Out of Control Teacher Reinstated after Anti-US Rant
Perhaps it was inevitable. An MP3 player given for Christmas, a controversial president guided by tradition and constitutional requirement to report on the State of the Union, and a social sciences teacher notorious for veering off topic to blast President Bush, capitalism and U.S. foreign policy during his social studies classes.
High School student 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. After his father heard the twenty minute recording he complained to the principle of Overland High School in Aurora, Colorado and then turned the recording over to radio talk show host Mike Rosen. The rest is history, not to mention a constant stream of fodder feeding the blogosphere.
If you are interested in how the base of the Democratic Party views the world, take the time to read the transcript of Jay Bennish’s classroom rant at http://michellemalkin.com/archives/004689.htm. An ideological meltdown is always a good read. Don't miss it. It looks and sounds like what one might expect to hear on Air America. Yes, it's that pathetic. Some twenty minutes of wacko pinko blathering. Certainly not one would or should expect in a 10th grade world geography class.
Teacher Jay Bennish: Who is probably the single most violent nation on planet Earth?!
Unidentified brainwashed student interjects: We are.
Bennish: The United States of America!
What rubbish. You simply can’t make this stuff up. And that’s why I’m glad this was caught on tape. If there wasn’t proof no one would believe it. Sean Allen’s father, Jeff Allen, perhaps summed it up best. “I had no idea he (Jeff Bennish) was this nuts.”
Not only is Sean Allen to be commended and praised for his actions, I hope this encourages other high school and college students to do the same. If what this teacher said was so great and wise, then not only should the teacher be proud of his actions and words, but should encourage every one of his students to tape his lectures. Because if he didn't do anything wrong, then what he was teaching was right, correct, and worthy of dissemination throughout the nation's airwaves.
Sean Allen has taken some criticism for turning the tape over to an interested media outlet. Good for him. It forced the district to act, it sent a warning shot across the bow of all the mini Ward Churchill wannabes to watch themselves or they too might be caught in irresponsible, barely coherent, anti-US rants. And it cast a spotlight on the sad state of much of our public schools and the third rate, knee jerk ideologies being disseminated in many classrooms unbeknownst to parents and the general public at large.
An Overland student told KUSA-TV in Denver Bennish's rant was "the usual thing in our school," the only difference being that a tape recorder was there. "Three quarters of the teachers are anti-Bush – very much so," she said.
And the fact that this brave young man is now being harassed and physically threatened just goes to show you how the tired ideologies of the Left have left our school system, not to mention the status of the charges in their care. A good teacher has nothing to fear or hide, and should praise this student's actions. Free speech goes both ways, and Allen should receive a pat on the back for exercising his.
Teacher Jay Bennish has hired ACLU attorney David Lane, who represented self-avowed anti-US Professor Ward Churchill. I guess we should not be surprised at that. And thankfully, I guess, Jay Bennish has decided to drop his lawsuit against the school district since they dropped their gag order against him speaking with the media. Everyone will get their fifteen minutes of fame out of this one and this drama is far from over. Despite the shrill cries of ‘free speech’, in the end the lesson must be that with freedom comes responsibility, and that if you can’t speak and behave responsibly you might end up having your dirty laundry aired in public. That is especially true in our modern age when any student might be ‘armed’ with an MP3 player. I eagerly await Bennish’s balancing lecture on how Bush is ‘not like’ Hitler. That should be really good.
The ripple effects continue from this ever evolving story. Jay Bennish was put on paid administrative leave and has now been reinstated by the local school board despite having violated a policy requiring balancing viewpoints in the Overland school classroom. Superintendent Monte Moses declined to offer specifics of the investigation or its findings but said administrators and Bennish now "have a good understanding." That sure makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Meanwhile Sean Allen has come under an incredible amount of verbal attacks from fellow students and has not been able to return to school due to bullying and intimidation stemming from this little episode. He is probably going to transfer to another school in an attempt to complete his disrupted education. And despite his recent trials Allen remains resolute in his convictions. “I would do it a million times over because I feel like it was the right thing to do, and my conscience wouldn't let me go on and listen to the things Mr. Bennish was saying and indoctrinating students."
Berating captive audiences probably seemed like great fun to the emotionally immature Bennish but I am willing to bet he may be a little more careful the next time he compares the American flag to the Nazi flag or states that capitalism is “at odds” with human rights. Perhaps this incident will make him take his own advice to think critically and maybe, just maybe, he might make an escape from the frightening confines of the far left reservation. The Left may disagree, but the public classroom is not the proper venue for the anti-war, anti-Bush, anti-American, and anti-capitalist rants that they seem to enjoy so much.
And would it be too much to ask of the Jay Bennish’s of the world to stop thinking of themselves as clever when they ‘challenge’ us by excusing Al-Queda and attacking Israel? There is an important difference between debate and diatribe. We’ve heard it all before and socialist lies, proselytization and propaganda fail to impress and simply fail the test of common sense.
David Huntwork is a conservative activist and freelance columnist in Northern Colorado where he lives with his wife and three young daughters. He is the author of the book No Apologies: In Defense of Common Sense and the Conservative Ideology which can be purchased at http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=3576295.
Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions at DaveHuntwork@juno.com.
You may also view his bio and past columns at: http://DavidHuntwork.tripod.com.