Central Bucks East teacher returning after blog dispute

Natalie Munroe in February. After her suspension at Central Bucks High School East in Doylestown, she went on maternity leave. She "will teach at the same school, the same grade, and the same classes," her lawyer said.
Natalie Munroe in February. After her suspension at Central Bucks High School East in Doylestown, she went on maternity leave. She "will teach at the same school, the same grade, and the same classes," her lawyer said. (MATT ROURKE / Associated Press)
Posted: July 28, 2011

In one month, students will return to Central Bucks High School East - and so will Natalie Munroe, the 11th-grade English teacher who called some of them "frightfully dim," "whiny," and "utterly loathsome" on her controversial blog.

Munroe, who has been on a combination of suspension, maternity leave, and summer break since February, got the news Wednesday that she "will teach at the same school, the same grade, and the same classes," her lawyer, Steven L. Rovner, said. "There's nothing different from before."

Munroe had to call the district to learn her status, Rovner said. "No one called her. They confirmed it. She has her schedule."

The teacher, who attracted national attention for her blog, is not granting interviews until possibly next week, Rovner said, but it was not her choice to return to Central Bucks East.

"She thinks it would be more appropriate to teach at a different school," Rovner said. "Apparently, that was not an option. . . . They're not treating her any different than any other teacher.

"As a parent, I would think it would be in everybody's best interest to not have the situation hanging over their heads."

The district will not comment until a news briefing Wednesday, according to a statement from the superintendent's office.

On Feb. 9, Munroe was suspended after the district became aware of her blog.

In an October 2009 post, she wrote: "My students are out of control. They are rude, disengaged, lazy whiners."

A few months later, Munroe wrote that she felt limited by the "canned" responses available to comment on student report cards. She wished for alternatives such as "dresses like a streetwalker," "shy isn't cute in 11th grade; it's annoying," and "just as bad as his sibling. Don't you know how to raise kids?"

She wrote under the name Natalie M. and did not identify her school, district, colleagues, or students. But the blog, called "Where Are We Going & Why Are We in This Handbasket," included her picture. It regularly got "nine readers, two of whom were myself and my husband," she said in February, adding that it consisted mostly of innocuous musings about her daily life.

She may have written at least one post during school hours, administrators said.

After two weeks of paid suspension, Munroe went on unpaid maternity leave. She now has a 4-month-old girl in addition to a 3-year-old daughter. She writes about them in her new blog at www.nataliemunroe.com, along with musings about the district's recently ratified teachers' contract, recipes, and restaurants.

In a June post, titled "My Favorite Teaching Memory," she referred to "a particularly malicious group of students . . . who decided to make it their business to try to ruin me." But she focused on a "creative, funny, and enthusiastic young man" whom she lauded "for showing passion about ideas."


Contact staff writer Bill Reed at 215-801-2964, wreed@philly.com, or @breedbucks on Twitter.

 

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|