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"I am looking for information on workplace bullying"

Dear Mr. Mellor,

I would like to know if you know of any recent cases that have occured in Scotland that I could cite in my paper on workplace bullying.

Also, would it be possible to use a quote from you about the devastation and costs of workplace bullying in Scotland (or anything else you would like to say about it)? I'll include this in a master's paper I am completing for graduation this semester.

You look to be one of the rare specialists who understands workplace mobbing. The U.S. is very far behind in this area.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Valerie
Masters candidate


Dear Valerie,

Despite your kind words, workplace bullying is not in our remit. The ABN was established to help tackle school bullying. However there are a number of connections:

Schools are also workplaces. Teachers and other adults working in schools can bully and be bullied. A teacher at a private school in Scotland was sacked after being accused of bullying colleagues (The Scotsman 12.6.99). And we receive a fair number of calls from parents and others about teachers who are accused of bullying pupils, and some calls about teachers who have been bullied by pupils or parents. Each year the Scottish Executive publishes statistics about violence against school staff.

Children who are seriously bullied at school seem to be at increased risk of being bullied as adults.

The concern about bullying in schools has helped to legitimise a concern about bullying in the workplace.

However, there are significant differences in the way that we treat bullying among children and bullying among adults. The main response to the latter seems to be punitive and to involve the threat of sacking or legal action. From work in schools we know that a more pragmatic approach in which a variety of responses are used is more effective. If punishment is the only response available, this may simply serve to drive the problem underground.

An important contact for information on workplace bullying in Scotland is Sandra Brown.

In England, Tim Field runs a comprehensive website.

Useful information is also available from Mona O'Moore and her colleagues at the Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

I wish you well with your research and would be most interested to hear more about your findings.

Best wishes.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Mellor,
ABN Network Manager