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I feel like I’m being harassed but will loose everything if I leave or report it(26 Posts)
After being made redundant in my last job (Teaching Assistant)I began as a TA in a school through a temping agency. I work with the Assistant Head and 4 children in a exclusion room in the school.
When I started he realised we went to the same gym chain but different locations. He would ask me to meet him at the gym telling me he would drive the 10 miles to my gym. He is about 20 years older than me (I’m 34) and I’m not attracted to him so I would make excuses e.g I have no babysitter. (I’m a single parent)
He kept persisting but it was a mild irritation.
The school offers a teacher training programme and I applied for it as I do like the school, the Head of Department insisted I put him down as reference and to be honest it really helped my application. He then persisted in asking me to the gym, out for dinner etc. He also asked for a bottle of wine to say thank you for the reference (which I did buy him as I felt I had to).
He began asking more personal questions such as what I look for in a man, and would continue to ask me to the gym in a more forceful way, e.g ‘what time shall we meet tonight. I have always managed to find an excuse as to why I can’t make it.
In front of the students he would tell me I am beautiful, even the students told him to stop flirting.
He began making comments such as ‘I got you onto the teacher training course and you won’t do this and that etc).
Up until a few weeks ago it was all verbal but still made me uncomfortable, but a few weeks back he called me over to his desk, as I stood by his desk he grabbed the back of my leg (above knee). It made me uncomfortable but I didn’t move.
On another occasion we took the students to the park, he asked me to go on the zip wire and said he would give me a push. I sat in it and he grabbed me round the waist and moved his hands towards my pelvis before pushing.
Then last week again we took the students to the park, I sat in a bench and he sat next to me, he then put his hand on my thigh. I didn’t move just sat there uncomfortable wanting him to just stop touching me.
I don’t know what to do, if I ask him to stop he will likely speak to the head and get rid of me, which will mean I can’t take up my teacher training place.
Again if I speak to the head myself I could be seen as more trouble than I’m worth.
How do I ask him to stop touching me without offending him? I will only be with him until July as once I begin teacher training I will be in a different department.
I wish the first time he grabbed my leg I had moved to give off the vibe I didn’t want to be touched, I feel like as I have frozen when he touches me I have given it the ok
Take him aside and tell him you are not interested in him, that your relationship is purely professional and that it's not appropriate for him to suggest meeting outside of school. If he continues talk to the head. I am sorry this wanker is exploiting his position like this, he is in the wrong.
Don't worry about offending him - do you think he is worried that he's making you uncomfortable?
He cannot "speak to the Head & get rid of you." What is he going to say? That he's upset that you don't want to go the gym with him/ go out with him?
Next time he tries anything tell him quite clearly to stop/take his hands off you/ stop asking you on dates as you are not interested. If he persists tell him you will report him for sexual harrassment.
Tell him to stop and speak to the head. Preferably on the same day
In your position I would ask to see the head confidentially. Tell her or him exactly what you've written above. You are not to blame for not acting to stop him. Many victims of crimes find that at the time they are unable to act in the way that later they wish they had done. This man IS sexually harassing you and it's not on - not at all. He's also using the vulnerability of your temp position and the fact that he gave you a reference as a way to control and intimidate you. He should not be asking about your private life, hassling you about meeting up outside work, or touching you in any way at all. Those are all completely inappropriate ways to behave towards a colleague. July is still three months away. Please do not allow this abuse to continue for another three months
You need to tell him firmly. Keep any emails or messages. Speak to the Head at the first opportunity. This creep needs to be dealt with.
If he is doing this in full view of others when you have given him no encouragement whatsoever then he would be dangerous if you were alone with him. You must report this to the head. The man is harassing you. If you don't then he might try to get you fired sneakily for made up reasons and it will be too late to tell your side then.
What a creep! How dare he act like this, especially in his position. I'm sure the pupils have noticed it too.
The best thing to do is to go straight to the head and explain everything that you have here. He may even have previous (men like this normally do) and this could be his final warning.
If that feels too much right now, which I totally understand, then tell him you have a boyfriend. Try to also drop into conversation that's he's a 25 year old 6ft 5 policeman who does bodybuilding as a hobby and that he's insanely jealous and would get completely the wrong idea. Explain that you both know you're just friends and it's totally innocent but 'unfortunately' he wouldn't understand and would go mad if you were to even consider going to the gym with another man.
This may be totally wrong advice, but if you genuinely fear for your job, act carefully.
If you go straight to the Head, the AH could just turn round & say you have misunderstood him and he was just 'making pleasantries'.
Try approaching it from the angle of speaking to him directly under the guise of "I know you are only joking BUT you are making me uncomfortable". You are letting his ego off the hook. If he persists, then go to the Head with "AH's sense of humour goes too far sometimes, please would you speak to him". We know AH is a creepy bell-end, abusing his position, but in your situation I would try this subtle approach.
If you didn't feel your job was so tenuous, I would offer him up a kick in the bollocks.
I think that you hold more power here than you think.
I would go straight to the HT or DHT and describe what has happened, but stress that it has been happening in front of pupils.
You either give him a swift kick in the bollocks or you go and speak to the head. He cannot carry on like this and unless you do something, you are the one that will lose out.
If it's easier do you have someone on SLT you have a relationship with that you can talk to?
Tell him you don't want to offend him but you're not interested in men. Then it's not Personal.
Or go the head
prob sensible advise
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you have a diary of all his comments/actions and preferably the date/place that they occurred and how they made you feel at the time. It should help you to feel confident in yourself and may be useful.
Thank you everyone for your comments. I feel so pathetic that I feel I will be seen as a problem if I go to the Head and they will not want to keep me on for teacher training.
Today he came and sat next to me at lunch along a booth seat and put his arm behind me on the back rest.
He then started talking about how fantastic the reference was that he gave me and that he got me on the course (I wish now I had asked someone else).
He was talking about next September doing voluntary work in the community, I told him I would not be part of it as I wasn’t in his department next year, to which he responded that I should come in the evening. I told him I would be busy, to which he said that he had got me on the course with his reference and now I can’t do him a favour.
I have started keeping a diary, but knowing his style if he gets wind that I am on to him he will tell the Head I am not performing well and I will be dismissed and my course will be in jeopardy next year.
I feel frustrated with myself that I am allowing this to happen because I am usually confident but feel like I will be seen as over reacting and a trouble maker
I have re-read your original post to double check.
You need to report this, regardless of the possible threat he is dangling over your head. He is introducing sexualised behaviour into a classroom environment while minors are present. That is a safeguarding risk. The fact that he is prepared to make those threats is even more significant.
Teaching is a job where you need to be prepared to speak to people in authority about difficult topics.
The headteacher will absolutely offer you a confidential appointment if you request one - precisely because of safeguarding.
I'd suggest speaking to someone in HR the local authority if you are concerned about the heads reaction. They should support you. He is sexually harassing you.
Document as much as you can as it's always more powerful and impactful with dates times context and witnesses ( e.g. he said xyz in front of a class full of students).
Provide the evidence in a password protected Word document and don't mention his name instead use initials and put at the top Redacted for GDPR compliance purposes.
Good luck. You have a strong case for harrassment. What a creep.
"^to which he responded that I should come in the evening. I told him I would be busy^"
This is where you mention the 6ft 5 bodybuilder boyfriend!
Honestly you need to report it now together with his threats to have you sacked
Telling him you're not interested isn't going to have an effect because he's just getting off on the power that he has over you and his ability to intimidate you and make you feel uncomfortable
I want to punch him in the face just from reading what you've written (appreciate that would be an extremely counterproductive cause of action)
for starters I would be writing a timeline and keeping a detailed log of everything that has happened and does happen, as for him I think I would be taking a grey rock broken record type approach with him
His behaviour sounds predatory in quite an assertive and concentrated way, he surely has form for this kind of thing and other victims, if you could find them?
Don't ask him to stop touching you
demand that he doesn't touch you, push him away
You need to report this to the head immediately, it is sexual harassment and must not be allowed to continue. The head will not think badly of you, they may even have seen it them self, especially as students have noticed it. It must be stopped. If you don't act, you may well think you have to leave so that he can't get to you, but he will do it to someone else.