Earlier this year I wrote about Natalie Munroe, a high school English teacher in Pennsylvania, who was suspended from her job after she posted criticisms of her students on a blog. Now, after months of deliberation, Munroe has been reinstated to her old job.
While Munroe’s attorney, Steven Rovner told the Associated Press, she was mulling over whether to return to Central Bucks East High School this fall, he questioned whether returning to her same job was the best idea. “I personally believe that her talents at a teacher would best be utilized in a different school,” he said.
Which is a fair question as it’s hard to imagine parents would feel that great about having Munroe teach their children after she hurled insults at them online. As I reported in February, on her website, Munroe called her students “utterly loathsome” and “rude, disengaged, lazy whiners,” among other insults. In one post she said simply, “There’s no other way to say this: I hate your kid.”
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Those comments — and the ensuing media attention after she was suspended — tipped off a national conversation about the sometimes harsh realities of teaching in the 21st century. On Facebook, groups like “I support Natalie Munroe” and “Throw the Book at Natalie Munroe” highlighted the polarizing opinions of those on both sides of the debate.
Her supporters — many of them teachers — touted the age-old mantra “Kids these days,” and cheered Munroe for having the guts to publicly write things about today’s “disrespectful” youth that most of them dare only utter under their breath. While her opponents harshly questioned Munroe’s ability as a teacher and called for her permanent expulsion.
In reinstating Munroe it seems the school came down on one side of the issue and decided they valued Munroe’s abilities as a teacher more than they disapproved of the hurtful things she wrote about her students online. (Or, perhaps they just feared the potential legal ramifications of firing her.) Either way, if she chooses to accept the offer, Munroe will be teaching again come fall.
What do you think? Should she be allowed to teach again?
(Read my story, “How One Teacher’s Angry Blog Sparked a Viral Classroom Debate.”)
Kayla Webley is a Writer-Reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @kaylawebley or on Facebook at facebook.com/kaylalwebley. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.