Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Big Story: Students Are Lazy Whiners.

A BUCKS COUNTY high school teacher was suspended for comments she made about students on her personal blog, during her personal time. Is this a punishable offense?

Philadelphia Magazine reports this:

Her post titled “If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say…” is long gone, but according to archived versions, Munroe described how, for some kids, her “scornful feelings reach such a fever pitch.” She also daydreamed about what she wished she could write on her students’ report cards, including such eloquent bon mots as “shy isn’t cute in 11th grade; it’s annoying,” “dresses like a streetwalker,” “sneaky, complaining, jerkoff,” “lazy asshole,” and my personal favorite from the honors English teacher, “rude, beligerent [sic], argumentative fuck.”

The article continues by arguing that this isn't a First Amendment, freedom of speech situation:

For anyone trying to spin this as an attack on free speech, don’t get it twisted. Just as you have the right to tell your boss he’s a soulless bastard, he has every right to fire you on the spot. Some professions are held up to higher standards—police, doctors, and right up there at the top, educators. They are caretakers, and there is a trust factor that comes with the gig. When Munroe used her blog to trash her students, she broke that trust.

What do you think? Should she be fired?

Is this even a news story? Or is it simply a controversial subject that gets attention? Is this a distraction from the real story - that, perhaps, there are situations that need to be addressed in the education system?


Chalie Robinson said...

I believe that this woman should be fired for bashing her students online, because of her occupation as a teacher. She is supposed to be a role model for all of her students, and this goes against any school's moral code. Although in reality it’s not a big deal, and probably most high school teachers hate their students, she should have not said those things openly on the internet where anyone can see them. That blog was unnecessary and she should have used her head more. I do believe that, however insignificant this story may be, this is a news story. Times are changing, and technology is becoming more and more prevalent in our society. Rules should be installed soon in order to prevent this from happening again.

Imani Abdus-Saboor said...

I totally agree. It was her job as a high school teacher to uphold a certain image. As a role model, and an authority figure, it is her job to set an example for students. High school kids get on Facebook or blogs, and to trash talk their teachers, not the other way around. Her actions are essentially advocating this very public form of bashing, and for that, she should be fired. She does have a right to say what she wants, but there will definitely be consequences. I think this is a news story because it sheds light on a very interesting story. You always here about the students talking about teachers, but never about what teachers actually think about their students, and because of its sensitivity to the First Amendment it serves as a controversial matter as well.

headley321 said...
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Her Name Is Sam Kelly said...

Just as a lawyer or doctors keep their patient's information safe and should be kept personal, so too should the teacher have not written about her students online. I think it is borderline news and playing to a controversail subject.

She knew what could come of her words and she obviously did not think that much about it. Shame, shame.

Aaron Stevens said...

Well, simply put, a blog isn't a diary. If you want to pour angst and negative feelings into words do so in a diary. (Don't high school teachers advocate that??) It certainly is a controversial and it brings light to the effects technology can have on our personal and professional lives. I don't know if hse should have been fired maybe suspended, I mean come on everyone knows high school kids are all snotty little !@#$%&/*^. She definitly should have found a more appropriate way to vent.

Alysse Pujol said...

The words from the teacher are pretty harsh, but honestly, she has every right to go ahead and write it in her personal blog. It's not like she personally told the students to their face, and from what it sounds like, she didn't even use names of students, she just generalized what she would like to say to "some students." The students that she is talking about are probably exactly how she says it. She is only shining light to the fact that many students don't take education seriously and act up and think of their school as a social party. This teacher adddressing this on her own blog, on her own time does nothing but bring up an issue that should be addressed.

Marc said...

This woman indeed has the right to share her thoughts through a blog, but there are also consequences that go along with doing so. I'm sure this teacher must have realized that there would eventually be some form or repercussion or backlash- there is no way she could have done this and gotten away with it, and I'm shocked that she did not realize this.

She is a teacher, and there is a certain level of caliber that teachers must maintain, and that includes refraining from trashing her students on a public blog. As Aaron said, that is what a diary is for.

lisamarieJAE said...

Being a teacher, there is a higher standard that this (underpaid) profession is held to. We trust them with our children with the hopes that they would treat them as we would. They're supposed to be professional and exemplify a higher character standard that the kids can look up to. Certain professions just have to deal with this, and it's a pretty well-accepted social norm that comes with the territory for certain jobs.

BUT.. this is America and she does have the right to say what she wants. I think her post was an ethical FAIL, but not illegal.

Should she be fired? Yes. Her judgment comes into question, and if she freely publishes remarks like this on her blog, I can only imagine what she says to the people around her, or what she might let slip in front of the kids.

I think if she had posted remarks like this on a private facebook page, accessible by only pre-approved friends and not the general public, there'd be no harm done. The harm is in that her remarks are public on the internet- which is like posting them on a bulletin board at her school.

It's a shame that this is news- teachers are really being dragged through the mud right now in the media and by politicians of a particular side. Maybe if the story had followed up with some investigation into why she made these claims and looked into available data to understand where she's coming from.. I think there is a real, deeper story here but it's much easier (and probably much more attention-getting) to vilify a teacher than delve into a disturbing issue.

purrifarfarway said...
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Courtney Sell said...

I think that the teacher's blog should not be where she discusses these issues about her students. My sister is a teacher and she always complains about her lazy students, but I know she would never post it on a blog, post it on facebook, or anything of that sort. Instead of explaining her peeves of her students online where anyone of her students and their families can read her rants maybe she could call a friend or family member and have a private discussion with them about how fed up she is with her students attitudes. Another point to be made is when she wrote what she wishes she could write on her students' report cards she says she wishes she could write "dresses like a streetwalker." This comment is plain rude and could seriously offend the reader. I understand why she would want to rant about her students, but this is not the best place to do so, and some of the things she's ranting about aren't even academic issues.

Kate McCann said...

Teachers are supposed to help children and teenagers grow, not push them down. Yes, I'm sure there are many annoying, rude, and obnoxious students (why I will never be a teacher), but as an educator, she should have known she would deal with that when choosing the profession.
Students comes from all different backgrounds, and some were raised in hard homes; affecting the way they act in school. A teacher can and should notice, and instead of giving attitude and resentment towards the student, he/she can help them and work with them, even if they are rude and resentful back.

I mean, I'm not saying she should be fired "on the spot." Everyone makes mistakes, and this certainly was a big one, but I'm sure now many parents and other faculty are upset and disgusted by this behavior anyway.

We are the supposed generation that can't keep our mouths shut, and our opinions and personal lives off facebook, Tumblr, etc, but it certainly happens with the older, more "wise" generation as well. She should have known better to post something as harsh and sensitive as that, just as us college students should know not to post pictures of our weekend escapades all over the internet.

It was a stupid decision on her part, and i hope she learns from her mistakes.

billydelion75 said...

I think she was completely out of line and yes the real story is our eroding educational system. School fundings are continually getting cut, low wages, second-rate buildings that stay broke in some way, lack of security, and basic low level of respect that is afforded educators is horrible but yet we as a society are quick to complain about the youth of today being out of control. Have we not learned yet that education is a foundation upon which most aspects of the rest of our adult lives will be based upon!! EDUCATION REDUCES CRIME AND POVERTY AND INCREASES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT!! PROVEN FACT! Take a look at many "3rd world" countries that have moved up considerably in their status and state of society, their foundational basis for this occurrance is education of the people!

Mary Gbaya-Kanga said...

I understand it's her personal blog, but she should have known that there would be some type of consequences for saying things like that about her students. Did she really think that someone wouldn't disagree or get upset about her post? Get real.