Suspended teacher defends blog calling students lazy whiners

PHILADELPHIA Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:19pm EST

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PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A high school English teacher suspended from her job after she blogged that her students were "rude, disengaged, lazy whiners," said on Wednesday that she did nothing wrong.

"Some of the students, parents and administrators don't want to hear the truth," said Natalie Munroe, 30, a teacher at Central Bucks East High School north of Philadelphia.

In a blog she said was intended to be seen only by a handful of her friends, but was shared on Facebook by a student who discovered it, Munroe was highly critical of some students and school administrators.

"My students are out of control," she wrote.

"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 suggested more accurate ways to describe pupils on their report cards, including "Seems smarter than she actually is" and "A complete and utter jerk in all ways."

In another post, she denounced the school administration by using a crude anatomical reference.

Munroe, who is nearly 9 months pregnant, was suspended with pay pending an investigation into her blog, said Carol Counihan, spokeswoman for the school district.

Munroe was escorted from the school a week ago by the principal and a security guard.

While the investigation is ongoing, Munroe's lawyer said that if she is ultimately fired he may file a lawsuit charging violation of her First Amendment right to free speech.

"She's a working class hero for teachers," said Steven Rovner, Munroe's lawyer.

Munroe said she had previously scheduled a maternity leave, beginning March 1 with a return to the classroom in September.

Now, as the school district investigation continues, "I have been in this lonely bubble waiting for this to develop."

Meanwhile, she said she still wants to be a teacher.

(Reporting by Dave Warner; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jerry Norton)

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