You can’t fix stupid: Employment law edition

by Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

You can’t fix stupid.

Click here to see video.

Homo sapiens is fired for teaching about homophones (and his sister is a known thespian rumored to have dramaturgical aspirations). A teacher at a private language school in Utah says that he was fired by the director for posting about homophones on an educational blog, which the director allegedly believed was promoting a gay agenda.

Homophones, as we all know, are words that sound the same but are spelled differently and mean different things. Like, “bear” and “bare,” or “red” and “read” (past tense). There’s nothing sexual about homophones. Well, except for “sex” and “sects.” Maybe the director has a point, after all.

This article has a picture of the teacher, manifestly displaying his epidermis.

P.S. - “Homo” is a prefix from Greek meaning “same.” It is also the name for the human genus.

P.P.S. – Read this. I am in awe.

Barney Fife.Don_Knotts_Barney_and_the_bullet_Andy_Griffith_Show

“How come I get only one bullet? Racists!”

“Don’t hate me because I’m white.” A police officer in the town of Moultrie, Georgia, who made Barney Fife look competent, was forced to resign and was sure it was because he was white. The fact that he’d left his squad car with the engine running and his window down, backed the car into a light pole, left the car while it wasn’t in “park,” ran a red light, didn’t tell the dispatchers where he was, caused a wreck when he used his cell phone while driving, drove 20 miles over the speed limit, wrecked his car and couldn’t remember how he’d done it, accidentally shot himself with his firearm, lost the notebook that contained his incident reports, left his shotgun on the steps of the entrance to the police department, lost a pager and a gas card, lost a $100 counterfeit bill that was evidence, failed to put documents into evidence, “failed to immediately confiscate a firearm with an altered serial number that somebody was attempting to pawn,” failed to use a voice recorder in an interview, found a knife in the trunk of his car and had no idea how it got there or whether it was evidence, lost a suspect’s cell phone, was late for court, frequently missed training sessions, arrested the wrong person, spoke rudely to a fellow officer in the presence of a witness, and failed to get the police dog he was in charge of recertified as a K-9 dog, had nothing to do with it.

(Summary judgment for police department on race discrimination and retaliation claims, and the Town of Moultrie, Georgia, is sleeping better tonight. However, “Barney’s” claims for unpaid wages related to time he spent caring for the police dog will go to trial.)

Hmmm . . . maybe you’d be happier in another line of work, d’ya think? Suburban Philadelphia honors English teacher Natalie Munroe was doing fine in her career until she decided to start venting on her blog about her students. On Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?, Ms. Munroe reportedly used words to describe her charges like “jerk,” “rat-like,” “dunderhead,” “frightfully dim,” and “whiny simpering grade-grubber with an unrealistically high perception of own ability level.”*

*Impressive verbiage. You can tell she’s an honors English teacher.

She also said “that parents ‘were breeding a disgusting brood of insolent, unappreciative, selfish brats.’”


DISCLAIMER: This is not Natalie Munroe.

The school was not thrilled when word got out through students’ social media postings, which then drew the attention of mainstream media like . . . “The Huffington Post, CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, Fox News, Reuters, the Associated Press, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.” Ms. Munroe was initially suspended, and when she returned, students were allowed to opt out of her classes, which they did, leaving her classes too small to be viable. Then the school system fired her, and she sued, claiming retaliation for exercising her First Amendment rights.

A federal judge in Philadelphia ruled last week that her blog was primarily personal, and that her statements about the kids and parents were not protected because the blog contained “gratuitously demeaning and insulting language inextricably intertwined with her occasional discussions of public issues.” The Honorable Cynthia Rufe apparently has a way with words, too. English major?

(Summary judgment for the school system.)

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.