DOYLESTOWN, Pa. – An English teacher suspended over blog postings in which she referred to students as "disengaged, lazy whiners" was reinstated because she has a legal right to her job, but dozens of students have already asked to be kept out of her classes, school officials said Wednesday.
Requests from students who ask not to be placed in Natalie Munroe's English and debate classes will be honored, Central Bucks East High School Principal Abe Lucabaugh said at a news conference. About 60 such requests have been made so far.
Lucabaugh said Munroe "has sacrificed her respect, her professionalism, and her ethical standing as an educator, role model and mentor for students."
"In exercising her right to speak and by blatantly refusing to apologize for her actions, she has created an unenviable position for herself," Lucabaugh said.
Munroe was suspended in February after officials at the suburban Philadelphia school became aware of her blog, in which she also described some students as "frightfully dim," ''whiny" and "tactless."
On the blog, "Where Are We Going & Why Are We in This Handbasket," Munroe wrote under the name "Natalie M." and did not identify her school, district, colleagues, or students. But the blog did include her picture.
After her suspension, the district's superintendent said it would be "impossible" for her to return to Central Bucks East after her maternity leave. But in a statement Wednesday, the district said Munroe was reinstated because she has a legal right to her job. The district also said it would continue to monitor the environment at the school.
Last week, her attorney, Steven L. Rovner, announced that Munroe was being reinstated and that she was mulling what to do next. Rovner had said that he thought the best situation was for her to return to a different school in the district, but that school officials told him that was not an option.
Munroe has not commented on the decision.
The Bucks County Courier-Times reported Wednesday Lucabaugh said administrators considered transferring Munroe to another school, but determined that would be "irresponsible and further disruptive."
The district has a "back-up plan" in case no student wants to be in Munroe's class, but he declined to provide details, Superintendent N. Robert Laws said.
On the blog, Munroe listed some comments she wished she could post on student evaluations, including: "I hear the trash company is hiring"; "I called out sick a couple of days just to avoid your son"; and "Just as bad as his sibling. Don't you know how to raise kids?"
"My students are out of control," Munroe wrote in another 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."
Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.philly.com