Frustrated teacher's blog 'hurtful'
April 24, 2006 (WLS) -- A Chicago Teacher who was frustrated with students, teachers and parents at Fenger High School posted his thoughts on the internet. Now, the blog has been removed and school officials are trying to diffuse the situation.
Those at Fenger High School are hurt and shocked by a blog that goes after teachers, parents and students, and shocked that someone apparently from within would make his criticism so public.
Some Fenger High School students say school is hard enough without reading some stinging comments about them and their school.
"I think our school has improved and he put a lot of information out that would be bad, but not anything that was good," said Aneisha Newell, Fenger High School student.
Fenger's principal says he found out about a blog a week and a half ago. The blogger talked about a school called "Regnef, "Fenger spelled backwards, where the blogger called the students criminals, called their parents "project dwellers" and criticized teachers for doing just the minimum.
"I was disappointed with it, because it portrayed us in a way that is not true," said Dr. William Johnson, Fenger High School principal.
Johnson says they have made strides at Fenger despite most students living in poverty and 25 percent of the students with special learning needs. Johnson is creating a forum to address some the issues brought out by the blogger, but the way the blogger aired his concerns, he says, is "hurtful."
"When you put all your efforts out, you hate to see somebody tear it down," said Johnson.
The blogger is believed to be a teacher. Fellow teachers, who put in many extra hours to educate and inspire their students, are doubly hurt by the comments coming from one of their own.
"A little bit of anger. People thought they were accused of saying there's a lot of people who, you know, will admit that some of the things in the blog are true, just wish they had gone about it a different way. But, in general, it has everybody talking and that is nothing but a good thing," said Matt Geesaman, Fenger High School teacher.
The teacher believed to be behind the blog has not returned to school since spring break. The principal says the teacher is afraid for his life.
Regardless of what the teacher does with his career, the principal will have a series of forums to address the issues brought out by the blog. The first forum with students will be Tuesday afternoon.
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