This is a follow up to a blog I wrote a year ago about a book called The Bully’s Trap – Bullying in the Workplace, by Andrew Faas, which was scheduled for release in October 2013. The release of the book was delayed because Mr. Faas’ former coauthor, Barbara Coloroso fought to prevent its release.
On August 24, 2013, Amy Dempsey of the Toronto Star reported that Ms. Coloroso accused Mr. Faas of plagiarism. On September 30, Ms. Dempsey reported that Ms. Coloroso filed for an injunction to prevent Mr. Faas’ book from being published, on the basis that he stole passages from a book that she had written more than ten years previous.
According to court records, Ms. Coloroso abandoned the motion for an injunction. Mr. Faas has indicated that the book will now be released in December of this year.
Interestingly enough, according to court records, one of the major passages that Ms. Coloroso claims Mr. Faas stole from her was a major premise for two of her books - Kids Are Worth It, and The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander. Ms. Coloroso in fact stole this passage from Dr. Diana Baumrind, a clinical and developmental psychologist who in the 1960’s identified three parenting styles that influenced family cultures as being ‘authoritarian’, ‘permissive’, and ‘authoritative’. Mr. Faas, in his book, gives attribution to Dr. Baumrind where he writes, “similarly organizational cultures can be categorized into three different types – the ‘dictatorial’, the ‘disjointed’, and the ‘stable’.”
Ms. Coloroso’s books, which were written subsequent to Dr. Baumrind’s work, characterize three kinds of families – the Brick Wall, the Jellyfish, and the Backbone. Although her characterizations more closely resemble Dr. Baumrind’s, Ms. Coloroso, unlike Mr. Faas, gives no attribution to Dr. Baumrind. Court documents do show, however that Ms. Coloroso admits that she was inspired by Dr. Baumrind’s work.
When asked to comment on this, Mr. Faas indicated that, “the court records speak for themselves.” On the abandonment of Ms. Coloroso’s motion, he expressed relief stating, “This was an unnecessary distraction, and finally, the focus can be on the real issue, which is bullying in the workplace and helping those people who are being targeted.”
In Mr. Faas’ book he speaks to the issue of suicide, where bullying is a factor, giving rise to the question if the book were published when it was scheduled, could recent suicides have been avoided, had these people been given the benefit of the advice provided? Much like justice delayed is justice denied, the unnecessary delay of this important and high caliber book, whose intent is to open up a discussion on a life and death issue, has likely had serious consequences. In a future blog I will provide details on how to order the book and refer it to others.