Humanities teacher Paul Unsworth claims he was bullied and harassed by the principal and other senior staff at Werribee Secondary College over three years. Mr Unsworth told Melbourne Magistrates' Court yesterday that he became depressed and angry during a 2005 review of his role as an expert teacher.
He said Werribee principal Steve Butyn considered him to be dead wood and wanted to get rid of him.
Two other teachers also had WorkCover claims against the school over similar issues, he told the court.
Mr Unsworth said he was stopped from making email contact with the school and an investigation into his review was launched by the Education Department's western region. "I felt completely ostracised from the workplace by not being able to communicate with the school," he said.
An email from western region director Brett New that was accidentally sent to him and the two other teachers offered full support for Mr Butyn's disciplinary actions, Mr Unsworth said. "My perception was that I had no chance of getting a fair hearing," he said.
Mr Unsworth, who made several failed compensation claims against the school, said he was the victim of "a culture of punishment and retribution for speaking up".
Under cross-examination by Clyde Miles, for the Education Department, Mr Unsworth admitted he had been taking anti-depressants since 1998.
Mr Miles said Mr Unsworth had failed to comply with a request to accurately and sufficiently document the good things about his teaching.
Mr Unsworth is still employed by the school but has not worked there since June, 2007. He is seeking weekly payments from the Education Department as part of a WorkCover claim.
The hearing before magistrate Peter Lauritsen continues.