Blogging Teacher Gets an “F” in Common Sense

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A teacher’s radar is always on alert when you see students whispering and snickering amongst themselves or passing notes in class. I was constantly intercepting notes, and some of the more inappropriate note-writers received punishments and trips to the principal’s office.

In an ironic twist of stupidity, Natalie Munroe, the Central Bucks East High School teacher who got in hot water last year for her blog in which she called her students “rude, disengaged, lazy whiners” and “utterly loathsome,” among other things, was fired from her job this week for unsatisfactory job performance.

Munroe and her lawyer have filed suit against the Central Bucks School Board saying her firing was retaliatory.

Not retaliatory. Inevitable was more like it, and rightfully so.

I interviewed Munroe last year on my show on WPHT 1210-AM Radio after the controversy erupted, and I was surprised and disappointed in her attitude. No sense of realizing that she crossed the line. Way over the line.

I taught in the trenches. I know what Munroe and every teacher goes through: it’s a tough, challenging and, at times, exasperating job. Kids can be difficult, disinterested and even disrespectful.

But that does not give you the right to use your blog to speak about them in such harsh tones. I do not care that she did not mention them by name in her blog. It is something you can bitch about to your colleagues in the faculty lounge or let some steam off by venting to your spouse at home, but going onto the internet took it to a completely different level of stupidity.

Here are a few of her more memorable musings about her students: 

  • “A complete and utter jerk in all ways. Although academically ok, your child has no other redeeming qualities.”
  • “Lazy asshole.”
  • “Just as bad as his sibling. Don’t you know how to raise kids?”
  • “There’s no other way to say this: I hate your kid.”
  • “Has no business being in Academic.”
  • “I hear the trash company is hiring…”
  • “There’s no other way to say this: I hate your kid.”

When asked about these harsh words, Munroe defended herself by saying that no student was mentioned by name.  That is an utterly baseless defense.

It is called the teaching profession. As teachers, our job, to a large degree, is to serve as role models to our students, not behave like a vulgar dockworker. No matter how truthful her observations about the brats and bad apples in her class, Munroe had no right or “free speech” protection to use her blog to publicly state what she wrote.

Teachers always warn students to be careful in this age of social media. Be careful what you say on the Internet, we tell kids, because it can have serious consequences.

I guess Natalie Munroe is learning that very lesson.

What do you think?

12 Responses to Blogging Teacher Gets an “F” in Common Sense

  1. WiseLatina2theRight June 27, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

    You forgot the most offensive of her comments aimed at special needs kids…there were several and that was the worst part of it all. Heartbreaking to hear a teacher mock the children on the “special ed” bus. Some of the lib’s in Doylestown are coming to her defense. Yes, there are spoiled kids in our area and some can be rude, but she’s the teacher who has to be held to the standard of an emotionally mature adult professional. Her incredible lack of judgement forfeits her right to continue in the teaching profession.

  2. Bob June 28, 2012 at 1:18 am #

    Totally disagree with you. This is a teacher who spoke about the quality of our kids today( totally spoiled and uninterested in our history) and she had the right to vent, since no one in our government schools would listen to her.

    About, the whining, I think that is one of our problems, we have become a nation of whiners and have passed it on to our kids..

    I agree with you on many subjects that you address, but you are way off base on this.

  3. Dom June 28, 2012 at 1:43 am #

    I am not disagreeing with many of her observations (although they are caustic), and parents deserve failing grades for the poor job they’ve done in raising their kids. But this does not excuse what she did and what she said. If you or I blogged about our workplace or co-workers with the same vitriol that she did, do you think we would keep our jobs?

  4. Bill June 28, 2012 at 2:40 am #

    Should she have been fired or not is not the point. If you ask the administrators she was fired for an unsatisfactory rating after classroom visits. all of a sudden classroom visits were unsatisfactory? forget the blog if she got complaints from parents about (fill in the blank) these same administrators would do their thing.

    But that does not give you the right to use your blog to speak about them in such harsh tones. ???

    forget about the blog. You do not need one. Kid goes home tells the parent teacher reprimanded them or corrected them or god forbid said they were lazy or not working or ……….. phone call e mails to principal to meet with the teacher.

    Give a student a poor grade and see what some parents will do phone call e mail complaining

  5. Pat in Dtown June 28, 2012 at 3:19 am #

    I agree with you, Dom. The teacher was unbelievably naive in thinking anything on the web could be private. I wonder if the union defended her? – I’ve not heard anything about the union on this one, but you don’t hear about a teacher getting fired very often based on performance, which is what the district’s claiming.

    I do wonder about the person who ‘discovered’ her blog though – she maintains she only gave the link to it to some friends & that’s why she considered it private. If I or my kids had stumbled across it & saw how inflammatory it was, I think I would have approached her first and advised her to take it down before it got her into hot water, not spread it around for others to see. It never would have hurt anyone if the person who found it had done the right thing and gone to the source, instead of fanning the flames.

  6. doorguyjim June 28, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    I wonder if anyone took the time to see what the students were saying about their teachers on ratemyteacher.com before she went off on them. Just curious.

  7. Bill June 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    I wonder if anyone took the time to see what the students were saying about their teachers on ratemyteacher.com before she went off on them.

    As with a lot of things today respect is a one way street

  8. Pasquale June 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    What a pity. When I went to school both teachers and students were well behaved…………………or else!

  9. Bill June 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    Pasquale

    Well today it is or else for teachers but students?

  10. Don In Bucks June 30, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Hmmm… I generally despise the so-called “professionals” that hide behind their thug trade union as they scarf up taxpayer dollars for unreasonable total cost of employment, sucking the Public School systems dry. Whew, now I feel better! LOL

    This case is fascinating! Amazing that people do NOT think this person has the right to voice HER opinions. Was she libelous? I think not. She made general statements about students and types of students. Amazingly her comments were an indictment of the lack of parenting that seems ever prevalent in our society.

    Was she insensitive? Perhaps. Was she ranting? Absolutely. Was she honest? Most likely.

    Of course, I make these comments fully admitting that I have tired of the era of “political correctness” and totally reject the ever present “dual standards of acceptable behaviours”!

  11. Bill June 30, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Was she insensitive? Perhaps. Was she ranting? Absolutely. Was she honest? Most likely.

    Insensitive? (tell them they are all geniuses) Ranting?(you can rant but you better be on the political correct side of the rant)Honest?( Honesty is the best policy, well sometimes not if you want to keep your job)

    Basically she was very naive inn posting it on her blog. It is bad enough defending what you say after you say it without it have been in print.

    Seems like teachers today get bashed for whatever reason. to those that do I suggest you take a teachers roster usually 5 classes for say a month. some might come out with a different take on what she said and why she said it.

    • bmunroe5 July 3, 2012 at 3:00 am #

      Thank you Bill!

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