In the wake of a Bucks County teacher blogging controversy, the North Penn School District is considering a policy that would ban teachers from almost any kind of conversation about their jobs to the public and any kind of conversation about their personal lives to their students.
In short: Don’t blog, tweet, e-mail, text, talk on the phone or in person about your personal life to students or your teaching life to the public.
“Isn’t this very draconian?” school board President Vincent Sherpinsky said, according to The Reporter.
Sherpinsky said that the proposed policy places “limitations on First Amendment rights.”
The policy set before North Penn School Board’s education/community/policy committee forbids employees from making “inappropriate” personal comment, phone calls, letters, e-mails or texts to students, as well as prohibiting any discussion of a teacher’s private life with students, reports The Reporter.
The policy doesn’t stop there. Employees could be fired for posting any personal information about drinking, drugs or sex on any social networking site, such as Facebook, or any website.
The proposed policy was inspired partly by Central Bucks East High School teacher Natalie Munroe’s personal blog in which she spoke her mind about her students, their parents and other teachers. The once 8-viewer blog blew up when students discovered her posts about lazy and “jerk” students and “parents [who] don’t want to hear the truth” about their kids.
Munroe was suspended in February.
“The fact remains that every year, more and more, students are coming in less willing to work, to think, to cooperate. These are the students I was complaining about in my blog. The same way millions of Americans go home at the end of the day and complain about select coworkers or clients or other jerks they had to deal with, I came home and complained on my blog about those I had to deal with,” Munroe wrote on her blog in February.
If the policy goes through, there’s no more “complaining” allowed.