Local union president pushes for anti workplace-bullying bill

Northside AFT President Wanda Longoria

Northside AFT President Wanda Longoria testified Tuesday in favor of a bill— HB 256 (Philip Cortez, D-San Antonio)— that would require districts to include a policy for “anti-bullying measures to address bullying in the workplace, including provisions to address the bullying of a teacher by a parent.”

Longoria, who as a teacher faced bullying and legal threats from parents, told House Public Education Committee members that she suffered significant stress and health issues from the incident, which had a noticeable impact on her teaching. “I know what being the best teacher I can be for students means,” she said. “It means a teacher is happy, focused, free of fear or intimidation, confident in the delivery of instruction, knowing there will be support there should it be needed. Teachers show up and support their students every day providing a safe learning environment. They need to know there are laws that will secure a safe teaching environment.” 

Texas AFT has been successful at getting local school boards to pass anti workplace-bullying policies, but this bill would require a statewide adoption of policies. HB 256 was left pending in committee.