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Judge dismisses suit by former Philadelphia-area teacher who called students 'lazy' in blog

A judge dismissed a lawsuit by a former suburban Philadelphia teacher fired two years ago for writing on her blog about students who were "disengaged, lazy whiners."

Natalie Munroe had accused the Central Bucks School District and administrators of violating her free-speech rights.

U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe on Friday granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the suit, The (Doylestown) Intelligencer (http://bit.ly/1uHCYQb ) reported Thursday. The judge ruled that the defendants were within their rights to conclude that the teacher's posts "would erode the necessary trust and respect between Munroe and her students."

"Far from implicating larger discussions of education reform, pedagogical methods, or specific school policies," the judge said, the postings "mostly complained about the failure of (Munroe's) students to live up to her expectations."

Munroe's attorney, Steve Rovner, said they planned an appeal.

"We believe that it was protected free speech, and that her right to free speech is greater than the rights the school district has asserted," he said.

Munroe's blog did not identify her school, district, colleagues or students, though it did include her picture and identified her as "Natalie M."

"My students are out of control," Munroe wrote in one post. "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."

The judge noted that Munroe also described a student as "a complete and utter jerk in all ways" and another as a "cheater and liar."

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Information from: Bucks County Courier Times, http://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com

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