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Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom Monday

Colorado high school teacher Jay Bennish has been through a week of hell, ever since a student's parent took the kid's tape-recording of one of Bennish' lectures to a conservative media outlet. In the lecture, which you can listen to here, and which Michelle Malkin transcribed here, Bennish made a comparison between Bush and Hitler and criticized U.S. drug policy and capitalism without presenting the other side.

Bennish was placed on Administrative leave, pending the conclusion of an investigation. It's now over. Bennis has been reinstated with full pay. The school's statement is here. I just received a voice-mail from civil liberties guru and lawyer David Lane, who represents Mr. Bennish (and CU Prof Ward Churchill) and he is very excited.

He reports: Mr. Bennish has been reinstated with full pay. Not one nickel will be withheld from his paycheck. He'll be back in the classroom Monday. They feel wonderful. It is an excellent outcome. Lane is gratified that the Cherry Creek School District understands the primacy of the First Amendment. He's only sorry that Mr. Bennis was pulled out of class for the investigation.

Congratulations to David and Mr. Bennish, and to those who cherish the First Amendment's right to freely express yourself.

I'll be debating uber-conservative David Horowitz on the case tonight on Hannity and Colmes (9pm ET, top of the show). The hosts are Alan Colmes and Rich Lowery, who is guesting for Sean Hannity.

Also, praise to the Colorado Senate which yesterday nixed a bill Republicans introduced to try and make political hay of the incident:

The state Senate on Friday rejected a proposal authorizing schools to fire teachers who routinely present one-sided views in the classroom and instead agreed to a measure saying teachers who violate school policies can be dismissed.

"I think we are just trying to score political points based on what's happening on talk radio, and I don't think we ought to legislate like that," said Sen. Peter Groff, D-Denver.

Another excellent take is this one over at TPM Cafe. Mike Littwin's Rocky Mountain News column is also a good read.

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    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#1)
    by Patrick on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 03:26:54 PM EST
    Allen said he would not return to Overland because has received threats, which he said have been reported to police. But he said he did not regret publicizing Bennish's lecture.
    Nice compassionate First Amendment supporters there too eh? It seems to me, many on both sides only support the First Amendment when the speech being protected supports their viewpoint. All others are fair game. Sad.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#2)
    by roy on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 03:31:01 PM EST
    I have a knee-jerk (wing-jerk?) response to this sort of thing, but after reading through a transcript, it doesn't seem all that bad. If the students have good heads on their shoulder, a lecture like that should have been thought-provoking, not indoctrination. Bennish may have been telling the truth when he explained his goals to the class:
    Alright, and so this becomes very, very muddled. And I'm not in any way implying that you should agree with me. I don't even know if I'm necessarily taking a position. But what I'm trying to get you to do is to think, right, about these issues more in-depth, you know, and not just take things from the surface. And I'm glad you asked all your questions, because they're very good, legitimate questions. And hopefully that allows other people to begin to think about some of those things, too.
    That's exactly what a teacher has to do for his students to get more than country names from a geography lesson. And its clear that the gist of the lesson is that it's useful to think about others' perspectives, which is true. It should have been done a bit more tastefully, but oh well.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#3)
    by Lww on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 03:46:38 PM EST
    This is like the Toles cartoon with the limbless soldier being described as "battle hardened." Mr Bennish reminds me of the only teachers I remember. Rich Lowery, what a stiff. He's being broken in as a TV personality. Rattle him and we'll see.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#4)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 03:54:47 PM EST
    Horowitz makes me violently ill. Without the massive amounts of Scaife, Olin etc money that gets shoveled into his cormorant gullet (which of course in no way has to do with "pushing an agenda"), he'd be back to being the irrelevant pipsqueak that he is: a slightly more educated, better connected Fred Phelps.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#5)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 04:06:04 PM EST
    And lets not forget, without the Fred Phelps the Horowitzs would be nowhere.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#6)
    by Lww on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 04:22:04 PM EST
    You mean the same crazy,christian,protesting Fred Phelps who packs his family and outrageous signs into the back of his 84 pickup truck? What a political powerhouse he is? The Situation room tomorrow I think.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#7)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 04:33:54 PM EST
    Im talking about the mentality LWW. The conservatives cant win an election without it. Youve been hornswaggled brother.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#8)
    by scarshapedstar on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 05:05:16 PM EST
    That's exactly what a teacher has to do for his students to get more than country names from a geography lesson.
    You are exactly right. However, anything more than this is mere opinion (i.e. the dreaded liberal indoctrination) to a Randian conservative. Gotta be "objective", after all...

    Debating Horowitz? Your vaccinations are up to date, I trust.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jack on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 05:50:12 PM EST
    People who fear their children will be presented with opinions and viewpoints contrary to their own display no trust in the reasoning power of their own offspring. As such, they have failed their children utterly.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#11)
    by Sailor on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 06:05:43 PM EST
    Patrick, the teacher and his family also were subject to death threats, so I see your point about extremists on both sides. LWW, your mention of the Toles cartoon seems just a tactic to change the discourse. I'm glad you only remember such teachers, I'm sorry that you regret they made you think.

    Just saw you on HC. You were of course sandbagged. I liked the Hillary Clinton trashing by a Conservative teacher remark. In fact, we as liberals would take issue with the argument, not the teacher. We are able to hear different points of view. Conservatives are not. We are not the ones running around with petitions to get anyone who disagrees with us fired. Which begs the question, why are conservatives so afraid of the 1st Amendment?

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#13)
    by Lww on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 06:32:54 PM EST
    Sailor, if you think so well why don't you show up when I call people like you out? Freakin No-show. JM, I think you spanked em. What a goof....

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#14)
    by scarshapedstar on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 06:38:02 PM EST
    Wow, a Hannity and * show with no Hannity. It's like dehydrated water, in TV form!

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#15)
    by joejoejoe on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 06:51:27 PM EST
    I read the transcripts and the kid who taped the class was respected at every point. So what is the problem? I think the teacher was a bit sensational and too excitable but that's not a firing offence. But promoting critical thinking IS a firing offense for the GOP - see Eric Shinseki.

    I could be wrong about this, but from what I gathered from Allen's comments (and I admit that I can only read so much of it, since most of his interviews are with people like Hannity), most of the threats he was getting were from his classmates who are most likely angry at him for being a snitch and potentially getting their teacher fired. Your average 16 year old American high school student isn't all that interested in fighting for First Amendment rights, but they are willing to bully a snitch and someone they think has betrayed them.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#17)
    by Sailor on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 06:56:13 PM EST
    Sailor, if you think so well why don't you show up when I call people like you out? Freakin No-show.
    Sorry for the OT folks, but LWW, I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 07:33:36 PM EST
    The kid got what he wanted, he's been "adopted" by Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly. The other kids get their highly motivated, thought provoking teacher back. The teacher is vindicated, and the 1st Amendment scores a victory. I'd call that a win win win win in the end.

    Posted by LWW
    March 10, 2006 07:32 PM Sailor, if you think so well why don't you show up when I call people like you out? Freakin No-show.
    Call you out! Gimme a break. What is this, West Side Story? Beat it! MJ. Grab yourself an egg and beat it. Stay gold, pony boy. Do it for Johnny! As if.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 08:24:24 PM EST
    Can somebody tell me what this has to do with teaching geography? And the answer is: NOTHING. So spare me the First Amendent BS. Think of it this way. You take your car in for a tune up. You get it back with no tune up, but the tires replaced. BTW - The Cheery Creek school systems a few years back found boys playing space men and aliens, using their fingers as the "ray guns." They then demanded that the boys tell them fow many guns their parents had at home. I mean really. It is past time for the citizens to take back this out of control system.

    Jim, Why don't you read up a little before spouting off? It wasn't a geography class where elementary school kids rattle off the names of capital cities. From this great article about the snafu:
    Bennish teaches Accelerated World Geography, an honors class designed to prepare students for college. In his course syllabus, Bennish explains that his course will "look into the geographical--or spatial--relationships between human societies and cultures, the natural environment, and historical changes that have shaped the contemporary world. More than answering the question 'what is where,' this course adopts a conceptual approach to understanding and explaining the dynamic human and natural features of the earth's surface." Themes covered during the semester, he explains, include "population, religion, human rights, notions of development and underdevelopment, impact of colonialism historically and currently, sustainability, impacts of modernization on developing countries, globalization of economy and culture, political and international conflict, cultural diversity, and global environmental concerns." In order to effectively teach this stuff, he explains, "A deeper understanding of current events from a historical and geographical perspective is imperative. Thus, timely issues and events in the news will be tied into the overall framework of the course."
    The parents and school all read and signed off on the syllabus.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#22)
    by Lora on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 09:14:59 PM EST
    Jim, World conflict has everything to do with geography. In fact he did link it when he talked about Israel and the Middle East. Obviously he didn't for most of the lecture, but who's to say he didn't or wouldn't at other times? Besides, this didn't appear to be a typical lecture, but largely prompted by the SOTU the night before. And he was lead on by the student doing the taping, so he might have cut it short under other circumstances. And developing critical thinking skills and questioning what you think you know and believe should be a part of every class curriculum. But...I'm wondering. Was it legal for the student to tape the teacher without the teacher's knowledge? I'm thinking "no," but I haven't seen this discussed.

    Lora, yes, it's legal in Colorado. Only one party's consent is required, in this case the kid who did the taping.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#24)
    by wg on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 09:27:12 PM EST
    Back to the substance of the controversy. I honestly think equating Bush with Hitler is a major stretch. Hitler was a gifted and relatively intelligent public speaker, Bush is anything but. Hitler had grandiose plans for a Thousand-Year Reich, Bush is far more pedestrian, hitting the sack before 9pm is the full extent of his ambitions. Hitler was a pompous megalomaniac, Bush is an easy going frat boy a lot of people find likable. By cunning or simply good timing Hitler had an exceptional string of luck, recovering Sahr province from France, regaining full sovereignty for his country, annexing Austria which to most Germans at that time would be equivalent to Americans regaining California if it was lost to Mexico by some accident of history. And many more. Bush on the other hand is a walking disaster in almost everything he does. In short, a third class Texas politician, semi-literate, relatively likable incompetent bumbler versus offensive Nazi pomposity. No comparison.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#25)
    by wg on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 09:28:12 PM EST
    There is also a tendency to equate this administration to Nazis. This is not only wrong it is offensive too, especially to their victims. If we had real Nazis running things these days, Michael Moore would be hanging from a meat hook in some basement of J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington DC not lecturing in college towns across the country. And Dick Cheney would be watching his terminal twitches in his undisclosed bunker for pure entertainment. The FBI would be openly inciting mobs to burn mosques instead of quietly monitoring or harassing them. Concentration camps would overflowing with Muslims, Jews, Communists, Democrats and labor union people. New York Times would be more pro administrations than FOX. And I would not even dare to write this. So quit comparing this administration to Nazis. They are disagreeable enough as is.

    It wasn't a geography class where elementary school kids rattle off the names of capital cities.
    Wikipedia has an interesting description of geography, even including political geography and feminist geography. It's not just Bennish's interpretation of geography. JimakaPPJ apparently has an inaccurately narrow definition of geography.

    Why should geography be any different?

    So, they get a pass because they're not bad enough? Serial Killers who kill less than 10 get probation because we've got to save jail space for serial killers who kill more than 10. Them and kids who get caught with a couple of joints or teachers who have their classes try shrub for war crimes. Ya know, real menaces to society.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#29)
    by wg on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:22:55 PM EST
    Of course all this doesn't preclude accidental parallels. For example our interrogation techniques that can clearly rival those of Gestapo in terms of their lethality with a bonus of sexual humiliation thrown in for good measure. Or take that "struggle of civilizations" language the administration sometimes uses. As I recently discover to my great surprise this is exactly the same language Nazis used to prepare their population for Allied offensive in Europe. "Struggle to defend the European civilization from barbaric Anglo-Saxon hordes" it was. Or the clear preference to appear in front of amassed uniforms when addressing the population. All accidental parallels imho, Nazis remain a singularly ugly phenomenon in the modern human history, no competition here.

    For example our interrogation techniques that can clearly rival those of Gestapo in terms of their lethality with a bonus of sexual humiliation thrown in for good measure.
    Female spies in Nazi Germany were stripped and photographed immediately prior to their executions. Sexual humiliation is nothing new.

    OK. So stipulated. It's not new. Either is murder. What's your point?

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#32)
    by Andreas on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 11:03:40 PM EST
    wg wrote:
    Concentration camps would overflowing with Muslims, Jews, Communists, Democrats and labor union people.
    All of this is currently happening in Iraq and Iraq is also a testing ground for the introduction of similar repressive conditions within the US. See also: Washington's "democracy" in Iraq hangs 13 political prisoners By Patrick Martin, 11 March 2006

    Yeah, I expect the worst from this lot and they never fail to deliver. They're pure scum on their best day. So are their supporters.

    I don't see much wrong with what this teacher did, although even he admits that he doesn't always present both sides of an argument together, which makes me wonder just how long he sometimes waits to bring up opposing points of view. Nevertheless, far too many kids these days have almost no real analytical skills, and teachers like this, as long as they are truly open to opposing points of view from their own students, are what is needed to teach those skills. I would be very much concerned if Mr. Bennish had a history of assigning poor grades to those students who disagree with his views, but so far I haven't seen anything indicating such is the case. As for the student: What he did was the right thing to do. He felt he had an issue and he set out to deal with that issue. Had this been a student upset by an overly conservative teacher's constant praising of this administration, most here would agree the student had every right to do so. He got the attention he wanted, and probably has a short future on some talk show or other, but no harm was done and the school as a whole is probably better off for it.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#35)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 09:05:23 AM EST
    I missed your appearance of course. Why in the world would I watch that show? You should stop going there. It's just self abuse. They are 100% dyed in the wool idiots and their idiot viewers have already made up what small minds thay have that you are a liberal nutcase. Stop enabling their show. It's a clown parade and you're the only one without makeup. That's why they laugh at you. Stop helping their fascist cause.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#36)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 10:24:44 AM EST
    Talk Left - I had heard the kid say that it was an advanced geography class. And I had read the article. My comment is that what the teacher did was well beyond teaching the class. The teacher's comments are just standard attacks, made especially bad since he is laying them on 16 year old minds. And comparing Bush to Hitler is exactly that. Read all of his statements. They are just brainwashing "America Bad" rants. This guy works for the tax payers. If the course uses geopolitics to show how the world was shaped, fine. But that is not what he was doing. Pure politics. Time enough for that in college. Especially if he goes to CU. And I don't think the parents envisioned the teacher doing what he did. Lora - My comment was that he exceeded the syllabus with a bunch of outrageous comments to 16 year olds who do not have the education or maturity to refute them. That's just brainwashing. Read what he said.
    , well then don't the Peruvians and the Iranians and the Chinese have the right to invade America and drop chemical weapons over North Carolina to destroy the tobacco plants that are killing millions and millions of people in their countries every year and causing them billions of dollars in health care costs?
    Note that he doesn't mention that we have their government's agreement that we do this. And BTW - remember that I am in agreement that tobacco is the worst drug around.
    Do you see how when, you know, when you're looking at this definition, where does it say anything about capitalism is an economic system that will provide everyone in the world with the basic needs that they need? Is that a part of this system? Do you see how this economic system is at odds with humanity? At odds with caring and compassion? It's at odds with human rights.
    And note that he doesn't mention that with all its faults, no other system has proven superior. This guy is just ranting. I'd love to see his lesson plan for the day in question, and the lesson guide it comes from. justpaul writes:
    he admits that he doesn't always present both sides of an argument together, which makes me wonder just how long he sometimes waits to bring up opposing points of view.
    I speculate, never. allen - No, I understand the concept. The teacher went beyond the syllabus. BTW - The student claims a dispute over the syllabus. I wish some parent would come forth with a copy of what they signed. Et al - Again. I don't think a high school teacher has protected free speech rights any more than someone working at a MacDonald's. I believe that if either party violates commercial expectations, they should be fired. And to make this clear, I specify that after work, both can pretty well say what they please, subject to slander rules, etc. And if I had a child in this class I would be screaming at the Cheery Creek school board for not having the guts to take the issue all the way through the courts. Time to see who's Right. Or Left. ;-)

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#37)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 10:44:58 AM EST
    Spying on and intimidating teachers, devalueing intellectual inquiry (the province of "eggheads and elites") and encouraging paranoia and superstition. Ya gotta go with the weapons you have.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#38)
    by Dadler on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 01:06:23 PM EST
    Since when is their only ONE other side to a critique of capitalism? There are a million possible critiques and a million possible other sides. Since when does a critique require a platform for every single possible "other side" to that critique? The argument in this direction seems to rest on an underlying notion of the only "other side" being the old standby "communism" or "socialism" or whatever. And only in the worst possible senses of those words. Heaven forbib the good ol' free American tradition of rational muckracking should make it into the classroom. As if every teacher is supposed to be a robot of neutrality.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#39)
    by Sailor on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 01:47:54 PM EST
    I speculate, never.
    There's that, and then there's this:
    Posted by PPJ aka Jim
    July 4, 2005 10:35 PM
    I suspect that you also understood.
    and
    Posted by JimakaPPJ October 4, 2005 05:21 PM [...]And as long as we are speculating ...
    and
    Posted by JimakaPPJ February 28, 2006 08:31 PM sailor - I made a supposition.


    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#40)
    by swingvote on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 02:35:19 PM EST
    Since when is their only ONE other side to a critique of capitalism? Right you are, Dadler, but it's still pretty easy to group the possible critiques into "opposed to" and "in favor of", although you might find a few people who would claim to be "indifferent to", which would simply make for yet another 10 minute spiel. If the class can sit through one, they can sit through all three. Heaven forbib the good ol' free American tradition of rational muckracking should make it into the classroom. On the contrary, heaven forbid if such muckraking is passed off as an education. This guy doesn't seem to have crossed that line, but the fact that he got close warrants the free lesson in the civic responsibilities of teachers he inadvertently supplied. As I said above, if this had been a conservative teacher praising Bush to high heaven without mentioning any of what those here consider his manifold crimes, I think you would have a different view of the situation. I think this guy had a good idea, but maybe, just maybe, he got a litle too heavy handed with the dogma (at least one of his students thought so). No real harm done, and, again, a valuable lesson for everyone involved. Hopefully this whole thing has opened both his mind and the minds of his students to the need for open discussion of all sides of an issue. If so, I would say his mission was accomplished, whether he intended it to be or not.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#41)
    by Sailor on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 03:07:21 PM EST
    justpaul, I could quibble about your path, but I think you reached the right conclusion.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#42)
    by swingvote on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 03:51:09 PM EST
    Quibble away, Sailor. It's a free country, and that seems to be all that most of the people here do anyway.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#43)
    by Lora on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 04:20:30 PM EST
    Well, Jim, it is a little hard for me to be objective, because I tend to agree with this teacher. I'm thinking more like, his students have been brainwashed and he's trying to let in a little light. As far as the drug war comment goes, he's not serious about the invasion part -- he's just trying to get his class to put themselves in others' shoes, get them thinking about how they'd feel if the tables were turned. As far as his rather outrageous comments about capitalism go, they aren't wrong. When you have a system that operates solely for profit, there is no humanity in it. A corporation acts only in its best selfish interest. Sorry, but he's right. That's not to say that capitalistic countries cannot be humane, but if they are, it isn't because of the built-in humanity in capitalism - there isn't any. So, he goes a little far out at times, but instead of being one-sided, I see him as presenting the other side from what his students have been taught all their lives. I say, open the window and let in the fresh air, even if the wind knocks over a few things.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#44)
    by aw on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 08:04:21 PM EST
    I think he was speaking of unregulated capitalism as evil, the kind we've had for the last 25 years. Regulated capitalism used to work out pretty well for business and workers until greed completely took over.

    The real problem for the Wing Nuts with this was that Bennish was challenging his students to "Think". He clearly stated that he wasn't concerned if anyone agreed with him. One of the most stimulating studies I had was to argue for a cause I didn't believe in. By the end of that class project, I actually believed the military budget needed to be increased and I learned a thing or two about global threats. Why wouldn't arguing a comparison of Bush to Hitler be wrong? It wasn't as if the Teacher was discouraging his students from dissent--he wanted them to think, to challenge their assumptions and perhaps see us beyond our own national bias. Unlike Conservatives, Liberals and other "Thinkers" can engage in healthy introspection. Wing nuts on the other hand, view this form of Self Examination as "treason" or politics. Then again, Liberals could benefit from standing up to conservatives and like the Wing Nuts, never yielding an inch to reason.

    Another day, another ration of the usual thoroughly-discredited red state rubbish still embraced by only the dead enders in the last throes of the 43rd reich. Jim, who foolishly clings to the misguided notion that anti-shrub is anti-American despite all evidence to the contrary, continues to blame anyone and everyone for the disgracefully criminal Federal Response to Katrina when even he accepts some responsibility, continues in his irrational defense of his beloved fuhrer while denying he's a republican and insisting we research the archives to see his opinions on buttered and unbuttered popcorn for proof as to just how independent he is. The same goes for Iraq. Everything shrub's said with respect to Iraq has proved to be a lie. Everything. We haven't been greeted as Liberators. It didn't finance itself. There were no wmd. Strike 3. They lied. People died. Don't just remove 'em. Execute 'em. Jim, feel free to continue to admire your reflection in whatever puddle or storefront window presents the opportunity, but been there, done that, better things to do.

    Posted by justpaul March 11, 2006 04:51 PM
    Quibble away, Sailor. It's a free country, and that seems to be all that most of the people here do anyway.
    Take that justpaul character, for example.

    And, just liek the Pavlovian slobber hound he is, Charliedon'tthink shows up to quibble about quibbling. Thank you Charlie, you have proven my pont admirably. Dismissed.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#49)
    by Edger on Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 07:44:46 AM EST
    the Pavlovian slobber hound: if this had been a conservative teacher praising Bush to high heaven without mentioning any of what those here consider his manifold crimes, I think you would have a different view of the situation Yep.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#50)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 08:36:45 AM EST
    Dadler - This HIGH SCHOOL teacher is supposed to be teaching an advanced geography class. Read his total rant. He is brainwashing 16 year old kids using his power position to make a series of outrgaeous political statements. He thought, and he was almost right, that no one would challenge him and he could do what he wanted. Well, he got caught. Again, I would like to see his Lesson Guide and Lesson Plans. And if the Principal of that school doesn't demand to see it, then the Principal needs to explain why to the school board and the citizens of Cheery Creek. You write:
    As if every teacher is supposed to be a robot of neutrality.
    If they can't they should get out of teaching. Espcially K-12. sailor - I speculate that you'll find something about the above you don't like. charlie - Do you actually have a point you want to refute? No? Thought so.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#51)
    by roy on Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 09:34:02 AM EST
    Jim,
    He thought, and he was almost right, that no one would challenge him and he could do what he wanted.
    Did you miss the part where he praised the student for questioning him? That contradicts your interpretation, and it's totally consistent with his claim that he's trying to get the kids to think.
    If they can't [be robots of neutrality] they should get out of teaching. Espcially K-12.
    Indoctrination is inherent in education. Can't avoid it. A good education will indoctrinate noncontroversial facts plus a desire to think critically. A run-of-the-mill color-Europe-purple geography class could focus on the former. This lecture seems focussed on the latter. As for K-12, these were advanced students. If we limit their education to the noncontroversial, their brains will stagnate. If we treat them like children in 10th grade, they'll still think like children when they get to college. It would have been more appropriate to present other sides in the same lecture, but maybe less effective. It's hard to get students to take a new argument seriously if you're constantly contradicting yourself for the sake of balance.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#52)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 11:08:44 AM EST
    roy - The teacher ranted what he ranted. Best I can tell he was only questioned by one student, possibly two. This is supposed to be an advanced geography class. He should be able to teach it without making over the top claims and statements. And by presenting clear, factual views of how war, disease, etc. influenced the formation of countries he could teach them the value of understanding history as it relates to the world. That process would stimulate the thought process and actually teach them the subject and how to think. He obviously had no Lesson Plan or Lesson Guide. He's just out there making a series of rants. But that isn't teaching. If he is doing that today, what does he do tomorrow? And how does any of that relate to advanced geography? He doesn't bring geography into it except to ask overhead questions. Again. That isn't teaching. That's ranting. And he wasn't hired to do that. Cheery Creek schools, at one time, had a good reputation.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#53)
    by Edger on Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 11:19:05 AM EST
    Now Cherry Creek has an even better reputation. I think they even teach spelling, and have classes in which "A deeper understanding of current events from a historical and geographical perspective is imperative. Thus, timely issues and events in the news will be tied into the overall framework of the course."

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#54)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 12:03:51 PM EST
    edger - They teacj sjelling? Hopefulluy bettre than gEography. Advanced or otherwise.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#55)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 12:09:05 PM EST
    edger - You remind me of an accountant we hired one time who, when the books wouldn't balance, claimed he couldn't read the computer generated reports...

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#56)
    by Sailor on Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 12:18:46 PM EST
    once again the same commenter continues prevaricating even after being informed, over and over, that what he says is not true and has been disproven. There is a name for people who habitually tell untruths. the student, much like the commenter, only cherrypicked part of the lecture. And even that part proved he didn't compare bush to hitler:
    some of Bush's speech "sounds a lot like the things that Adolf Hitler used to say. We're the only ones who are right, everyone else is backwards and our job is to conquer the world and make sure that they all live just like we want them to."

    Later in the recording, Bennish said he was not claiming Bush and Hitler were the same, "but there are some eerie similarities to the tones that they use."
    That statement is perfectly true. The truth is also implied by the fact that the student's family released the tape to wrongwing radio stations and never complained to the teacher's school. This
    budding stand-up comic wants to write more comedy sketches as well as suspense-filled fiction. And he may add some political writing to his repertory.
    This kid and his dad wanted nothing more than 15 minutes of fame and to supress the free speech of others. The teacher did not violate the district or school's policies, encouraged the free speech and free thought of his students. I wish all students were lucky enough to have a teacher like this.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#57)
    by Edger on Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 01:36:15 PM EST
    Sailor: The teacher did not violate the district or school's policies, encouraged the free speech and free thought of his students. I wish all students were lucky enough to have a teacher like this. Exactly, Sailor. And like the nose on most peoples faces, obvious and pretty hard to miss, except wilfully.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#58)
    by roy on Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 02:00:24 PM EST
    Jim, I think you missed out on having really good teachers. Don't force the same handicap on the next generation.

    Re: Liberal Denver Teacher to Return to Classroom (none / 0) (#59)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 13, 2006 at 06:14:30 AM EST
    Roy, Did you mean to say 'ears' instead of 'teachers'?

    Justpaul.... And, just liek the Pavlovian slobber hound he is, Careful there dude... you spelled "like" wrong! You're in BIG trouble now!