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Teacher and free speech?

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seekurbliss On January 22, 2007




Memphis, Tennessee
#1New Post! Mar 05, 2006 @ 08:17:30
(CBS/AP) About 150 students at a suburban Denver high school walked out of class to protest a decision to put a teacher on administrative leave while the school investigates remarks he allegedly made in class about President Bush, including a comment that some people compare Mr. 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."

The suspension, says Amole, is a paid leave and is "not a punitive situation... It just gives us the opportunity to talk to him, to talk to students."

Overland High student Stacy Caruso says Bennish hasn't done anything wrong. "In the classroom," says Caruso, "everyone has their right to speak their opinion and he's not forcing any opinions on anyone."

Another student, Derek Belloni, tells CBS News Station KCNC-TV reporter Rick Sallinger that Bennish is out of line.

"He's supposed to be teaching geography," says Belloni, "and yet he's pushing a liberal agenda trying to convert kids to his side of the spectrum."

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 Feb. 1 discussion about President 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.

The student who made the tape agrees.

"I've been his class four weeks," says Allen, "and I've never heard another side."

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.

"He's terribly upset about the fact that he can't teach right now," says David Lane, an attorney who is now representing Bennish. "He's so upset and I am now his lawyer and we will be going to federal court."

?MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

https://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/03/03/politics/main1364883.shtml


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ok, what's your opinion? Should the teacher be in trouble or should he be able to speak his mind?





Rant or rave please.
cobber On July 22, 2006

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Rockhampton, Australia
#2New Post! Mar 05, 2006 @ 09:40:51
If the teacher is introducing his politics to a subject that has no relevance, then no. However, I would not suspend or sack the teacher over this unless it was a repetitive offence.
treebee On April 13, 2015
Government Hooker

Moderator




London, United Kingdom
#3New Post! Mar 05, 2006 @ 10:11:01
yeah i mean, I beleive in freedom of speech, was he teaching political geography?

Also it said the matter was being investigated further, at least they didnt kick his a** out straight away.

Maybe he should have chosen a safer podium to air his personal views.
reiko On March 27, 2006

Deleted



New York, New York
#4New Post! Mar 05, 2006 @ 10:16:45
In america teachers do not have free speech in a classroom. They have curricular speech. They are not allowed to rant about their own personal political or religous beliefs.
cobber On July 22, 2006

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Rockhampton, Australia
#5New Post! Mar 05, 2006 @ 10:25:09
@reiko Said
In america teachers do not have free speech in a classroom. They have curricular speech. They are not allowed to rant about their own personal political or religous beliefs.


My view is that teachers should leave their personal views outside of the classroom. Teachers also should be allowed though, to encourage debate within the classroom, to challenge and investigate so they do not become the drones which our business, religious and political leaders want us to be.
treebee On April 13, 2015
Government Hooker

Moderator




London, United Kingdom
#6New Post! Mar 05, 2006 @ 10:30:09
If he was teaching political debate then fair enough, but the story said he only aired one view with no opportunity to look on the flip side.

Besides Geography?

He should know better really
sheepy On March 23, 2010

Deleted



Treasure Island, United Kingdo
#7New Post! Mar 05, 2006 @ 10:35:32
I had my education probably damaged by politicised teachers pushing their agenda.
We had a maths teacher who was an anarchist, and would spend more time whinging about not liking the government than teaching us. By the time she moved on, the next teacher gave up on us, and it's hard to be motivated at 15 on these things. We were one of the rowdiest groups anyway, and needed a firm teacher - but we didn't get this.

There was another english language teacher who was heavily into CND. She lived in a place called Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire, and drove a 2CV - total living stereotype
Well her english lessons seemed to revolve around revolutions, and politics. One essay was "Your time in a nuclear bomb shelter", another play was about people in a bomb shelter. She had one class making a mock up on the school stage for a project of a - you guessed it - bomb shelter
I quite liked her - she was hard to dislike, but she was a total fruitcake.
Some of the literature though freaked me as an 12 year old, and my parents complained to the school - they weren't the only ones.
Later in the school, I had more of a run-in with another teacher who marked me down because I dared to criticise socialist planning in eastern europe! My actual school marks were damaged because I disagreed with his viewpoint.

Stank really - so no, there are some things teachers just should not talk about.
alljive On March 03, 2007




trondheim, Norway
#8New Post! Mar 05, 2006 @ 12:52:58
If teachers are supposed to encourage debate.. let me ask you this:

In current america, what do YOU think is likely to get the strongest effect?

This certaily seems to be a splendid piece of work, if debate and critical thinking was the goal..
silenthunder On November 25, 2007




Halliburton, Texas
#9New Post! Mar 05, 2006 @ 12:57:43
Perhaps we should hold our lawmakers to the same standards as our teachers.
cobber On July 22, 2006

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Rockhampton, Australia
#10New Post! Mar 05, 2006 @ 13:08:08
@alljive Said
If teachers are supposed to encourage debate.. let me ask you this:

In current america, what do YOU think is likely to get the strongest effect?

This certaily seems to be a splendid piece of work, if debate and critical thinking was the goal..


My economics teacher, from Boston USA, tried to encourage us to not only question what he was teaching, but to openly challenge him as long as they were able to speak in the language of economics and back up what they had to say. As a person and a teacher, he was kind and able to turn boring subjects into topics of interest. Nobody could guess what his beliefs were.

When I was studying Social Work at University, there were so many educated middle class Marxists(the Fabians), I was woken up to how of these people exist.

One lecturer brought along a member of the youth communist group, Resistance. He knew little of what he was speaking about. The marxist behind me was scoffing the whole time. I asked this guest, "If Cuba is such a good example of Communism, why do Cubans drown every year as they swim to America?".

Next day, I got an email from my lecturer abusing me as a person who brings a political imbalance into the classroom. From that time on, I was never allowed to say a word in his classes.

I encourage teachers to play the devils advocate as long as they can leave their own ideals where they belong. Outside the classroom.
alljive On March 03, 2007




trondheim, Norway
#11New Post! Mar 05, 2006 @ 13:14:41
That teachers you speak of in opening you post sounds pretty much like the ideal teacher right there cobber.

But, I think a teacher must be alowed to express what he/she belives so long as that teacher is also teaching whatever he/she is set to teach. And, naturally, the teacher MUST be able to handle debate without going off on a bender. Teachers have the hardest job on the planet, they HAVE to be better than most of us.
seekurbliss On January 22, 2007




Memphis, Tennessee
#12New Post! Mar 05, 2006 @ 17:00:04
(sorry everyone, THIS thread was supposed to be in the society/lifestyles threads but anyway, silly me!)
cobber On July 22, 2006

Deleted
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Rockhampton, Australia
#13New Post! Mar 05, 2006 @ 23:54:50
@alljive Said
That teachers you speak of in opening you post sounds pretty much like the ideal teacher right there cobber.

But, I think a teacher must be alowed to express what he/she belives so long as that teacher is also teaching whatever he/she is set to teach. And, naturally, the teacher MUST be able to handle debate without going off on a bender. Teachers have the hardest job on the planet, they HAVE to be better than most of us.


Teaching is a very hard job to do. We use to hold respect for teachers until it became so politicised like everything else in life. (politics - the breeding ground of paranioa)
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