Teacher Suspended For Writing Critical Comments on Her Personal Blog

After just posting the story of a tenth-grade student suspended for a posting on Facebook, this story appeared of yet another teacher suspended for her own postings on a blog. Natalie Munroe taught at the Central Bucks East High School near Philadelphia as an English teacher — until students discovered a comment on a February 8th blog.

On the blog, Munroe complained that her students were “rude, lazy, disengaged whiners” and admitted that she dreamed of giving parents an honest appraisal of their children. Some of the alternative “canned comments” were pretty funny and were clearly not meant for the students to read. They included “rat-like,” “dresses like a streetwalker,” “frightfully dim,” and “whiny, simpering grade-grubber with an unrealistically high perception of own ability level.”

Superintendent N. Robert Laws said last week that the blogged complaints were “very egregious” and “certainly could result in termination.” I certainly agree that this matter raised very egregious conduct, but of the school not the teacher. Teachers have free speech and have a right to vent about their profession.

Instead, Munroe was escorted from the school and suspended on the day the blog was revealed to school officials.

Munroe, 30, has both a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s degree in education.

She joined a growing list of teachers punished for conduct or statements made after-hours and in their private lives (here and here and here and here and here and here).

The story below discusses how teachers are now shutting down their blogs and taking other steps to avoid punishments for any statements that they make in their private lives. It is a classic example of a chilling effect on speech and Munroe would do her profession a great service by challenging this abusive action.

Since the high school calls itself “the Patriots,” they might want to start with what the original Patriots fought for and fought against — starting with free speech and censorship.

Source: PhillyBurbs found on Reddit

Jonathan Turley

111 thoughts on “Teacher Suspended For Writing Critical Comments on Her Personal Blog”

  1. This is a learning experience for the teacher. Never, ever, write in an e-mail or a blog anything you would not want to see posted 20 feet tall on the side of a freeway. Welcome to the internet.

  2. As a teacher she needs to know that any wrong decision made either in class or anywhere else may cause her many problems. She should have discussed the problems directly with the parents of those students rather than presenting them on her blog.

  3. I like what Elaine says best. But I also like freedom of speech, as I’m sure Elaine does.

    Still, these are children. And so it’s not a fair fight. It’s a very low blow. It shows she is cruel and unfit.

    I worked with youths (or “youts” a Vinny called them in My Cousin Vinny) for many years. I took the kids no one liked under my wing. I defended them and took their sides, even against adults.

    Though I worked with many of them, two of them have sadly died. Both in car crashes (in separate events in different states many years apart).

    One young man’s parents always appreciated that I stood up for their son and they let me know it. And he was really a bright, intelligent, and kind kid (he just always landed himself in trouble). When he wasn’t creating disasters he was hilarious.

    The other young man, I learned, died about a year ago. His mother called me. I felt bad because I couldn’t remember the boy. She seemed to guess that and described her son and spoke about how difficult it was for him to fit in as they had been new to the community. Then she read an evaluation card I had written about the young man’s progress. She told me she did not remember having read it at the time, but that the card meant so much to her now, especially in the light of the troubles the young man had. She told me she was going to include the note in a collage display at the funeral. It was one of the most touching things anyone has ever said to me.

    She was deeply moved that I intentionally wrote words of encouragement because SHE knew her young man was having trouble and she understood that I sensed it and tried to help him achieve more. Many times, parents are trying their best and nothing seems to work.

    You have to keep reaching out to young people. The tough cases even more. Precious few cannot be reached eventually.

    Mocking them is unacceptable.

    You will never EVER regret going the extra mile for difficult children and young people, even if you get your shins kicked from time to time. And you just might leave their parents with a precious remembrance should worse come to worse, and a troublesome child sadly does not survive living past his parents.


  4. RE: Buddha Is Laughing, February 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    “Well, Art is Art, isn’t it?


    My mudder teached Englush befur she gotted murried. Her wud of sade, “Well, Art is Art, isn’t he?”

    I dundt kno tahat mens be its.

    Grmmas is harde.

    I lern be stopud.

    Thank you.

  5. “Well, Art is Art, isn’t it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know.” – Groucho Marx

  6. I took a philosophy class in college, the textbook, W. H. Werkmeister, Introduction to Critical Thinking.

    Why did Dr. Capek not teach me that critical thinking was wrong?

    Writing about critical thinking is critical writing?

    Beware of art critics.


  7. Elaine,

    That was excellent!

    Thanks for sharing a poem more interesting for its brutal truth.

    I bet Mali is a really good teacher.

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