Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A School District Run by a Bunch of Idiots? Maybe.

You may recall the case of Natalie Munroe, the Central Bucks High School East teacher who was nearly fired for some coarse and uncomplimentary blog entries about her students, blogs that were supposed to remain personal and confidential but somehow got sniffed out. When the Central Bucks School District determined that they couldn't fire her because she hadn't broken any rules, they set her up to fail at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year.We summarized her unfair treatment at Zyzmog Galactic Headquarters.

She made one blog entry in October 2011. After that, the school board passed a rule that effectively muzzled teachers, forbidding them from blogging about their students or their classes. So she didn't blog again until this carefully worded entry...

... an entry which repeated the unsettling, but unsurprising, news that the school administrators intend to follow through completely, by recommending to the school board, on June 26, that Ms. Munroe be fired. It wasn't Ms. Munroe that broke the news. She says that somebody else leaked it to the media first. In her latest blog posting, she says that although the administration and other detractors are prepared to say a lot of nasty things about her, "... I know the truth, my colleagues know the truth, my students and their parents know the truth. I stand by my work this year, and every year before."

Ms. Munroe and her lawyer are prepared to take the district to court if the board votes to fire her. She doesn't deserve this, and neither do (many of) the students at CBE. I wish her (and her lawyer) lots of power, and lots of success.

POSTSCRIPT: Her unlikely defender continues the good fight. Some of her attackers are amazed at his tenacity and his, um, ferocity. Many of them are dismayed and wish he'd just lay off. They are learning the hard way, just as Ms. Munroe did, that every choice comes with consequences, and that you can't make a choice without accepting the consequences. To use the vulgar but succinct expression, karma's a bitch.

POST-POSTSCRIPT: I have been feeling a little guilty about the title of this entry. Maybe the CBSD administrators don't deserve to be called "idiots". But then I remember the way they have played this thing out in public, the things they have said to the news media, and the heavy-handed way they have managed it, and I don't feel guilty anymore.

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