Friday, March 26 at 15:45, on the 13th floor, in “bu” 19…. the case could end!
But probably not. Apparently, the judge has asked the 2 sides to make some kind of out-of-court settlement before he hands down a decision. This is the second time the judge has made such a recommendation. The first time, the school opted not to settle and submit evidence instead [don’t know why they didn’t just submit evidence pro-actively to begin with 1 year into the court case. Perhaps they were waiting for the teacher’s visa to expire?–Then they wouldn’t have to do any work. But strangely enough, she still seems to haunt them in Japan!]. The evidence consisted of 27 character references for the Assistant Vice Principal, which did not mention the teacher at all. And negative letters by people who had all written positive things 3 years before.
The teacher looks forward to:
1. Hearing out just, out-of-court negotiation ideas from the school (won’t happen)
2. Appealing this case to the next level (either by the school or by the teacher), which could take another year or two. But the good thing about that would be the essence of the case would be further distilled…
The next level is High Court, which has 3 judges, who attend court sessions together. This is also open to the public.
The teacher is happy to be going through the process. Every level it goes, the more interesting it gets. And, she figures, the fresher the memory of the necessity to treat people fairly will stay within the school. This is a classic case. Professor Rory O’Day from the University of Waterloo, Canada wrote almost exactlyabout this case in 1974. I recommend his following article to all international school teachers and all students who want change in an organization (here is an excerpt):
“In the discussion that follows, I will be concerned primarily with the reformer who emerges from the lower hierarchy in an organization and challenges the middle hierarchy. A reformer threatens middle management in three distinctly different ways.
The first threat is a function of the validity of [her] accusations about the inadequacy of specific actions of middle-level members and [her] suggestions for correcting them. If the reformer is correct, those in the middle will fear that those at the top will punish them when they discover the truth. [The teacher in this case had:
1. pointed out that middle management should provide basic support for new teachers in the form of a guidebook
2. middle management recruited another middle manager and resorted to putting her in closed meetings with them to, as she feels, bully her goon-style, when she had pointed out #1. And then, since the teacher pointed THAT out, it snowballed from there until the point of her expulsion].
The second threat comes from the moral challenge presented by such a reformer, for [her] demand for action will reveal the strength or weakness of middle management’ commitment to the organization.
And thirdly, the reformer’s challenge may indicate to the people at the top that middle management is unable to maintain order in its own jurisdiction. To protect their interests, middle-level bureaucrats therefore feel their only defense against reform-minded subordinates is intimidation.”
O’Day, Rory. (1974). Intimidation Rituals: Reactions to Reform.
- Journal of Applied Behavioural Science.