Thursday, March 02, 2006

Overland Teacher Suspended; Subject On Ed Schultz Later Today

Last month an Overland High School geography teacher, Jay Bennish, made anti-Bush comments to his tenth-grade classroom after the State of the Union speech. A student recorded it and played it for his father, who sent it to Mike Rosen for an airing on his radio show. The teacher was "put on leave." Jay Marvin is covering it on his show this morning.

The school says they don't wish to censor the teacher's opinions, but that the teacher did not offer students a chance for rebuttal to balance it out. I don't know if tenth-grade students could offer a balance, but at least they should have the chance and feel safe to air opposing opinions. A parent whose child was in Bennish's class last year, called Jay Marvin's show to say Bennish is an excellent teacher, and not the only one who brings up controversial topics in classrooms in an effort to expose students to different opinions.

I couldn't get the download of the teacher to play so I can't really delve into the fairness of the treatment of either side. Maybe you'll have better luck.

Jay Marvin is going to continue the discussion nationally when he subs for Ed Schultz this afternoon, 1 - 4pm Mountain Time, AM760 for Denver area folks.

Update: Dozens of students walked out of class in protest over Bennish's suspension.

Update: A technorati search shows the right wingers all over this, of course. Nary a word from the liberal side. The righties are calling this "indoctrination." If the teacher was making controversial statements and bringing different opinions that oppose the conventional wisdom on the topic, that can't be indoctrination. It is anti-indoctrination. But I've only heard a few excerpts.

Anyone up for doing a transcript? I will if I can figure how to play the download.

Update: Michelle Malkin (who finally proves she's good for something) did up a transcript of the discussion. And yes, it was a discussion, not merely a diatribe or rant. The student taping the conversation, Sean Allen, was able to freely, without being attacked or belittled, interject and argue with the teacher.

It's incomplete, and not a perfect transcript, as she leaves out a few small parts, including where Bennish asks Sean if he enjoyed the SOTU last night. The teacher knows Sean's political affiliations, obviously because Sean is not afraid to speak up in class to counter his teacher. Robust debate, that's what school should be about. So the school is not correct that Bennish did not give time for a balanced view.

Update: here's the audio recording, as well.

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