My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Monday, March 06, 2006

I wonder how many teachers are like this in Canada?

I'm sure stuff like this goes on all the time in Canada...
A HIGH-SCHOOL geography teacher in Colorado has been put on leave after a 16-year-old pupil recorded him comparing George Bush to Hitler.

Sean Allen, 16, who attends a suburban high school outside Denver, has made headlines across the country by recording the teacher lambasting President Bush.

“Sounds a lot like the things that Adolf Hitler used to say,” Jay Bennish told his class. “We’re the only ones who are right, everyone else is backward and our job is to conquer the world.”

Mr Bennish called the US “probably the single most violent nation on Earth”, saying that it had committed more than 7,000 “terrorist sabotage acts” against Cuba. But he told pupils that they were free to disagree with him.

The boy’s father leaked the recording to a local radio and it was quickly picked up by the national media.

The teacher was placed on paid leave while the school board investigated whether he had violated its policy of providing a balanced point of view. He threatened to retaliate with a lawsuit asserting his constitutional right to free speech.
This has nothing to do with free speech. Once you are an employee, there are guidelines on what you can and cannot teach.


Blogger Shameer Ravji said...

Not surprisingly, those on the left are starting their smear job on the kid.

10:39 PM  
Blogger James Bowie said...

Leaving the issue of teaching and teachers' responsibility aside, there is something to what he says. Allow me to quote Mr. Bush from his document "National Security Stragey of the United States of America."

"These values of freedom are right and true for every person, in every society - and the duty of protecting these values against their enemeies is the common calling of freedom-loving people across the globe and across the age."

This written statement by the President of the United States supports the teacher's allegation that Bush feels is in a moral right to pursue global americanization.

Bush goes on to write:

"We will disrupt and destroy terrorist organizations by direct and continuous action using all the elements of national and international power."

Here the goal is clearly to use direct and continuous force in the world. This is the most violent possible option, perpetual war, and it is reminiscant of 1984. "The war is not meant to be won or lost, the war is meant to be continuous."

While I share your distaste for teachers who abuse their positions to influence political socialization unuly, and I think that as we criticize the current administration of the American Government we need to be precise and polite, I can't refute what this teacher has said. Truth is a defence, and I'll be astounded if anyone wins a lawsuit against him for slander.

12:19 AM  
Anonymous Anne (happier in Ontario) said...

Like the teacher guilty of teaching kids that the holocaust was a hoax these people should be banned from being from teaching at all anywhere.

Both are guilty of the same thing, pushing their own selfish and manufactured political agenda in an environment meant to expand young minds, not warp them.

Free speech my a$$!

12:19 AM  
Blogger Jarrett said...

"Like the teacher guilty of teaching kids that the holocaust was a hoax these people should be banned from being from teaching at all anywhere."

James Keegstra. I cited that case in a debate on the Scopes trial (it's a long story), and said exactly what Fred did when quoting the judgement: nobody's preventing Keegstra from saying this on his own time, but there's a certain expectation of behaviour once you're in control of so many thoughtless minds.

It's a tricky one, precisely because there IS no (and should be no) governmentally regulated standard on the issue. As far as my experience shows, as long as you're not too extreme, they'll let you indoctrinate your students however you want.

12:49 AM  
Blogger robedger said...

I think that it's pretty easy to distinguish between holocaust denial and this case. Be reasonable.

1:06 AM  
Blogger robedger said...

Also, in the United states conservative groups have inserted intelligent design into the science curriculum, pushed abstinence instead of providing a responsible sex education, and banned "Harry Potter" books due to their supposed promotion of witchcraft.

Just for a bit of perspective on this situation.

1:19 AM  
Anonymous Anne (happier in Ontario) said...

My point was that the teacher is the one who brought Hitler into this and when someone uses these kinds of extremes to push their "opinion" their credibility should be questioned.

You may question my rational here but this is the same kind this teacher was using on those kids. To "teach" kids this is wrong and his curriculam certainly did not sound balanced.

At least at university last fall when my daughter observed that a professor had put up pictures on the outside of his door of Mike Harris which had been altered to make him look like Hitler she was listened to when she complained and they were removed. This was not even her class but next to hers and she is no fan of Mr. Harris but she recognized that what he did was wrong and felt compelled to do something about it. Most of her friends said it was best to ignore it but she didn't.

Both she and this student should complain and I am proud of them when they do. Teachers need to be taught that they do not have the right to shove their opinions down young people's throats as fact and that just because they are the teacher does not make them the authority of all things.

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Anne (happier in Ontario) said...

robedger, I see what you are saying about the influence but weren't those decisions brought about by parents and school boards together rather than one teacher acting alone?

1:25 AM  
Blogger jw said...

When you teach, you take on a responsibility to TRY to be balanced. This is part of the job. You can fail to be balanced, you cannot intentionally be unbalanced.

This teacher failed to try: Therefore, he must be removed from his teaching position.

The teacher could have said something about some people believe that Bush is like Hitler for this reason ... If he also said, some people think the Hitler comparison is false and dangerous for this reason ... Doing THAT is quite acceptable for high school.

5:02 AM  
Anonymous Alberta Girl said...

I am concerned about what influences our children and grandchildren are getting in our schools. As children - they take everything the teacher tells them as the truth.

Case in point - During the election, we were at my daughters house and the conversation turned to politics. When I mentioned Stephen Harper - my 12 year old granddaughter said "he's evil". When I pressed her about where she had found out about politics she said they were learning about it in school.

Second case in point - at another occasion, we were watching TV and George Bush came on - the same Granddaughter once again said he's evil. Once again we pressed her to find out where she had gotten her information and she once again said her teacher had told them.

Ah yes - education - ain't it a wonderful thing!!!!! These are the future voters. Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall watching these little sponges soaking up everything their teachers say as gospel!

7:30 AM  

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