Jay Bennish Reinstated without Visible Penalty
Bennish to teach again
Punishment not revealed; teacher returns Monday
An Aurora social studies teacher accused of giving a biased lecture that sparked national debate over academic freedom was reinstated Friday after assuring administrators he would give balanced viewpoints in all classroom discussions.
Jay Bennish will return Monday to his teaching duties at Overland High School, less than two weeks after Cherry Creek School District administrators placed the 28-year-old on paid administrative leave.
Speaking after a meeting with administrators Friday, Bennish said that he was "excited to be back in the classroom" and that he would continue to use his job as a way to "encourage democratic values in our society" and to "promote social justice, just as I have always attempted to do."
"I continue trying to improve myself as a teacher," he said, adding he would still seek to make his students "think critically."
Disciplinary action was taken against the teacher, though Superintendent onte Moses declined to provide details. Bennish did not lose any of his salary, his attorney said.
In his lecture during a geography class last month - which student Sean Allen recorded and then made public - Bennish compared President Bush to Adolf Hitler, criticized U.S. foreign policy and said capitalism is "at odds with human rights."
The message to indoctrinating teachers is, "Indoctrinate to your heart's content. When you get caught, you'll get a slap on the wrist (you might even become famous), and then you'll have to 'be good' for a few years. After a while, you can resume your regular habits of indoctrination. Rinse and repeat as necessary until retirement."
The message to taxpayers and parents who expect their kids to be taught the classroom subject matter instead of having them subjected to political rants: "Up yours. You can't touch us."
UPDATE: And yet, as Michelle Malkin noted this morning, 13 year-old Raven Furbert ("The Girl with the Patriotic Beads") is having to sue her school district to be able to wear "red, white, and blue jewelry she handcrafted as a tribute to her relatives in the military."
Comments on gays broadcast at school raise furor A teacher who condemned homosexuality as part of a broadcast at Miami Sunset Senior High has come under fire, as have administrators who failed to screen the program.Let's see if these kids and the teacher get the same kid-glove treatment Jay Bennish got. Intercepts predicts: "..... head down to Miami, just so you can watch everyone change sides."
On the first day, a few students talked about supporting gay rights, and no one paid much attention.
On the second day, a school counselor talked about respecting each other, and no one paid much attention.
On the third day, a few students spoke against homosexuality and a teacher said it is ''wrong according to the Bible'' -- and people noticed very much.
That final segment of a Miami Sunset Senior High television project roiled the normally placid West Dade campus, drew sharp response from both students and teachers and has raised questions about the free exchange of ideas and religion in public schools.
UPDATE 3: I hope someone watches the Bennish story closely, as I suspect that Bennish or the ACLU may go after Sean Allen civilly.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.