Skip to comments.Teacher's attorney: Lesson learned (Jay Bennish Pretends To Backtrack)
Posted on 03/10/2006 4:37:07 AM PST by PJ-Comix
Social studies teacher Jay Bennish told Cherry Creek school leaders Thursday that he should have used a different dictator when comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler in a geography class, his lawyer David Lane said Thursday.
Bennish also told district officials that he should have balanced each lecture "contemporaneously" on controversial issues rather than over the course of the term, Lane said.
"When he gives the yin, give the yang right there," he said. "Don't wait a week."
Fewer than a dozen complaints to the school have surfaced, Lane said, since the "national turmoil" has unfolded about Bennish, who was recorded giving a lecture critical of the president by one of his Overland High School students.
"He wishes he would have picked a different dictator," Lane told a pack of reporters after the closed-door talk with Cherry Creek school administrators Thursday, referring to comments Bennish made comparing Bush to Hitler.
As for the provocative nature of his comments, "that is what he does," said Lane, who also represents University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill.
Lane said Bennish was not going to apologize but that the 90-minute meeting with Cherry Creek School District leaders was "very positive. ... I expect him back teaching Monday."
Bennish was placed on paid administrative leave last week while officials probed allegations that he was biased after sophomore Sean Allen went public with a recording he made of a Feb. 1 geography lecture.
School district spokeswoman Tustin Amole said Cherry Creek Superintendent Monte Moses is expected to make a statement today.
Also on Thursday, the Colorado State Board of Education chairwoman halted a meeting because Republican members insisted on a resolution condemning Bennish. At the state Capitol, one senator introduced an amendment that would make future such incidents grounds for termination.
New among the complaints is a charge that Bennish showed a movie called "Black Robe" that criticized colonialism, Lane said.
Another parent said Bennish was a "pointy-nosed liberal professor" and that he let students in class listen to a Spearhead song that contained curse words, Lane said.
Lane said that Bennish got parental permission slips before showing "Black Robe," which is rated R.
"C'mon, if this is all that they got since the most exhaustive investigation since Ward Churchill, ... it's almost laughable," Lane said.
Lane gave two examples of how Bennish is a balanced teacher - a point Cherry Creek leaders were particularly concerned with, he said.
Earlier in the school year, Bennish took two days to talk about the Danish newspaper cartoon critical of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. One day he gave the Muslim perspective about why the cartoon was offensive, the next day he gave the "traditional Western liberal view," Lane said.
Bennish also told students he'd give them extra credit if they joined either a pro- or anti-Columbus Day celebration and wrote about it, Lane said.
Earlier Thursday, a Colorado State Board of Education meeting came to a halt after deadlocking over considering a resolution criticizing Bennish.
Board member Bob Schaffer tried to add the resolution to the board's agenda. Schaffer, a former Republican congressman, found support from three other Republican board members.
Four Democrats chose not to allow the addition of the resolution, which declared that Bennish had "perpetrated upon his students an extreme form of economic, cultural, political and religious bias."
Board chairwoman Pamela Jo Suckla broke the tie over Schaffer's resolution with a parliamentary decision to end the meeting before action could be taken on 20 agenda items.
"I come to these meetings for business," Suckla said. "I can see this is a lose-lose situation. ... I don't want to make us look more like idiots."
Still, Suckla joined Schaffer and board members Randy DeHoff and Peggy Littleton in signing a letter nearly identical to Schaffer's resolution.
Across the street at the Capitol, Sen. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, introduced an amendment on the Senate floor that could make future incidents clear grounds for termination.
His amendment to an existing Republican bill changing how the state collects teachers' fingerprints proposes firing teachers for "a pattern of failing to present balanced viewpoints on controversial topics as required by school district policy."
Lamborn said his amendment would protect students from teachers in the future and protect school districts from lawsuits by teachers they fire.
It would not apply to Bennish, he said.
Democrats postponed a vote on the proposal.
What a PHONY backtrack. So what dictator would you compare Bush to, Bennish? And what about the REST of his leftist anti-American rant?
Last week he was a Geography teacher.
Next week he'll be an Economics Nobel Laureate.
No kidding. What different dictator?
This is very amusing. The kid "tapes" this guy and totally turns the tables on him.
I called the principal involved about 3 days ago and e-mailed him the story on Jay Bennish which had an audio link and we talked about what happened those long years ago between us. Here's his e-mail response:
One man's revolutionary is another man's hero. The recording actually brought back memories of growing up in the 60's. Funny how times change. Not knowing that teacher, it was difficult for me to figure out whether he was trying to challenge his students to think beyond what they hear on the evening news. I always believed that you , yourself used "shock value" to challenge students to think.
Your obstacles were twofold: 1. You were in xxxxxxxxxx (name of school). 2. Students and parents thought they were in your class only to learn Spanish. Perhaps your ideas would have been better received in a social studies class. Jay's comments, while thought-provoking, could be more justified because of the content setting of his teaching assignment. Colorado is more liberal than xxxxxxxxxx.
I always did admire your high expectations. I hope that time and experience have helped you be more effective in reaching those goals. In most schools (except xxxxxxxxxx), it's good to have a XXXXXXX around to keep things interesting. You just would not want a school full of XXXXXXXs. Hope all is well. Tell the family hello. I hope you have forgiven me for any persecution you may have felt and understand that it was best for everyone, especially you, in the long run. I always say, "You can get bitter, or get better." I trust that, given your outstanding intellectual abilities, the latter is true for you. You have much to offer. Never stop growing.
How would some of you analyze the above response? Seems to me he is glad Bennish made the comments he made. The liberal side thinks it's okay to indoctrinate students to their point of view, but he opposite is NOT to be tolerated. This is war.
As opposed to your employee Bennish, who apparently looks to you like a Nobel laureate.
It wouldn't be Fidel Castro since Bennish admires him.
Geography? Perhaps the school board should pass a resolution saying that a teacher can be fired if he doesn't spend his class time teaching the subject for which he was hired. No wonder so many students do so poorly on end of course exams that ask for content knowledge.
The Spanish teacher who followed her was constantly griping that he was being paid as a substitute and not as a regular teacher. One day he was called to the office and never came back. Fired.
I fail to see how any of this relates to geography.
Of course he is.
He also is writing as if he thinks you are an idiot.
Easy. He thought Bush wanted to rule the world. Geography! For liberals, anything that bashes Bush qualifies as appropriate course study while being paid with taxpayer dollars.
He ought to reimburse the taxpayer for the money they've paid him in the last 6 years, at a minimum.
What a little smart a$$. I learned a long time ago, working with children never to try to extract an apology from the unrepentent, or you get something like this: "apologise for calling him an idiot." "ok, I'm sorry he's an idiot."
Bennish's mental maps are drawn on flat earth, and he's pretty sure that when it comes to conservatives, "here there be dragons." No amount of factual evidence can alter this type of mind set, cause it's really a matter of faith.
Facts, logic, history aren't admissable. He's enjoying this immensely.
I tend to agree with his notion that political comments are at least more on-topic in a geography class than a Spanish course.
Facts, logic, history aren't admissable. He's enjoying this immensely.
Yeah, that would have made it all better.
First, I am surprised you would bother communicating with the commielibtard. Second, you you right to criticize Bill Klintoon. The entire country should have slapped him down. Third, I think you should tell him to go obscenity his liberal psuedo-intellectual self. Bennish should be fired the same as you did. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the leftwing gander.
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