Now THIS is a web-writing-related firing I can get behind.

Why didn't I hear about Michael Gee until now? In case you hadn't heard, here's the story (more here). Gee had been hired to teach an introductory journalism course at Boston University. Soon after the semester started, he posted about the class on, a discussion board. His post included the following:

Today was my first day teaching course 308/722 at the Boston University Dept. of Jounralis (sic). There are six students, most of whom are probably smarter than me, but they DON'T READ THE PAPER!!! Not the Globe, Times, Herald or Wall Street Journal. I can shame them into reading, I guess, but why are they taking the course if they don't like to read

But I digress. Now here's the nub of my issue. Of my six students, one (the smartest, wouldn't you know it?) is incredibly hot. If you've ever been to Israel, she's got the sloe eyes and bitchin' bod of the true Sabra. It was all I could do to remember the other five students. I sense danger, Will Robinson.

Are you shocked yet? BU swiftly fired him after hearing about the posting for his betrayal of the trust in the student-teacher relationship. Via Christine again, there's a response from the student, who says Gee "crossed the student/teacher line in a way that no student should ever have to deal with." And by the way, she dropped the class. Normally I'm against the idea that someone should be fired for what he/she writes in an online space not associated with his/her job, but this case makes me angry. It shows an egregious violation of this student's privacy and a striking disrespect for her as a student (I don't care if he did say she was smart). I realize some might say that it's just a few gray shades' difference between this and the kind of writing about students that pseudonymous bloggers like The Phantom Professor do, but I think the former is worse, I guess because Phantom blogs about incidents involving students that are a matter of public record (in the student newspaper) and doesn't name the specific class a student is in. Plus, I have found Phantom's portrayals of students to be sympathetic, impugning the society that produced any negative qualities her students might have possessed rather than the students themselves.


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her classmates too

I forget where I first saw this story, but some commenter noted that Gee's post was not only incredibly disrespectful of the student, but of her five classmates as well: for an instructor to publicly indicate such completely cavalier disregard for students ("It was all I could do to remember") goes far beyond obnoxious. What a lousy teacher.



Yeah I heard about this the day it came out from a friend who works in the law school at BU. I couldn't believe the guy's complete disregard for the very topic he was supposed to be teaching them?!?!

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