High school teacher’s job in jeopardy over blog posts

Feb 24, 2011

When "Ms. Munroe," a local high school teacher in Pennsylvania, started a blog as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family she had no idea that it would one day be discovered by students and embroil in a debate about the limits of online speech. The teacher's blog posts often referred to her students in a derogatory manner, calling them "lazy, disengaged whiners" and worse. When her students found out about her blog they reported it to the school's administrators who suspended her and are now in the midst of deciding whether or not to allow her to return. Superintendent Robert Laws made his feelings on the subject clear, "Ms. Munroe, by her own actions, has made it impossible for her to teach in this district. No student should be subjected to such a hostile educational environment." Supporters, on the other hand, say she was just voicing common public education classroom complaints, and her lawyer is defending her on freedom of speech grounds. In the age of unlimited access to information, should Ms. Munroe have kept her opinions off the web? Or was her private blog an appropriate airing ground for her frustrations as a public school teacher?

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