Friday, February 25, 2011

Blogging is Hazardous

Natalie Munroe is my hero.

Munroe taught English at Central Bucks School District in Doylestown, Pa. when she was suspended over comments she posted in her blog about her students, administrators and co-workers.

She has taught at the school since 2006 and earns a salary of $54,500, so she’s no ignoramus. However, the pressures of public school pedagogy must have snapped something in her core because she comes off as Lisa Lampanelli on her cringe-inducing blog “Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?”

Here are a few gems that landed Munroe in hot water with the school administration:

“My students are out of control. 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.”

“Just as bad as his sibling. Don’t you know how to raise kids?”

“I called out sick a couple of days to avoid your son.”

“Asked too many questions and took too long to ask them. The bell means it’s time to leave!”

“Shy isn’t cute in 11th grade; it’s annoying. Must learn to advocate for himself instead of having Mommy do it.”

“Concerned your kid is an automaton, as she just sits there emotionless for an entire 90 minutes, staring into the abyss, never volunteering to speak or do anything.”

“Rude, belligerent [sic], argumentative fuck.”

“Whiny, simpering grade-grubber with an unrealistically high perception of own ability level.”

“Too smart for her own good and refuses to play the school ‘game’ such that she’ll never live up to her true potential here.”
“I hear the trash company is hiring.”

Munroe also referred to some of her students as “rat-like”, “dresses like a streetwalker” and “frightfully dim.”

Blogging has intrinsic value and merit in a society rife with violence and petty rage. The written word can serve as a release valve for venting tirades about politics, religion and work. However, these digital screeds have their own pitfalls, namely the fallout from posting potentially caustic entries like those Munroe authored.

Another potential hazard is the fluid nature of the Internet, where articles are cut, pasted and shared with anyone via social media.

That’s what happened to Munroe’s blog. One nasty entry – the one that got Munroe suspended – was posted on Facebook and shared throughout the student body.

Hence another important lesson about blogs: they’re not static diaries circulated by a miniscule online community. Blogging today is like writing in letters so high they can be seen on the other side of the globe. It’s not so much writing than it is broadcasting, and the students received the message in all of Munroe’s flustered, angry glory.

Central Bucks East Principal Abram Lucabaugh suspended Munroe without pay after a blog entry came to light.
Even though Munroe didn’t name names in her blog, the damage had been done.

While the minority response has been scathing condemnation, shameful finger-wagging and calls for Munroe to be drawn and quartered in the public square, an overwhelming majority support her for her courage and candor.

Here’s where Natalie Munroe is my hero.

She took her hostility to the Internet and instead of shaming students in class, or massacring her colleagues in the teacher’s lounge with an MP5 then finishing off the school with C-4.

Posting a vitriolic blog, while unprofessional for a teacher, is a figurative bloodletting she used to drain her frustration.

Teaching is an unrewarding profession. Sometimes you get wonderful kids who open up and take you seriously and lift you upon their shoulders like in “The Dead Poet’s Society.” However, most classes in today’s public schools are an abysmal amalgamation of “Stand and Deliver” and “Dangerous Minds.” Before they burn out and resign, most teachers in today’s schools are likely to get shivved before lunch.

At the risk of sounding like the old fogey in the deli complaining into his pastrami on rye, kids today are terrible. They’re utterly and truly terrible. They’re fidgety, ADD sufferers hopped up on sugar and a steady diet of the latest pop star trainwreck. While keen on technology and its implementation, kids are little more than push-button robots texting their friends, sending images of their genitals to each other and huffing aerosol to annihilate brain cells. Bereft of respect or appreciation for their culture and civilization’s history, the average kid in school cares more about money and style than their futures. They’re all ego-driven, Ritalin-popping basket cases whose propensity for cursing and profanity would’ve made Sid Vicious blush.

Nowadays teachers are viewed as the enemy; ivory tower liberals who infect young minds with socialist propaganda. In reality, public school teachers aren’t indoctrinating students on Marx and Engels but are glorified babysitters, breaking up fights, stopping students from eating Xanax-laced brownies and preventing locker room orgies.

Yet talk to any parent and they’ll vouch for their little hellion’s behavior, while blaming the teachers, who’ve become convenient scapegoats.

The reason your dumbass kid flunked his history exam? Must be the teacher!

The reason your precious daughter is a promiscuous cum dumpster? Must be the teacher!

The reason your little moron is getting into fights after school and rapes kittens? Must be the teacher!

Natalie Munroe is not an antagonist, nor is she a brittle harpy with a caustic personality. She’s only reflecting the reality of her classroom. Kids are disinterested in school and the American education system is a fucking joke. It’s under-funded, hires dispassionate jerkoffs who could care not a whit about educating young and is lorded over by school boards whose members consist of pig-ignorant, priggish mediocrities who want to prevent science teachers from discussing evolution while pushing for school prayer.

Remember that whole controversy over teaching intelligent design? Yeah, that’s where we’re going as a country. That’s why our kids are growing up unchallenged and dumb. They see the Internet and Hollywood as their surrogate teachers. They get more satisfaction stealing music online than excelling academically or participating in after school activities. As Munroe stated in her blog, the kids dress like tramps and are blissfully apathetic to the world around them.

These dim bulbs will grow up unquestioning, unthinking and un-opinionated. This country deserves better from our young people and our teachers.

Natalie Munroe sent out the clarion call that something’s rotten with our education system. Instead of firing her, appoint her to an education committee designed to improve that school.

Yet they flog her and condemn her for her words.

Natalie Munroe has something most teachers lost long ago: a passion for her job.

1 comment:

1Letterman said...

Here are a few examples of how "classy" these kids are: