HS Teacher Investigated for Leftist Classroom Rant

Discussion in '2006 Archive' started by carpro, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. carpro

    carpro
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    From the Drudge Report

    High school teacher's comments investigated by district
    Marissa Pasquet




    AURORA,COLORADO - A 16-year-old boy at Overland High School doesn't want to hear what he calls his teacher's left-wing political rants.

    Sean Allen frequently recorded his teachers to back up his notes. Allen recorded Jay Bennish, his 10th grade World Geography teacher, making comments about President Bush's State of the Union Address.

    Allen's father claims the comments made in the recording are biased and inappropriate for a geography class.

    "I'm not saying Bush and Hitler are exactly the same, obviously they're not. OK? But there are some eerie similarities to the tones that they use," says Bennish in his critique of U.S. economic and foreign policy.

    Towards the end of the class, Bennish goes on to say, "I'm not in anyway implying that you should agree with me, I don't even know if I'm necessarily taking a position. But what I'm trying to get you to do is to think about these issues more in depth and not to just take thinks from the surface."

    The Cherry Creek School District is conducting a thorough investigation of the complaint from the Overland High School parent and student concerning comments.

    The school district says at first glance it does appear the teacher acted inappropriately at the very least.

    A spokesperson for the Cherry Creek School District said they have placed Bennish on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. This is not a disciplinary action; the school district wants to remove him while they sort through the rest of the investigation.

    The Cherry Creek School District expects to finish the investigation by the end of the week.
     
  2. billwald

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    Are the teachers informed that they are being recorded?
     
  3. Filmproducer

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    I'm sorry, but that is ridiculous. It is the job of teachers to teach students to think critically about the world around them. I would hate to see what would happen if the teacher would have actually made a "left-wing" rant. The teacher should not be removed during the investigation. An investigation, which I might add, is highly inappropriate, and unncessary. It is better that that 11th grade boy learn that NOT everybody is going to share HIS political views, and get over it. He will be hard pressed to find a college, where all the professors will personally support alll his political leanings.
     
  4. Alcott

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    There are some eerie similarities to the tones used by Hillary Clilnton and Pol Pot... just teach that to make up for it.
     
  5. mcdirector

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    O'Reilly had Bennish's lawyer on his show. O'Reilly wasn't at his finest (if he ever is) talking about 12 and 13 year olds in this guys class. Where did he get that? 12 & 13 year olds?
     
  6. Enoch

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    His comments were completely inappropriate, misguided and atrocious. When I hear people use Hitler as a comparison to our President IMO it absolutely discredits them and demonstrates their ignorance.

    There are too many whacks like this teacher educating the youth of our country. Lord have mercy on the outcome.
     
  7. Hope of Glory

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    Civil situation. It's not necessary to inform them in most places. You can even record phone conversations for civil matters without informing the other person in most situations and places. (I know that MD is an exception to this, as are a few other places.)

    Boy, I wonder what would happen if the teacher had started proselytizing? Or perhaps went on a pro-life rant that portrayed liberals as they truly are? What if a teacher had worn a shirt that had a picture of Reagan and a neagative message about Clinton? I wonder who would be howling then?
     
  8. here now

    here now
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    double post
     
  9. here now

    here now
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    So if your child's teacher starts downing the President(and he is of your political party), you would see that as being the teacher's job?
     
  10. Mike McK

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    You're ignoring two things.

    The first is he is a representative of the school and, as such, is not there to give political rants to children.

    The second is that this was a geography class. What did any of this have to do with geography?
     
  11. The Galatian

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    This is why teachers shouldn't bring their personal beliefs to class.

    How would liberals have felt if some ditz of a teacher compared Hillary Clinton to Pol Pot?

    It's completely out of line. And unprofessional.
     
  12. carpro

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    TRANSCRIPT:


    Bennish: [tape begins with class already underway. Bennish completing an unintelligble statement about Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.] Why do we have troops in Colombia fighting in their civil war for over 30 years. Most Americans don't even know this. For over 30 years, America has had soldiers fighting in Colombia in a civil war. Why are we fumigating coca crops in Bolivia and Peru if we're not trying to control other parts of the world. Who buys cocaine? Not Bolivians. Not Peruvians. Americans! Ok. Why are we destroying the farmers' lives when we're the ones that consume that good.

    Can you imagine? What is the world's number one single cause of death by a drug? What drug is responsible for the most deaths in the world? Cigarettes! Who is the world's largest producer of cigarettes and tobacco? The United States!

    What part of our country grows all our tobacco? Anyone know what states in particular? Mostly what's called North Carolina. Alright. That's where all the cigarette capitals are. That's where a lot of them are located from. Now if we have the right to fly to Bolivia or Peru and drop chemical weapons on top of farmers' fields because we're afraid they might be growing coca and that could be turned into cocaine and sold to us, well then don't the Peruvians and the Iranians and the Chinese have the right to invade America and drop chemical weapons over North Carolina to destroy the tobacco plants that are killing millions and millions of people in their countries every year and causing them billions of dollars in health care costs?

    Make sure you get these definitions down.

    Capitalism: If you don't understand the economic system of capitalism, you don't understand the world in which we live. Ok. Economic system in which all or most of the means of production, etc., are owned privately and operated in a somewhat competitive environment for the purpose of producing PROFIT! Of course, you can shorten these definitions down. Make sure you get the gist of it. Do you see how when, you know, when you're looking at this definition, where does it say anything about capitalism is an economic system that will provide everyone in the world with the basic needs that they need? Is that a part of this system? Do you see how this economic system is at odds with humanity? At odds with caring and compassion? It's at odds with human rights.

    Anytime you have a system that is designed to procure profit, when profit is the bottom motive -- money -- that means money is going to become more important potentially than what? Safety, human lives, etc.

    Why did we invade Iraq?! How do we know that the invasion of Iraq for weapons of mass destruction-- even if weapons had been found, how would you have known, how could you prove--that that was not a real reason for us to go there.

    There are dozens upon dozens of countries that have weapons of mass destruction. Iraq is one of dozens. There are plenty of countries that are controlled by dictators, where people have no freedom, where they have weapons of mass destruction and they could be potentially threatening to America. We're not invading any of those countries!

    0345.

    [Pause.]

    I'll give you guys another minute or two to get some of these [definitions] down. I agree with Joey. Try to condense these a little bit. I took these straight out of the dictionary.

    Anyone in here watch any of Mr. Bush's [State of the Union] speech last night? I'm gonna talk a little about some of things he had to say.

    0452

    ...One of things that I'll bring up now, since some of you are still writing, is, you know, Condoleezza Rice said this the other day and George Bush reiterated it last night. And the implication was that the solution to the violence in the Middle East is democratization. And the implication through his language was that democracies don't go to war. Democracies aren't violent. Democracies won't want weapons of mass destruction. This is called blind, naive faith in democracy!

    0530.

    Who is probably the single most violent nation on planet Earth?!

    Unidentified student interjects: We are.

    The United States of America! And we're a democracy. Quote-unquote.

    Who has the most weapons of mass destruction in the world? The United States.

    Who's continuing to develop new weapons of mass destruction as we speak?!
    The United States.

    So, why does Mr. Bush think that other countries that are democracies won't wanna be like us? Why does he think they'll just wanna be at peace with each other?! What makes him think that when the Palestinians get their own state that they won't wanna preemptively invade Israel to eliminate a potential threat to their security just like we supposedly did in Iraq?! Do you see the dangerous precedent that we have set by illegally invading another country and violating their sovereignty in the name of protecting us against a potential future--sorry--attack? [Unintelligible.]

    0625.

    Why doesn't Mexico invade Guatemala? Maybe they're scared of being attacked. Ok. Why doesn't North Korea invade South Korea?! They might be afraid of being attacked. Or maybe Iran and North Korea and Saudi Arabia and what else did he add to the list last night - and Zimbabwe - maybe they're all gonna team up and try and invade us because they're afraid we might invade them. I mean, where does this cycle of violence end? You know?

    This whole "do as I say, not as I do" thing. That doesn't work. What was so important about President Bush's speech last night--and it doesn't matter if it was President Clinton still it would just as important) is that it's not just a speech to America. But who? The whole world! It's very obvious that if you listen to his language, if you listen to his body language, and if you paid attention to what he was saying, he wasn't always just talking to us. He was talking to the whole planet. Addressing the whole planet!

    He started off his speech talking about how America should be the country that dominates the world. That we have been blessed essentially by God to have the most civilized, most advanced, best system and that it is our duty as Americans to use the military to go out into the world and make the whole world like us.

    0759.

    Sounds a lot like the things that Adolf Hitler use to say.

    We're the only ones who are right. Everyone else is backwards. And it's our job to conquer the world and make sure they live just like we want them to.

    Now, I'm not saying that Bush and Hitler are exactly the same. Obviously, they are not. Ok. But there are some eerie similarities to the tones that they use. Very, very "ethnocentric." We're right. You're all wrong.

    I just keep waiting. You know, at some point I think America and Mexico might go to war again. You know. Anytime Mexico plays the USA in a soccer match. What can be heard chanting all game long?

    0841

    Do all Mexicans dislike the United States? No. Do all Americans dislike Mexico? No. But there's a lot of resentment--not just in Mexico, but across the whole world--towards America right now.

    We told--Condoleezza Rice said--that now that Hamas got elected to lead the Palestianians that they have to renounce their desire to eliminate Israel. And then Condoleezza Rice also went on to say that you can't be for peace and support armed struggle at the same time. You can't do that. Either you're for peace or war. But you can't be for both.

    What is the problem with her saying this? That's the same thing we say. That is exactly the same thing this current administration says. We're gonna make the world safe by invading and killing and making war. So, if we can be for peace and for war, well, why can't the Palestinians be for peace and for war?!

    0950.

    *Student Sean Allen, who is taping Bennish's rant, speaks up:*

    Allen: Isn't there a difference of, of, having Hamas being like, we wanna attack Israelis because they're Israelis, and having us say we want to attack people who are known terrorists? Isn't there a difference between saying we're going to attack innocents and we're going to attack people who are not innocent?

    1007

    Bennish: I think that's a good point. But you have to remember who's doing the defining of a terrorist. And what is a terrorist?

    Allen: Well, when people attack us on o
     
  13. Filmproducer

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    That in a nutshell is the teacher's JOB, whether it is political or not.

    So if your child's teacher starts downing the President(and he is of your political party), you would see that as being the teacher's job?

    Honestly, I would not care. It is a teacher's job to teach children to critically observe the world around them. I teach my children the same thing. I don't care what politcal preference their teachers are. Some of you are REALLY overreacting to this.
     
  14. Hope of Glory

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    According to the news this morning, the guy supposedly had a Rastafarian flag in the back of the room. If so, I wonder how the school would feel if someone posted something that is politically incorrect? Say, perhaps, a Christian flag? How about a big cross?

    Also, looking at information from the school, they have a rule in place requiring balanced viewpoints presented in the classroom.
     
  15. carpro

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    That in a nutshell is the teacher's JOB, whether it is political or not.

    So if your child's teacher starts downing the President(and he is of your political party), you would see that as being the teacher's job?

    Honestly, I would not care. It is a teacher's job to teach children to critically observe the world around them. I teach my children the same thing. I don't care what politcal preference their teachers are. Some of you are REALLY overreacting to this.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Of course you wouldn't care! You agree with his rant. A "rightie" rant might not set so well with you.

    It's a geography class. Not political science.

    He was only interested in getting students to think about "his" point of view or he would have presented alternative views.

    Indoctrination. Pure and simple.

    To a captive and impressionable audience.
     
  16. Petrel

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    Oh yeah, nice indoctrination there. What a bunch of nonsense. I would fire him. He must not be doing a good job of teaching geography anyway if he is saying "mostly what's called North Carolina" like it's some sort of exotic locale.
     
  17. Jimmy C

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    I'm with Film Producer here, these things are things that kids should think about, talk to thier parents about, read about and make thier own decsions - and be prepared to defend thier positions. I would imagine this teacher is a fairly popular teacher, who engages his students minds. I'm sure that there are plenty of sheeple (cross between sheep and people) who will just take what he says and believes it, but I'm also sure that there are some who argue with the teacher and get a dialogue going. At the end of the year, those that engage a teacher like that are going to be stronger - these kids are smarter than most give them credit for.
     
  18. rbell

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    I have to disagree with Jimmy.

    I have to help students all the time who disagree with teachers. I've had two who were threatened with suspension for engaging in dialogue with the teacher (one of these instances was recorded) on controversial issues. If I had to bet, I'd say that this teacher is enamored with his own power (most ranting teachers are).

    It should bother you guys that this man denigrated the United States' system of freedoms.
    He out and out said that capitalism is not the best system of government. Do you REALLY want your child to be taught that alternative forms of government--socialism, communism, fascism, and the like--are superior to our own? That should scare the daylights out of any parent.

    I do not advocate blindly following a party line or a leader. I do think that in a free society we should be allowed to question decisions.

    But this teacher makes it plain that our system of government is inferior.

    Jimmy, you're wrong...very few of these kids will be stronger than they were before because of this guy's ranting. You want to know if teachers' views influence kids? Go to any typical major college campus and listen to the views espoused by a majority of students.

    I'm not for muzzling teachers. I think open discussion is good. But this was not open discussion--this was attacking our basic tenets of the American system of government and freedoms.

    These kids probably leave this geography class knowing "Bush is a liar and eerily similar to Hitler," but they can't find Mexico on a map using both hands and a flashlight.

    And on a related note, I wonder how many teachers think that we live in a democracy anyway...(NOT. A constitutional republic--BIG difference).
     
  19. carpro

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    And they will most likely have lower grades.
     
  20. elijah_lives

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    There are several problems with the conduct of this teacher. He is a geography teacher. He is using his position as a platform to advance a political agenda. And, there are no opposing viewpoints. If it was designed to provoke critical thinking, then it should not be one-sided.

    The scary thing is that there are teachers like this all over the country. My son has complained about a P.E. teacher who rants about impeaching Bush. My daughter complains about an English teacher who denigrates Republicans. This is a rural, conservative community with many members serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, and some of the teachers (who are much more liberal than the community they teach) have made some disparaging comments about our troops "slaughtering" Iraqis. The only counter to this is for parents to closely monitor their kids' education, refusing to cede the floor of opinion to one viewpoint. Fortunately for my children (and their close friends), they are able to see through this for what it is -- propaganda. I fear for those who buy it as gospel, because it is coming from authority figures.

    The teacher should be fired.
     

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