Can we blog about whatever we want to?

When I was reading through the news when I got up this morning, this is an article I saw and it really left me wondering.

I keep thinking “well, on the other hand” and “if it were my child” or “it’s my blog.” According to this Yahoo article, it was a blog she started for her friends and family in August of 09. Kind of like our blog here. We all talk about things that irritate us about our quirks and our jobs and just stuff. Should we be allowed to do this?

Or do you feel a teacher should have to keep quiet? Kind of like a doctor or a lawyer or the clergy. She didn’t mention any names or the school where she worked but if it was a friends and family blog, she wouldn’t need to. They’d all know already.

I’ve looked around. People are either for her or NOT for her. Some say it’s about time parents quit being their kids friends and take parenting back 20 years to the time kids had to behave and if they didn’t they had to answer to someone. I’ll risk saying this but today so many young parents care so much what other people say and *gasp* they don’t want their kids mad at them so they’re kind of left to do what they want. I’ll be the first to say if my boys got in trouble at school, there was HUGE trouble when they got home.

Then on the other hand I think this teacher was a high school teacher and not teaching young children. When most kids are in high school, most of them are close to adulthood already. I think in my mind, that makes a difference to me and she didn’t single any one kid out. It was more like a blanket statement about what most of them are like and how they talk and how they behave.

So, what’s your take on this? Do you think this teacher should be fired? I’m tending to say no only because she didn’t mention names and I know from us blogging, we talk about stuff like this. Things that irritate and grate on our nerves.

So, what side are you on?

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12 Responses to Can we blog about whatever we want to?

  1. mssc54 says:

    Where does it say that educators relinquish their First Ammendmant rights?

  2. SKL says:

    Well, the only question I have is, how did students find this? She didn’t do a good enough job of keeping it confidential. She had to realize that that was NOT OK to say in front of the kids, which is in effect what she did if they could find it on the internet and know she said it.

    That said, I totally agree with how she views many students, and I believe she has a right to get frustrated and vent her frustration somehow. She just needed to do it more carefully.

    Should she be fired? Well, if the worst she said was what was in the article you linked, no. It wasn’t that bad. I would look to her attitude in the classroom. Is she a good motivator despite her frustration? Also, everyone has a bad day! I can remember some teachers getting upset and venting right on the class in person. And every student felt sympathy, knowing we (or some of us) had driven them to it! I’m sure it’s a revelation for youngsters when they discover that their teachers are human. But there’s nothing wrong with them finding that out.

    So without knowing more, I’m hoping this whole thing just sorta blows over.

    And I do think this was a good wake-up call about kids and their attitudes. I’m not sure when it started, but what is it with kids thinking their shit doesn’t stink? Is this what we get from a whole generation of “you can’t say they are bad,” “you can’t touch them,” etc.? Many of today’s kids are so entitled, I don’t want to deal with them, so kids, good luck “demanding” that great job you are sure you deserve.

    • Joy says:

      It’s a small world and there could have been many ways people found her blog. It only takes one person. There are phrases you use in your blog that go to google and someone may have known about her blog say from a parent. It’s not to say everyone hated her. She could have been well liked and a friend of hers could have had a student at the school. Look at the people who’ve shown up here. I’ve had a couple of people find me by accident but I try really hard to be careful too about mention names and IF I do write something personal, I always ask that person if it’s okay. I’m not saying anything is right and okay, just that sometimes people just find you.

  3. Phyllis says:

    I agree with mscc54. This is a freedom of speech issue and should be treated as such. Without naming names, or naming the school, there’s no reason she should be prosecuted or lose her job! Is this really any different than conversation across a dinner table? I think not! Plus, who among us doesn’t really agree with her position on the attitude, general laziness, etc. that abounds within school walls today?

    Now, playing devil’s advocate, I have to ask….. Did the school board have the foresight to address the issue of blogging when it first became commonplace? I work in a grocery store, and several years back we had to sign off on a form stating that we WOULD NOT name our company, our co-workers or our managers or write anything derogatory about work on any type of site like facebook, myspace, etc. This could, and probably would, result in (here comes the company’s favorite phrase) “disciplinary action up to and including dismissal”. This came about as a result of a young man in our store who was using myspace to vent his continued frustration with his life, work, classmates, etc. Unlike a lot of employees I refused to sign this form. I refuse to sign off on most of the crap the company comes up with. FYI…unless the paper concerns a state or federal regulation no one is required to sign anything (according to our union). If such a signoff form was in place at the school, and the teacher signed off on it, that puts things in an entirely different light. Then and only then would the school be able to persue possible recourse. I’m glad the teacher hired a lawyer. I hope she comes out on top of this issue!

    • Joy says:

      It would be my guess the school district didn’t have anything like that in the contract or I’ll bet she wouldn’t have done this. She probably just started blogging like the rest of us.

  4. Laura says:

    Ok, I’ve read nothing that anyone else posted on this because I wanted to get my thoughts down first without being swayed… so apologies if I duplicate what someone else said. I have several thoughts.

    First… I’m going to take this woman out of the classroom and put her in the boardroom for a minute. It is a well-known thing (or it should be) that you don’t go blogging about your crappy boss, his sex-fiend secretary, or the overly gaseous slob in the cubicle next to you. You don’t “friend” work people on Facebook, and you put all of your settings to “private”. Even with that done, you don’t put anything questionable up there, because it could get out. What’s put on the internet never goes away, even if you try to delete it. So, while I believe that she has a right to say whatever she wants about her students, she was exceedingly stupid to put it in print, especially on the Internet. It wouldn’t surprise me if she got fired as a teacher, just like it wouldn’t surprise me if she got fired as the businesswoman in my example.

    Having said that, it doesn’t mean that I don’t agree with her – that overall, youth is out of control. And up until recently, when I had something happen to me, I thought it was all the parents’ “I want to be your friend” mindset. But that changed… several months ago, I was in a small gathering of adults and children, and Josh acted up. Nothing big, I believe he sassed me over something. So I swatted him on the backside (I wouldn’t even call it a spank, to be honest), and said, “watch your mouth, young man.” A woman that I knew looked me straight in the eye and said, “If I was still at my old job, I’d be required to report you for child abuse.” That woman had been a social worker. I NEVER reprimanded Josh in front of her again. Never. I let him do whatever the hell he wanted. Yes, I was terrified that she’d follow through and report me, and Heaven knows what would have happened then?

    This society has become absolutely freakish. On one hand, parents are supposed to be completely in control of every situation with their children, and on the other, we are constantly watching over our shoulders, waiting for Big Brother to show up and take our children away, because someone sees something they don’t like, and reports us to child protective services. How are we supposed to parent effectively?

    Finally, something that kid said really crawled under my skin: “As far as motivated high school students, she’s completely correct. High school kids don’t want to do anything. … It’s a teacher’s job, however, to give students the motivation to learn.”

    No, young man, that motivation to learn is supposed to come from YOU. Teachers can work with that motivation. They can help you get it back if you are flagging. But it is not their job to “give” it to you.

    This is such an utter mess. Do I think she should be fired? I honestly don’t know. I didn’t read her blog. I really think she was grade-A stupid for putting that stuff in writing on a public forum. I think a bunch of parents and students are embarrassed because they see themselves in her words. Probably the best solution, all the way around, is to take inventory, fix a few things, and move forward. And perhaps she should change districts.

    • Joy says:

      I agree. Some people expect you to play nice and be friends with your kids. They don’t expect you to even raise your voice but boy, when something goes wrong or they have a meltdown in the grocery store, those same people will look at you like you’re the worst monster in the world.

  5. SKL says:

    I thank God often that I live in a state where it’s still considered the parents’ choice whether or not to spank. I very rarely do it in public, but my kids know that if it gets bad enough, I will. In fact, just last Sunday while walking around the church/school building, I heard at least two parents (other than me) basically threaten their kids with something very unpleasant if they didn’t toe the line. I really think it’s necessary for parents to be “mean” sometimes. Just because it’s “age appropriate” for a child to feel or act a certain way on impulse, that doesn’t mean parents don’t need to do something about it.

    But here’s a funny. When my kids were younger I’d use the word “punish” as a code word for “spank” when we were in public. My kid pronounced it as “punch.” So when she made a mistake in public, she’d look nervous and say, “are you going to punch me?” I’m sure that got a few looks, which I studiously ignored.

  6. Morocco says:

    As a high school English teacher in an urban setting, I can relate to much of what she wrote about. I am a teacher and I blog, however, I usually do not write about current students. I deal with the politics of education all day and I don’t want to spend precious personal time analyzing and dissecting it. If I feel the need to vent, I do it with one of my teacher-friends and leave it at that.

    Yes, you can blog about anything but that doesn’t mean you should.

  7. Nikki says:

    Kids at this age can be disrespectful, rude, and lazy. She’s right. But I’m not sure she should have put it in print either. You really have to be careful in what you write on the internet, it’s out there for the whole world to see. You have to just be mindful of who may read it. I’m not sure she should be fired, that seems pretty extreme.

    I no longer write things that are personal, just because it can always come back to bite you in the ass. And too, because writing personal things, you are opening yourself up for judgement, and ridicule.

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