Eyes are Everywhere

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Pennsylvania high school teacher was suspended from her job after placing angry, unprofessional blog posts about her students on the Internet.

Natalie Munroe, an English teacher at Central Bucks East High School, vented her frustration in her blog about some of her "utterly loathsome" students saying remarks such as they are "rude, disengaged, lazy whiners." In another post she professes "There's no other way to say this: I hate your kid."

Her attorney, Steve Rovner, says legally his client's school district doesn't have any policy in place that states what teachers can and cannot do online. He also stated Munroe did not name the school, nor her students, in her posts.

Munroe is now in the middle of a heated online debate over whether teachers are actually to blame for the problems in the current education system, as well as the boundaries on freedom of speech all together.

"It's a First Amendment issue," Rovner says. "And it's an unresolved area of the law." Also uncertain is when the online frenzy will die down on this subject as a number of national and international publications are relaying the story.

On one side of this debate, some see Munroe's comments as a systematic rundown of the dire challenges facing America's overburdened teachers. The other side sees just the kind of attitude problem that can ultimately lead students adrift in the classroom.

"The perception is that everything is the teachers' fault," says Munroe, "but teachers can only work within the system that is in place."

So, what do you think? Were Natalie Munroe's blog posts ultimately out of line? Is the perception of today's teachers a fair one?

I think instead of venting about how bad her students are she could try working with them some more to help them if she hasn't already. At the same time I remember how bad some students were in high school and it can be a harsh reality for teachers in the 21th century classroom. It is, however, undoubtedly naive to believe that a blog can be anonymous in the year 2011 as she believed it to be.

Any words said over the Internet are available for anyone and everyone to see.

Photo Credit: blippitt.com from Creative Commons


KatieSchober February 23, 2011 at 10:34 AM  

Wow! I think this definitely undermines any possible solutions to the problems she's professing to have with motivating students. What teenager wants to work hard for a teacher who is so discouraging and critical? Maybe if she worked harder to exhibit positivity, she would notice the change she wants to see in her children. I think education is one field where it's definitely important to get out once you find yourself disillusioned and discouraged as she so obviously is. She definitely isn't helping out teacher unions with posts like these.

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