I so want to confront my wife’s abusive co-worker

DEAR ABBY: My wife has been working as a teacher’s assistant for nearly 10 years. Several years ago, she became an assistant in a new school and has been in this particular classroom since it opened. She was assigned a teacher, “Mrs. Smith,” a couple years in and has been with her ever since.

My wife has had some critical things to say a couple of times about other teachers, and things she (and I) felt were wrong. But the superintendent of our county always rules for the teachers because they went to college.

Mrs. Smith knows this and berates my wife constantly. My wife won’t go to the principal because he always sides with the teachers.

I’m about at my wits’ end. I just told her I was writing you, and here’s why: I so want to say something to this teacher, but I won’t because it’s my wife’s job. I just need to help her without causing trouble in the heat of the moment.


DEAR HUSBAND: You absolutely should not involve yourself in your wife’s difficulties with this teacher.

If she’s being “berated constantly,” the teacher to whom she is assigned has been creating a stressful and hostile working environment. It’s time for her to have a frank conversation with that teacher and tell her she is not happy with the way she’s being treated. Perhaps she could ask to be assigned to another classroom.

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