Lorna Stremcha's story in "Bravery, Bullies & Blowhards: Lessons Learned in a Montana Classroom" began with an unstable stranger following her into her classroom when the school was mostly empty, triggering memories of a violent attack.

"I was frightened and trapped with this man staring at me," she wrote. "He was every abused who had forced himself on me. His face morphed into every person who had mistreated me."

He said he's turned 18, finds her pretty and had be "thinkin' 'bout this for some time." She later learned he had been subjected to terrible abuse and had just left a psychiatric ward.

She eventually diffused the situation and reported it. Administration advised her to consider the ways she needed to take responsibility for what had happened.

"Members of the administration were insisting that the event was 'nothing' and that I was a 'hysterical female,'" focusing on shutting her up instead of focusing on classroom safety, she wrote.

After four years and two lawsuits, she learned the administration "knew all about" the individual and his violent nature, including that he'd brought guns onto a school bus, she wrote.

Stremcha, a, educator, author and speaker with Bullying Police USA, changed the names and locations in the book.

She was hired a sixth-grade teacher and immediately got off to an awkward start when an applicant who was passed over filed a lawsuit citing illegal questions about child-bearing plans. But other than that, things went well in the school for the first two years.

A reshuffle of the schools changed all that, with the neighborhood schools concept and team teaching approached phased out. The administration took stronger control, including over discipline issues in classrooms. Coaches and administrators pressured teachers to relax standards, especially when it came to keeping boys on "revenue sports" teams, Stremcha wrote. Teachers started to leave.

"Politics and fundraising, not education, became the central focus on the school administration," she wrote. "Amazingly the public and the school board allowed it to happen."

Stremcha was informed she would be a seventh- and eighth-grade English teacher and set to work preparing. She coached speech and debate teams to success, until she was dismissed a month after her team won the state title. And a new principal came to town. She described him as a big, moody bully short on education credentials.

From the incident in the classroom, Stremcha traces a path through conflict with administrators, "small town rumors," a campaign of harassment against her family and "biased information leaked to the press consumed and regurgitated" after she was fired and filed suit against the school district. She struggled to find another job. She was diagnosed with PTSD. She worried about the school being a safe place for children.

The rules for male teachers accused of egregious misbehavior contrasted with her experience when "I had reported sexual harassment, and the district when after me with a vengeance."

Stremcha included advice for people who feel they are bullied or harassed at work, with plenty of warning for a long, difficult journey ahead.

"We must break the code of silence and shine the spotlight on those who are not fit to teach or administer our schools," she wrote.

Book: "Bravery, Bullies & Blowhards: Lessons Learned in a Montana Classroom"

Author: Lorna Stremcha

Pages: 187

Price: $14.99

Publisher: Resolutions! Media, Havre

Online: lornastremcha.com