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SummerRose SummerRose is offline
 
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Gossiping Gertrudeís
Old 05-30-2019, 05:40 PM
 
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So my principal canít hold water and itís very annoying. The students were gone for the day and I was eating pickles at my desk because yes Iím pregnant and I love pickles right now.

I hadnít told anyone I was pregnant because itís none of their business and Iím not showing so I just thought I would ride it out until I began to show. My lovely principal decides to corner me and ask about why Iím eating pickles and jumps straight into ďare you pregnantĒ? I didnít want to lie to her and I know eventually I will start to show so I told her yes, but nobody knows so Iím trying to keep it under wraps especially since itís so early.

I kid you not the next day ALL of my co-workers were acting weird and asking me how Iím feeling. My para finally told me that the principal told multiple people that I was pregnant and now itís the gossip around the entire school.

I have previously wrote about my co-workers and how they have a mean girl attitude. I feel like an outsider in that school because of the ďnice nastyĒ comments, purposely being ostracized, side eyes and snickering when I walk by. So I feel the principal telling her little minion favorites my business was not in good spirits. Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with gossiping co-workers and mean girls at work? Itís getting old I love my students, but this environment is not what I need especially while pregnant.


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Old 05-30-2019, 05:49 PM
 
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Congratulations on your pregnancy. We have this problem in my building. The principal’s pet told everyone my team mate was transferring before my team mate could. She’s also posted confidential HR issues on FB (and was told to take them down, and yet my P still tells her things she shouldn’t).

I have no good advice because it pisses me off beyond belief.

One thing that makes me feel better is as long as they’re gossiping about me they’re leaving someone else alone. It actually comforts me. I’d rather they talk about me (although I’d love to know what they’re saying ) than talk about someone else.
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:07 PM
 
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Wow! She is a piece of work! I have no advice. Congratulations on your pregnancy!!
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Unreal...
Old 05-30-2019, 06:30 PM
 
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I think this is grounds for filing a grievance for disclosing private information. It may be more than you want to take on, but if you stand up for yourself and see if your privacy has been violated it might make others refrain from bullying you in the future.
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:50 PM
 
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Congratulations!

Actually I question whether or not your principal has violated several laws.

1. Can a principal/supervisor even ask an employee if she is pregnant?

2. Can a principal/supervisor disclose personal medical information about an employee?

My gut says the answer to both these questions is no.

If I were in your situation I would be researching the answers to the above questions --- if only for my own personal curiosity and satisfaction.

Keeping private, personal medical information to yourself is not lying.
It is prudent.


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Old 05-31-2019, 03:10 AM
 
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I have mean girl coworkers. I get the sideways looks, snickers, etc. during meetings. It got worse when a friend of theirs became our principal. I had to make the decision to stay or go. I stayed because I love many people on our staff, I love the kids, the families, the atmosphere outside my grade level. I chose to let it make me better. I decided to ignore the intention of the comments and listen for what they were complaining about. Sometimes they said things (in the meanest way) that actually gave me a "heads up" about something I didn't know. I also learned to speak up for myself and sometimes to stay quiet and let them hang themselves. As the years have passed, they have stayed mean girls. I have connected with coworkers who are more like-minded and supportive of me. The best part is that I KNOW that I can handle just about any social situation they could throw at me with grace. I stay focused on my class, my own values, and let them say what they will. I speak up for myself when I need to. I also don't try to defend myself when they do the sideways looks, etc. Other people are seeing it, I promise. Don't engage them, you're better than that. Keep your contact with them to a minimum and let them do most of the talking.

Keep your focus on YOU. Especially when you are pregnant. No situation is perfect, so moving to a new school may not guarantee a better situation. Learning to rise above it will guarantee that you will thrive in ANY situation.

I believe I would tell anyone that asked me "Yes I am pregnant. (Principal) asked me and I couldn't lie but I asked her not to tell anyone, so if you wouldn't mind, please don't spread it around." Make it clear that you asked her not to tell. She might think twice before crossing you next time.
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Slam the Door
Old 05-31-2019, 11:38 AM
 
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I would go into the principal's office, loudly slam the door, and inform her that she violated your rights by telling others on staff that your were pregnant, and your lawyer is working on a lawsuit...even if that is not true.

Then I would turn around and walk out. Let your principal chew on that for awhile.
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I always answer questions like that
Old 05-31-2019, 01:08 PM
 
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with questions.

Why are you eating pickles?
Isn't it the new trend? Do you know there are pickle flavored chips now?
Are you pregnant?
Did you really ask that? Do I look fat? Is it the pickles? Aren't men eating pickles too? Are you going to ask the male members of the staff if they are pregnant if you find them eating pickles?
By the way, would you like a pickle?

Just go on and on until she surrenders.
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Chipmunky
Old 05-31-2019, 06:15 PM
 
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I love your creative answers to prying questions!
I just hope I have the presence of mind to think of a similar reply if I am asked an impolite question.
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If you have a Union rep. ...
Old 06-01-2019, 09:12 AM
 
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... talk to them. I believe your principal can legally ask you if you are pregnant but I don't think she can legally disclose personal medical information to your coworkers. Once you know what the law is about this, I would have a very direct conversation with your principal about how you don't expect to be asked any more personal questions unless they directly pertain to your job performance and, even then, you don't expect to have private information spread around as gossip. If possible, have your union rep. with you.

If the law doesn't support you on this, I would still have a direct conversation with her and let her know that you feel personally betrayed that she would disclose something that you had specifically asked her to keep confidential.

And, as soon as it is practical, I'd look for a different job. I worked for years in this type of environment and I didn't think it was affecting me very much because I just didn't care what the gossips thought about me. I didn't realize, until I got out of that situation, how habitual it had become to be closed and distrustful toward my coworkers. I work with a lovely, kind group of people now but I really have to work to allow myself to be open and friendly toward them.


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I don't think so
Old 06-02-2019, 11:54 AM
 
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I don't think they can legally ask if you are pregnant, any more than they can ask you if you have MS/Cancer/Heart Disease, etc.

I agree you should look for another job at another school, if possible. I hope you are in a state with a strong union presence, and one where they can't discriminate against you for being pregnant.
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definitely rude, possibly illegal
Old 06-02-2019, 12:38 PM
 
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She was way out of line! I might be afraid to make a legal issue of it unless I was prepared to leave, though, in case it made the environment even more toxic.

That said, if you are thinking of taking a year off with the baby, I just might! (Then I'd find a new school when/if you want to go back to work.)
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