Thursday, March 02, 2006

An Educator's Abuse of Power

A teacher from Denver has been using his tenth grade Geography class as a staging area for his far left rhetoric.

High school teacher Jay Bennish saw an opportunity to discuss his hatred for the Bush administration on a daily basis by pushing his views on the his young and impressionable high school students. They probably wouldn't notice the difference between geography and political discourse anyway.

Until one student, 16 year-old Sean Allen took a stand. He recorded his teacher in order to back up his notes, and gave the tape to his father. On the recordings, there were statements such as this:

I'm not saying Bush and Hitler are exactly the same, obviously they're not. OK? But there are some eerie similarities to the tones that they use. Very "ethnocentric."

I remember my high school geography class, and I certainly never learned anything like that. If I had, I'm sure I would have done the exact same thing that Sean Allen and his father did: contact the school administrators. And when they did nothing about it, as school administrators so often do when individual parents complain, I would consider taking my recordings to a radio station (which Allen and his father did).

Well, it didn't take long before the school administrators were forced to take action, and put teacher Jay Bennish on academic leave while they did some investigating.

This is a huge story, and one that should be followed very closely. High school is one of the most important times in a developing teen's life, and if kids are going to be put through far lefty diatribes daily during class, I want to know about it, and I want to put an end to it.

Education is about learning objective lessons about the world, not being force-fed a political agenda.

The best class I ever had in high school was a Contemporary Issues class where we debated political issues. What I liked the most about the class is that we considered issues from every angle, and debated. The teacher merely moderated. He was a firm believer that it was not his duty to take sides and promote one view above the other, but to let us decide for ourselves.

This is what education is all about. You take a good hard look at the issues, then allow the students to use their acquired critical thinking skills to solve the issues on their own.

Mr. Bennish should be held accountable, and steered away from his profession if he continues to teach in such a manner, as should any other high school teacher who behaves in such a way.


Michelle Malkin is transcribing the audio from the recordings that student Sean Allen made of his teacher's lefty banter.