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Students shun classes of teacher reinstated after critical blog posts

An English teacher suspended over blog postings in which she referred to students as "disengaged, lazy whiners" was reinstated because she has a legal right to her job, but dozens of students already have asked to be kept out of her classes, school officials said Wednesday.

Requests from students who ask not to be placed in Natalie Munroe's English and debate classes will be honored, Central Bucks East High School Principal Abe Lucabaugh said at a news conference. About 60 such requests have been made so far.

Lucabaugh said Munroe "has sacrificed her respect, her professionalism and her ethical standing as an educator, role model and mentor for students."

"In exercising her right to speak and by blatantly refusing to apologize for her actions, she has created an unenviable position for herself," Lucabaugh said.

Munroe was suspended in February after officials at the suburban Philadelphia school became aware of her blog, in which she also described some students as "frightfully dim," "whiny" and "tactless."

On the blog, "Where Are We Going & Why Are We in This Handbasket," Munroe wrote under the name "Natalie M." and did not identify her school, district, colleagues, or students. But the blog did include her picture.

"My students are out of control," Munroe wrote in one post. "They are rude, disengaged, lazy whiners. They curse, discuss drugs, talk back, argue for grades, complain about everything, fancy themselves entitled to whatever they desire, and are just generally annoying."

After her suspension, the district's superintendent said her return to Central Bucks East after a maternity leave would be "impossible." But in a statement Wednesday, the district said Munroe was reinstated because she has a legal right to her job.

Last week, Steven L. Rovner, her attorney, announced that Munroe was being reinstated and that she was mulling what to do next. Rovner had said that he thought moving her to a different school in the district would be the best solution, but that school officials told him that was not an option.

The Bucks County Courier-Times reported Wednesday that Lucabaugh said administrators considered transferring Munroe to another school, but determined that would be "irresponsible and further disruptive."

Superintendent N. Robert Laws said the district has a "backup plan" in case no student wants to be in Munroe's class but declined to provide details.

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