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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A bad comparison

Future NKVD officer Sean Allen

Bennish Plans Federal Lawsuit To Go Back To Work
Poll: Should teacher Jay Bennish be fired for comments he made about President Bush?

(CBS4) AURORA, Colo. The high school geography teacher placed on paid leave for comments he made during a class lecture about President Bush plans to file a lawsuit Friday to get back to work. Jay Bennish's comments were recorded by a student who said he tapes lectures to help with notes.

"Now I'm not saying that Bush and Hitler are exactly the same, obviously they're not, OK," Jay Bennish was heard saying on a recording of his class lecture on the day after Bush's State of the Union Address. "But there are eerie similarities to the tones that they use."

Bennish's lawyer said the teacher's goal is to provoke students to think for themselves. The attorney said Bennish sees himself as a patriotic American and just wants to get back to teaching.

"He's terribly upset about the fact that he can't teach right now," David Lane, Bennish's attorney said Thursday night. "He's so upset that I am now his lawyer and we are going to Federal court tomorrow."

Lane argued that the Cherry Creek School District has no right to place Bennish on paid administrative leave from Overland High School

"No action should be taken against someone who is exercising their rights under the First Amendment," Lane said.

Sean Allen, the student who recorded the lecture, brought Bennish's comments to the attention of an online columnist and radio talk show hosts.

"He is not teacher geography," Allen said during a radio talk show on Wednesday evening. "About 80 percent of the time, he's teaching his biased political opinions and giving them to our class as a fact."

Allen didn't attend class Thursday after getting negative feedback to his actions from fellow students. At the school Thursday, dozens of students walked out in support of Bennish. Other students said they thought Allen did the right thing and that Bennish should "teach, not preach."

The Cherry Creek School District has said it is investigating Bennish's comments and hoped to have a final decision by late next week.

It wasn't dozens of students.

Overland Students Walk Out In Support Of Teacher

(CBS4) AURORA, Colo. Hundreds of students at Overland High School walked out of class Thursday morning in support and protest of a teacher who was at the center of a controversy over comments he made about President Bush during a geography class.

"Now I'm not saying that Bush and Hitler are exactly the same, obviously they're not, OK," Jay Bennish was heard saying on a recording of his class lecture on the day after President Bush's State of the Union Address. "But (there are) eerie similarities to the tones that they use."

The students left class for about an hour and lined the streets near the school Thursday morning. Many students said they were frustrated and angry about how Bennish had been criticized on talk radio.

"I think he inspires so many students and he's a great teacher," one student said during the rally. "I mean he makes people do there work and he makes people care about things."

"It's not about missing a day of school but rather our future," said Stephanie Edge, a student in support of Bennish. "I don't think that education should be censored."

The teacher was, in the case, completely and totally wrong.

He should have compared him to Stalin.

Young Sean Allen was living up to the example of Pavel Morozov who the Soviets claimed informed on his Kulak father, leading to his execution. Young Pavel was held up by the Soviets as a great example of how children should act.

It seems Mr. Allen is living up to that example.

The question is will the school board reward the little snitch for his efforts or support the hundreds of students who defended the teacher.

My bet is that Mr. Allen will not be getting laid in high school.

posted by Steve @ 12:16:00 AM

12:16:00 AM

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