3 toxic work conditions teachers should consider reporting

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Whistleblowers

Working as a high school teacher comes with responsibilities that extend beyond the classroom. Teachers play a role in ensuring the well-being and safety of their students, which sometimes involves speaking up when they witness misconduct or wrongdoing by their school’s administration.

In Florida, where unions are disappearing, teachers also have a responsibility to support their fellow educators. Those who work under the following toxic conditions should consider blowing the whistle on their administrators.

1. Unsafe environment

One of the most urgent issues that teachers should consider blowing the whistle on is safety concerns due to a lack of attention to school security. School becomes an unsafe environment when students bring weapons to school in their backpacks and fights occur regularly in bathrooms and secluded corners of campus.

2. Rampant drug use

In 2022, 12.2% of Florida high school students reported having used marijuana in the past 30 days and 15.5% reported drinking alcohol. As police records show, many students obtain these illegal substances from their peers at school. Unfortunately, fear of gang retaliation causes administrators in some districts to turn a blind eye to drugs at school, forcing some teachers to work in an environment contaminated daily with second-hand smoke and aerosols from vapes.

3. Inflation of test scores and graduation rates

School principals are under pressure from school board officials to produce high test scores and graduation rates near 100%. For this reason, some administrators put pressure on teachers to change grades or provide unauthorized help during standardized testing. Teachers should be vigilant and report these academic integrity issues.

While it may be easier to ignore these problems, they will only get worse unless people speak up. Teachers who are afraid of losing their jobs for reporting their administrators should be aware that laws exist to protect them from retaliation.