A WorkSafe study has found occupational bullying is on the rise, with one in five workers suffering some form of intimidation or abuse.
And those in the education and training sector are the worst offenders, with 39 per cent of staff reporting they have been repeatedly bullied - double the state average.
Parents' groups say the bullying culture among teachers is contributing to the problem among children - because students who see bullying in role models mimic that behaviour.
The Sunday Herald Sun has also found:
- TEACHERS encourage parents to complain about their enemies to school principals.
- STAFF routinely complain about each other's teaching ability to year leaders, principals and even education authorities.
- THEY try to palm off difficult students on unpopular colleagues.
Additional data in the report reveal there has been a 30 per cent rise in WorkCover stress claims by teachers since 2006, with at least 250 teachers seeking counselling for bullying, heavy workloads and the stress of the Black Saturday bushfires in the six months before August.
Parents Victoria spokeswoman Elaine Crowle said bullying among teachers could have serious ramifications for children.
"If they see (bullying) happening there, they will mimic (that) in their own relationships," Ms Crowle said.
"The publicity is always around the bullying in the playground, but we are aware there is also bullying in the classroom and the staffroom.
"There is bullying between teachers and teachers, teachers and principals and principals and parents."
Mary Bluett, president of the Australian Education Union Victorian branch, said she was not surprised teachers topped the table for workplace bullying.
"Schools are stressful places. People under stress are often short with their colleagues and that can be perceived as bullying," Ms Bluett said.
"Bullying is a problem with some principals."source