News outlets reported on Thursday that Natalie Munroe, a teacher in Pennsylvania, had been suspended, pending termination, for writing critical comments about her students on her blog.
According to the articles (such as here and here), she had written that her students were “lazy” and “whiners,” among other things. My initial thought was to ask if she had directed comments at any certain students, or called them by name. It appears that she hadn’t. She did, however, use profanity on the blog; while it is unclear from the reports if it was directed at the students, it probably was, and that would be wrong–abusive language is never appropriate. She also seems to have made comments about children’s physical appearances, and written things like, “I hate your kid.” Yes, that’s over the line.
But the headlines, the complaints against her, and the comments on articles I’ve read mostly excoriate her for criticising students in general, not for the inappropriate content itself. Parents and students at the school are outraged that a teacher could write about frustrations over poor student performance.
Really? Have any of the offended parties here bothered to consider what merit the criticisms might have? Is it really so awful to suggest that maybe, just maybe, some teens actually are lazy whiners?
Before anyone goes crying “Blasphemy!” and prepares to storm my castle with pitchforks and torches, can you see the irony of the situation? If the teacher here was saying that her students and their parents are self-absorbed and entitled, how exactly is their response proving her wrong?
About a year and a half ago, a report was released which studied 30,000 American teens and found that a third of teens are thieves, two thirds are cheaters, and about 80% lie to their parents. Fully 93%, however, said that they are proud of their good character. Wow.