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Jersey City School District

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The following ASEE exclusive describes the HORRORS faced by teachers in just one American School District. The following information has been provided to ASEE by the individual who conducted this horrifying research! When will the American public begin to demand that the internal terrorism that exists in our schools cease?

99.4% of Teachers Responding to Survey Suffer from
Job-Inflicted Psychiatric Injuries!

Author's Research - A three page Work Trauma Assessment was developed by author, not for the purposes of research per se, but to have on hand for people seeking treatment at the Center, in order to evaluate the severity of their causally- related psychological injuries sustained in their hostile work environments. Due to the continual influx of clients seeking treatment, and particularly high numbers from one work organization alone, the second largest school system in the State of New Jersey, writer set up an appointment to meet with the Union and their attorneys to alert them of the hostile working conditions. In September 1999, writer presented a workshop to the President, Vice President, and Union attorneys about the concept of hostile work environments, the severe impact it was having on the employees, and the devastations their members were experiencing. It now had a name! "Workplace Bullying." Indeed there was a "reign of terror" in this urban school system, employing over 3000 people.

Author predicted that there must be more people suffering with work trauma, than those actually seeking psychiatric/psychological treatment at my center. They agreed. I gave them my Work Trauma Assessment; the attorneys reviewed it and sent it out to all Union Members, (except for page-3) which has to do with the "spiritual symptoms." At this time "spirituality" has no legal clout in court, according to the law. (See Appendix, Attachment #1 for complete Work Trauma Assessment.) A cover letter, a face sheet requesting identifying data, and the first two pages of the assessment were sent by post to 3000 members of the Union. Responses were received from 10/99 through 1/2000. (More responses were received later on, but are not included in the analysis here.) There were 194 responses received. Of those, 26 respondents did not complete the Assessment, but did complete the identifying data sheet. Of the 168 valid responses, (i.e. those who completed the WTA) 167 reported psychiatric symptoms and one male respondent reported physical symptoms only. Not included in this study, but of importance, one person committed suicide, several died of heart attacks, and many others verbally admitted to ideas of suicide or homicide.

The Jersey City School System

The categories measured = 8            Population: n = 168

1) Psychiatric Diagnoses: Males Females Rank Order

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:

32  69 1

Major Depression:

29 37  2


Males Females  Rank Order
2) Physical Symptoms Due to Work Distress 55 87  1
3) Intense Fears About Going To Work 46 92 2
4) Panic Attacks  44 67 4


Note: The following data collected were not broken down into gender categories, yet are included in the total population responding.

Males and Females  Rank Order
5) Powerlessness over their work environment:  138 2
6) Loss of Dignity:   99 5
7) Lack of Motivation: 96 6
8) Sense of Worthlessness 115 3

It is also to be noted, that during the period of 1998 through 1999, over 400 employees left the school system in a mass exodus. Previous to the "reign of terror" an average of 10 people per year would leave due to retirement, or reasons other than hostile working conditions. Hence, not all members may have responded to the Assessment, and due to the magnitude of fear instilled in the employees; trust being major factor as to whether they would respond or not. Thus, the data collected is underestimated as to real numbers of traumatized people, but nonetheless indeed worthy of attention.Of the valid Assessments received 99.4% of the people sustained psychiatric injuries as a result of the hostile working conditions at the school system, and one reported only physical symptoms. It is to be distinguished here that "psychological injury" is not a "mental illness." It is an assault by external distressing and traumatizing outside influences. All variables reported here are key factors in determining work trauma. Additionally, there is a strong relationship between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and physical symptoms, indicating co-morbidity with Prolonged Duress Stress Disorder, i.e. when people are driven beyond endurance, the physical system starts breaking down, described under "Role of Work Trauma Specialist."Other factors to be included in a future analysis of the data, is the high incidence of family problems resulting from the person's work. This adds to the trail of devastation and destruction, not only upon the individual, but on the family members as well.The "Lack of Motivation" category is most likely under reported since work traumatized people are dominated by intense fears and lack of trust. Saying, "yes" to lack of motivation would be admitting that they do not want to do their job, or are incapable of working, despite the repetitive abuses they endured. Additionally, most people going through work trauma do not know what it is, nor do they know there is a name for it. Yet it is apparent from the numbers reported that the employees were working in a war zone.


...Hopefully, the Mental Health Benefits are Good - You'll Need It!

Name: [name redacted]
E-mail: [redacted]
Anonymous: Yes
Post: Yes
State: New Jersey
County: Hudson
District: Jersey City


Unfair evaluations of teachers, intimidation, humiliation in front of the students, SWAT teams, changing rules without notice, changing rooms. Heart attacks, one suicide. Unrelenting terror about going to school.