Did this teacher go too far?

FEASTERVILLE, Pa. – A http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110216/ap_on_hi_te/us_teacher_suspended_blo... school English teacher in suburban Philadelphia who was suspended for a profanity-laced blog in which she called her young charges "disengaged, lazy whiners" is driving a sensation by daring to ask: Why are today's students unmotivated — and what's wrong with calling them out?

Apparently this teacher had a blog (not using her real name or that of the school where she taught) and occasionally vented about her job-


"My students are out of control," Munroe, who has taught 10th, 11th and 12th grades, wrote in one post. "They are rude, disengaged, lazy whiners. They curse, discuss drugs, talk back, argue for grades, complain about everything, fancy themselves entitled to whatever they desire, and are just generally annoying."

...She also listed some comments she wished she could post on student evaluations, including: "I hear the trash company is hiring"; "I called out sick a couple of days just to avoid your son"; and "Just as bad as his sibling. Don't you know how to raise kids?"

...Munroe pointed out that she also said positive things, but she acknowledges that she did write some things out of frustration — and of a feeling that many kids today are being given a free pass at school and at home.

"Parents are more trying to be their kids' friends and less trying to be their parent," Munroe said, also noting students' lack of patience. "They want everything right now. They want it yesterday."

I'm not sure how she was 'found out', but she has been suspended with pay and has hired an attorney because she believes she is going to lose her job, and that this is a violation of her 1st Amendment rights.

Are personal blogs protected by the 1st Amendment? Did hers go too far in criticizing students and the education system?

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PLewis's picture

At times I have a problem with blogs..

I find it annoying to go to a blog and read something .. and there is nothing about the person writing it. I understand the need for security on the internet - but I believe it's that anonymity that allows people to say things that are just bad form. There is less and less civility in our "public speech" .. I believe much of it is due to the nature of the internet.

As to this woman - what in the world was she thinking? While no doubt it is very frustrating to be a teacher these days (considering most students are of this "less civil" generation) .. she should have kept her mouth shut (or her fingers quiet)..

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Biblically, of course, this kind of talk is wrong on several levels.

Aside from the biblical ramifications, though, I have to wonder on what grounds she would be fired. She did not use her name. She did not name the school. She did not name any students. What's next, firing teachers who talk like this in the lounge? Arresting parents for child abuse when they text their spouses about some stupid or frustrating things the kids did? How is this NOT speech protected by the first amendment?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?