Revenge of the snowflakes

“My students,” one teacher wrote in her personal blog, “are out of control. They are rude, disengaged, lazy whiners.”

Well, perhaps maybe not lazy, since they roused themselves from their stupor long enough to whine to the school administration:

[Natalie] Munroe’s blog — especially her posting wishing she could leave report card comments that more accurately reflected her negative opinions of students — circulated this week among students at the Doylestown [PA] high school.

Administrators suspended her Wednesday, and they continue to investigate her writings and whether she used district time or equipment to craft them.

One former student wrote to the Associated Press for some reason:

“Whatever influenced her to say what she did is evidence as to why she simply should not teach,” [Jeff] Shoolbraid wrote in an e-mail to the AP. “I just thought it was completely inappropriate. As far as motivated high school students, she’s completely correct. High school kids don’t want to do anything.”

But God forbid you should actually point this out to anyone.

It’s reasonable to assume Munroe is going to lose her job eventually. If so, I hope she reposts the offending articles — with full names. This will benefit all of us in blogdom, inasmuch as rude, disengaged, not-necessarily-lazy whiners make up roughly 75 percent of the Comment Trolling Community.

Addendum: She’s back with a new blog. (Hat tip: Robert Stacy McCain, who thinks she ought to get a medal.)


  1. LeeAnn »

    17 February 2011 · 9:19 am

    So in order to be an acceptable teacher, you have to practice snowflake worship? This is right up there with abolishing the honor roll, as some schools have, to avoid hurting the feelings of the little dumbasses…er, snowflakes…. who didn’t make the cut.

  2. McGehee »

    17 February 2011 · 9:24 am

    I’m astonished that teachers are still allowed to give grades.

  3. fillyjonk »

    17 February 2011 · 9:33 am

    I don’t know. This is being discussed on a college-professors forum I’m on and I can kind of see both sides of the argument…on the one hand, teachers DO get to have private lives, and yes, some students are really horrible entitlement-mentality cases. But on the other hand…no expectation of privacy with a blog, and some of the things she said were supposedly fairly personally directed.

    I guess the question is, where do you cross the line between attacking a behavior (which I think is okay, probably – in fact, it might be instructive for people to read the “horrible warnings”) and attacking individuals. I haven’t read the blog in question but perhaps that line was crossed?

    (I admit, I’ve occasionally commented on certain student behaviors on my blog but try very hard not to reveal personalities or even, if I can, what class it happened in. Just in case. And hope that any snowflakes reading don’t recognize themselves and assume it’s someone else who is ticking me off. Plausible deniability?)

    Also, when you bring defensive parents into the mix, things get a lot worse. Luckily we see relatively little of that at the college level. But I could see a principal, after fielding 20 calls from aggrieved parents, deciding the simplest solution is just to get rid of the person the complaints are about, whether it’s truly justifiable or not.

    I just really hope something changes because it does seem we’re graduating an awful lot of high-school seniors with giant expectations of what the world owes them (and perhaps not as many skills as they should have)

  4. McGehee »

    17 February 2011 · 10:44 am

    My understanding from when the story initially hit was that no children’s names were ever used. Apparently though, the targets of the derogatory descriptions recognized themselves.

    Was it Ann Landers who once said, “When you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one that yelps is the one you hit”…?

  5. Jeff Brokaw »

    17 February 2011 · 11:32 am

    Even if she did name names, so freaking what?

    Would it also be ‘inappropriate’ — to use that overused word one more time — if she praised students who deserve praise? You can’t have it both ways.

    Perhaps if a teacher is that frustrated with his/her students that they discuss it on a blog, this might be a sign that there are more important problems afoot than … you know … the blog.

    This inability to deal with criticism thing has gone way, WAY too far. It’s turned us into a bunch of over-sensitive precious flowers who can’t handle the slightest bit of adversity. It really, really needs to go away.

  6. McGehee »

    17 February 2011 · 12:34 pm

    What’s THAT supposed to mean?

  7. fillyjonk »

    17 February 2011 · 1:23 pm

    I wonder if part of the issue is that teachers – like some other professions – are held to a higher standard, and people get horrified by teachers complaining about students because they’re supposed to “love” their students. (Even though some students do an awful lot to make themselves unlovable).

    Another thought – one commenter on the academicians forum noted that students often say pretty awful things about their teachers on THEIR blogs (and also places like Rate Your Professor), and no one ever says much about that.

  8. Jeff Brokaw »

    18 February 2011 · 5:47 am

    McGehee – not sure if your comment is directed at me, but if so, that was a pointed criticism of the “precious snowflake” students and the reactionary administration. Perhaps I was unclear.

  9. CGHill »

    18 February 2011 · 7:02 am

    Read him again, Jeff. McGehee was responding to “over-sensitive” with the very definition of the term.

  10. Lisa Paul »

    18 February 2011 · 7:36 am

    From what I’ve heard, she never said her full name, the name of her school district or called out any students by name.

    But the school itself had no stated blogging policy, so they are going to have a hard time firing her for doing something that is not against any sort of policy.

    I think I’m with the teacher on this one.

  11. Jeff Brokaw »

    18 February 2011 · 8:10 am

    Ahhh! Gotcha! Thanks CG. Subtlety is not always my strong suit. ;-)

    Sorry, McGehee. Score one for you!

  12. fillyjonk »

    18 February 2011 · 10:30 am

    Lisa, I expect a lot of school districts now scrambling to craft “blogging policies” and other online-presence policies.

    There’s a news story about a Dallas (? I think) cop now on “administrative leave” because he said some untoward things about various groups on Facebook.

    I would not be surprised to see a day coming when employers decide to (try to) outright BAN employees from having any presence on the internet other than in an official work capacity. (And I’d actually like the see the First Amendment fight over that one…)

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