her friends dropped like flies. The mom began subtle but effective attacks on my character, through gossip and making me out to be overeager and needy. I spoke with the principal as I wanted to expose her for what she was. But got the feeling she thought me paranoid and really didn't want the trouble of the mob on her.

Suddenly I was the trouble maker and after all my hard work was being marginalized and left feeling used and humiliated. I feel as though everyone in this small town ganged up on me and still can not understand why. I am college educated and worked as a professional for over 20 years prior to this life disruption. I never encountered this behaviour and had always enjoyed the fruits of my hard work with promotions, raises and being held in high esteem. Such small mindedness was foreign to me and left me doubting who I was. What irks me most is that I never stood up to them. As they falsely praised my hard work I nearly allowed myself to be sucked back into their games. I didn't want to give in and be intimidated. Luckily I had one supporter, my husband who stood up to them and said that as a family we were no longer taking part. Sometimes you need a shoulder to lean and luckily I had a strong one.

Each day I must still face these people at baseball matches and school events. Someone else was ultimately give the permanent position in the school. I am stronger from all this and have since learned the most important word is NO. I take comfort in knowing that I am not them and am still trying to be me while protecting my family from arrested developed people and social imbeciles.

How To Deal With Workplace Bullying: What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Comments for Mobbing on the PTA

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I Hear You Mobbing on the PTA
by: Kansas Lady

Your small town story rings so many bells for me. I grew up, left and returned to my small Kansas town. It has been disaster. This is what I have finally learned.

People in small towns have no exposure to the world an educated, well traveled person understands. When we move into a small town, we assume they are at our level of experience in life. They are not. They are clueless about the world at large. We threaten them terribly so the only thing they know to do is bully and attack and try to maintain some power over us.

Bullying is rampant today in the small towns I visit in the Midwest. Leaving the PTA as you did was probably your best move. I avoid them too as best as I can. There is no point to fight them as they are psychopaths with no ability to understand or feel remorse for what they do to others.

For several years I have instigated Nov. 21 as "Bugabully Day" when I drop short polite notes (anonymously) to bullies to let them know I know they are a bully. This year I am adding some humor and giving them permission to bully me even more since it is making me so well known to be attacked and that I am recording it for posterity (true). I am letting them know that I want them to feel good and the bullying attacks obviously does that so "please continue". Let's see if it helps get them off my back. I've read that this type of "mirroring" is one of the few things that helps. This year I am even signing my name!

It's the parents.
by: Kim L. Short

I found the local PTA to be intolerably boring. Every meeting was a long, fruitless discussion about fundraising. In response to your situation, googling "Chicken Soup for the Bully Enablers" may help you understand bullies. Or you can read some of Jane Goodall's observations of chimpanzee behavior.

Misift in a small town?
by: Anonymous

Currently having a similar experience. I had signed up for a new organization, as a volunteer, and I am one of only three in the group who has a college degree and experience in the field. I really wanted to help them out, and have done all I could to build the organization up. I have tried to be friendly to everyone. One of the founders of the group apparently feels threatened by the fact that I am good at what I do and not a meek little sheep who follows and fawns about her. I am seeing subtle bullying and mobbing. There are two narcissists trying to take control. One has gotten several members of the group to back her - out of fear, I suppose. The other has stopped talking to me. I am caught in the middle. This is a very small town. They have no idea of organization and seem jealous of anyone who has worked in an organization where people work together. They have done things behind my back and then tried to turn others against me by labeling me as difficult, or too sensitive. They seem to distrust people who have education. I have a friend who was a former TV designer, and he had the same problem when he tried to help out an organization in a small town. He said that they clearly felt threatened and advised him that he would not be 'a good fit.'
Sadly, they are shooting themselves in the foot, by causing the very people who are talented, and want to help, to just want to run the other way.

Another Kansas Mom
by: Anonymous

OH my gosh can I echo the SAME EXACT THINGS!!! Small minds exist everywhere but in small towns it is ATROCIOUS! I spent 3 years in the PTA at a private school where social bullying was so very prevalant it detoured so many talented people from participating. Now my kids happily attend a public school where although the academics are better...the social bullying among the Queen Bees and their wanna be drones is just as bad but in larger numbers. No one works together anymore for the common good of the schools or the students. A me me me society it has become!!!

Seems like no one is rational or logical at our school
by: Anonymous

We have a huge problem at our school with a small but vocal group of parents who are unhappy that a particular extracurricular teacher who was a huge rulebreaker was dismissed from offering their usual program. This teacher enlisted the help of the parents and spread lies about the person who refused to allow them to teach--women who didnt even have a personal acquaintance with the person spread the rumors and even badmouthed her in public. It seems like those of us who rallied around the person being slandered are now called troublemakers and no one realizes that our school could be in a world of trouble if this teacher is allowed to teach extracurricular classes again (because it is the PTA executive board who would be liable, not the school district, if there was a problem. And personally liable, too.) I just do not get it. We are at the point where we all just are ready to give up.

Thank you
by: Anonymous

I came across this post after picking my daughter up from a football game (U.K based).It was like someone had written down my life so far this year!I noticed on arriving home how stressed out I felt after standing on my own in a waiting room full of so called adults.
Everything listed above played out pretty much the same.This post has given me the confidence to do what needs to be done. I have now quit the P.T.A. ... Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

by: Anonymous

Parents please pray for me today..my 12 yr old was sent from her lunch time to another teachers class to be with 12 other children. One was a girl who my daughter has decided not to talk to anymore due to it being an unhealthy relationship (the kid was mean to others and herself and emotionally unstable). This kid happens to be PTA presidents daughter. The other kids commented and critiqued their relationship while my daughter had to defend herself! There were kids in detention in the classroom! Then teacher realized this was blown out of proportion apologized to me. My kid did not provoke the other student. I am and asking that the pta mom and the other rest of her family not be allowed at school due to it making it unsafe for my daughter. Is this too much to ask??? They are there ALL DAY and manipulated this whole ordeal. My kid is traumatized. All breach of confidentiality was broken. Was this in retaliation of my involvement with this union?? My kid has used her book as a friend alienating herself from others so that other one can have the whole school and STILL MY DAUGHTER WAS CALLED IN, HELD TRIAL ON FRONT OF OTHER CHILDREN. Also the teacher was seen by 2 other students after this 'experiment' talking to PTA president assuring her "it was ok..." basically telling her it was taken care of. The pta president stopped for 2 days, her kid continues to harass my kid stalking her, since she hasn't threatened or been violent just heckled, nothing is being done except my kid now avoiding stalker by working in library. A few more days of school left let's see -- maybe early vacation?

Very common
by: MarkinTex

The PTA bully moms are the worst. Our local elementary school is dominated by the worst clique of self-important, catty, judgemental SAHMs. A year ago on the neighborhood Facebook page I asked a question about why a really bad, negative fundraiser (Boosterthon) was being brought back when two years before the previous principal had told me it had gotten so many complaints that it wouldn't be done again. The Furies (PTA moms) descended on me, I was told if I didn't like it I should "get off [my] high horse and volunteer." I put in 80 hours a year as a coach of on Odyssey of the Mind Team, but since that all takes place on evenings and weekends, and my wife and I don't put in the face time at the 9:30 AM Wednesday PTA meetings, that doesn't count with those women. I'm so glad our last is gone from that school, and in a middle school that isn't the school zoned for our neighborhood.

PTA moms are attack dogs of the schools
by: Small town mom

We also moved to a small town not that long ago and this PTA mom in our school is seriously the school's and the school district's attack dog. I have asked simple questions about things in the school and one time she even had the gall to inform the principal and I had no clue until the next morning when I was ambushed by a call from the principal. Her mentality is "well you aren't from here and how dare you question our teachers and our district." Even when no one defends her, she gets 2-3 of her buddies and thats enough to make everyone stop. She is truly an insufferable woman. But women who join the PTA do so to bully others.

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