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Old 03-03-2006   #1
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Teacher on Leave for Anti-Bush Remarks

I attended my Exceptional Volunteer Evening last night and received my award. This was the big talk of the whole night. This happened in the school district where Eric and Laura went to school.

AURORA, Colorado (AP) -- About 150 high school students walked out of class to protest a decision to put a teacher on leave while they investigate remarks he made about President Bush in class, including that some people compare Bush to Adolf Hitler.

The protest came Thursday as administrators began investigating whether Overland High School teacher Jay Bennish violated a policy requiring balancing viewpoints in the classroom, Cherry Creek School District spokeswoman Tustin Amole said.

"It was peaceful. The students yelled, but there was no fighting," Amole said. "Most of them did return to class."

A telephone number listed for Bennish, who has been teaching social studies and American history at Overland since 2000, had been disconnected.

Sophomore Sean Allen recorded about 20 minutes of Bennish's class during a February 1 discussion about Bush's State of the Union speech and gave the recording to his father, who complained to the principal, Amole said.

"After listening to the tape, it's evident the comments in the class were inappropriate. There were not adequate opportunities for opposing points of view," she said.

Deborah Fallin, spokeswoman for the Colorado Education Association, which represents about 37,000 union teachers, said it will not represent Bennish because he is not a member, but said that Bennish has hired an attorney.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/03....ap/index.html

http://cbs4denver.com/local/local_story_061081809.html

http://cbs4denver.com/politics/local...062081133.html

http://cbs4denver.com/politics/local...061104533.html
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Old 03-03-2006   #2
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Re: Teacher on Leave for Anti-Bush Remarks

There was a time where if you didn't like or agree with what you were hearing, you spoke your viewpoint against it. Instead of recording it, whining like a bitch, or getting the law involved.

They were better days.
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Old 03-03-2006   #3
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Re: Teacher on Leave for Anti-Bush Remarks

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Originally Said by schism-
There was a time where if you didn't like or agree with what you were hearing, you spoke your viewpoint against it. Instead of recording it, whining like a bitch, or getting the law involved.

They were better days.
Thank you, I was about to post what you said. What ever happened to intelligent exchanges? I argued with evey civics/social studies type class teacher I ever had in high school. This kid has no balls, upset enough to record lectures, but without the balls to say a word.
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Old 03-03-2006   #4
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Re: Teacher on Leave for Anti-Bush Remarks

I agree, the law shouldn't be involved. However, there is merit in reprimanding the teacher for comparing Bush to Hitler, that's a little over the line and not necessary in a teaching atmosphere.

My opinion is that teacher opinions do not belong in a public school atmosphere; they should teach rather than preach, no matter what the issue or opinion is.

Also, I'd be a little offended if opposing viewpoints weren't allowed to be voiced, or if they find that the teacher belittled students and/or deducted grades for disagreeing.

He most likely didn't do either, but that's when I'd take offense.

The bad thing about college is that teachers can and do talk about their side and while they say they don't deduct if you voice an opposing opinion, I've known it to happen many times.
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Old 03-03-2006   #5
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Re: Teacher on Leave for Anti-Bush Remarks

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Originally Said by Jenn and tonic
My opinion is that teacher opinions do not belong in a public school atmosphere; they should teach rather than preach, no matter what the issue or opinion is.

Also, I'd be a little offended if opposing viewpoints weren't allowed to be voiced, or if they find that the teacher belittled students and/or deducted grades for disagreeing.
i agree with you 100% here. we had a teacher at my high school who didn't neccessarily preach politics but actually religion. he's a big christian and preacher at his church, and my sister had him this year. both of us are atheists and she actually stands up to him and he doesn't like it. i think he's actually threatened by her. but anyways, it seems like besiders her mouth FOR arguing with him, he doesn't like her because she's thinking for herself and arguing his points.

we talked just this past week in my adolescent psychology class that schools don't teach you critical thinking or to think for yourself, and lots of families don't either, because of course no one wants you questioning what THEY say, and this affects the ability to do lots of higher maths and understand philosophy.
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Old 03-03-2006   #6
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Re: Teacher on Leave for Anti-Bush Remarks

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Originally Said by manic_panic
i agree with you 100% here. we had a teacher at my high school who didn't neccessarily preach politics but actually religion. he's a big christian and preacher at his church, and my sister had him this year. both of us are atheists and she actually stands up to him and he doesn't like it. i think he's actually threatened by her. but anyways, it seems like besiders her mouth FOR arguing with him, he doesn't like her because she's thinking for herself and arguing his points.
That is messed up, it should not be allowed.


Quote:
we talked just this past week in my adolescent psychology class that schools don't teach you critical thinking or to think for yourself, and lots of families don't either, because of course no one wants you questioning what THEY say, and this affects the ability to do lots of higher maths and understand philosophy.
I definitely agree with that thought. Many times teachers don't talk about topics that make kids think, they talk about what happened or 'this is how it is,' which influences their thought in a negative way.

I had a teacher in high school that did the opposite. It was a modern history class, so recent political issues were a majority of the curriculum. She would hit on an issue or something that supposedly 'happened' (or didn't happen) and bring up both sides of the argument, then open up the class for discussion, telling us to make up our own minds about it.

For the first two weeks no one spoke up much, because thinking critically and making up one's own mind is a little hard when you've been programmed to do the opposite. It's a critical skill that most public schools don't even think about teaching children.
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Old 03-03-2006   #7
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Re: Teacher on Leave for Anti-Bush Remarks

At least in college classrooms, there's room for opposition. None of my professors have ever lowered a grade for a student disagreeing with them. For instance, a third of my religious studies was agnostic/athiest, myself included. Even though the prof was a methodist minister, we had just as high grades as the christian students, while we were debating them and him.

I agree with jenn that the teacher should have some sort of punishment for allowing such a onesided arguement to go on. Freedom of speech is important, don't get me wrong, but the whole saying of, "Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose," applies here. They have a right to say those things, but just so long as others can get their thoughts heard as well, and it doesn't get out of hand.
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Old 03-03-2006   #8
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Re: Teacher on Leave for Anti-Bush Remarks

If the teacher compares Bush to Hitler, they're obviously not smart enough to teach a class.
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Old 03-03-2006   #9
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Re: Teacher on Leave for Anti-Bush Remarks

hahaha, either that, or waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too liberal.. so much so that anyone who steps on an ant is immediately compared to hitler.. "what, are you trying to wipe out all the ants now??? YOU GENOCIDAL MANIAC!" *hugs a tree*

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Old 03-04-2006   #10
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Re: Teacher on Leave for Anti-Bush Remarks

Nice bleed black!

And it doesnt even matter that the teacher involved the president. Its the fact that hes teaching in an extremly biased (therefore illegal) fashion. A history/gov class should be merely the facts showm by the teacher, and then discussion should be open to let opinins be heard.
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Old 03-04-2006   #11
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Re: Teacher on Leave for Anti-Bush Remarks

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Originally Said by Demento
Its the fact that hes teaching in an extremly biased (therefore illegal) fashion.
Wait a minute...to say that what he did was ILLEGAL is going too far. He may have violated the school district policy, but no one has said that he did anything illegal. What law would he have broken?
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Old 03-04-2006   #12
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Re: Teacher on Leave for Anti-Bush Remarks

separation of.. um, politics and.. state? no, shit that's not right..

i don't think what happened was illegal, just irresponsible on everyone involved's part. the students for drowning out any opposition and offending people, and the teacher's for initiating the conversation and allowing it to get out of hand. irresponsible is all, not illegal.
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Old 03-04-2006   #13
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Re: Teacher on Leave for Anti-Bush Remarks

Although I agree that the way this teacher spoke about Bush is inappropriate in a school setting, not to mention outside the content of a geography class, it seems to me that this kid was just WAITING to tape this guy saying something inappropriate so he could go to his daddy to tattle. There was no need to go to the press when a complaint to the principal would have done just as well. If there were other people that had issues with the content and method of the guy's teaching, they should have spoken up. If he gets fired, he'll never find a teaching job again because of all the media attention; no one will touch him with a twelve-foot pole.
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Old 03-04-2006   #14
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Re: Teacher on Leave for Anti-Bush Remarks

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Originally Said by Madre
Wait a minute...to say that what he did was ILLEGAL is going too far. He may have violated the school district policy, but no one has said that he did anything illegal. What law would he have broken?
Thats what i meant. Sorry. basically, against the rules.
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Old 03-04-2006   #15
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Re: Teacher on Leave for Anti-Bush Remarks

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Originally Said by moonlight_serenade
Although I agree that the way this teacher spoke about Bush is inappropriate in a school setting, not to mention outside the content of a geography class, it seems to me that this kid was just WAITING to tape this guy saying something inappropriate so he could go to his daddy to tattle. There was no need to go to the press when a complaint to the principal would have done just as well. If there were other people that had issues with the content and method of the guy's teaching, they should have spoken up. If he gets fired, he'll never find a teaching job again because of all the media attention; no one will touch him with a twelve-foot pole.
Of course I don't know the situation and I wondered the same thing. However, maybe the kid had tried to speak up before but felt that he couldn't, and he got tired of this going on. He may have turned to this as a last resort type of thing.
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Old 03-04-2006   #16
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Re: Teacher on Leave for Anti-Bush Remarks

High school teachers who preach their political viewpoints are wangs because the student has to be there and has to sit there and listen to it, since public primary schooling is compulsory. It always pissed me off when teachers got up on their political soapboxes during class time, even if I agreed with them; I wasn't there to learn about the teacher's political opinions.

College is a different subject since the student is more like a customer than an inmate, so if you don't like your teacher politicizing, you can switch classes or complain or whatever.

The bottom line though is that the kid who reported the teacher is a pussy. I remember when I was a little kid, that was known as "tattling" and by playground rules the teacher (who was "tattled on") should be able to haul that kid out behind the school and rub his face in the dirt. Sometimes I think that we all had a more well-developed sense of justice when we were eight-year-olds.
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Old 03-04-2006   #17
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Re: Teacher on Leave for Anti-Bush Remarks

Quote:
Originally Said by Jenn and tonic
Of course I don't know the situation and I wondered the same thing. However, maybe the kid had tried to speak up before but felt that he couldn't, and he got tired of this going on. He may have turned to this as a last resort type of thing.
That's true, I guess... but I know most schools would take those kinds of allegations very seriously, even without concrete proof. It's not the speaking out against the teacher's political views that bugs me, it's the way this guy went about reporting it. Going to the media is just not neccessary. He could have just as easily gone to the school administration, and accomplished the same thing.

We get no information if this was an ongoing thing, or if it was a one-time deal. If it was just a one-time thing, this guy's career will be shot because one controversial thing he said ends up on some kid's tape recorder, and broadcasted all over the airwaves.
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