USA: High school teacher’s comments investigated by district

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2006-03-02 18:09:49…   High school teacher’s comments investigated by district   Marissa Pasquet  Web Producer Created: 3/1/2006 4:34 PM MST – Updated: 3/2/2006 7:09 AM MST   AURORA – A 16-year-old boy at Overland High School doesn’t want to hear what he calls his teacher’s left-wing political rants. Sean Allen frequently recorded his teachers to back up his notes.  Allen recorded Jay Bennish, his 10th grade World Geography teacher, making comments about President Bush’s State of the Union Address. Allen’s father claims the comments made in the recording are biased and inappropriate for a geography class. “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,” says Bennish in his critique of U.S. economic and foreign policy. Towards the end of the class, Bennish goes on to say, “I’m not in anyway 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 about these issues more in depth and not to just take things from the surface.” The Cherry Creek School District is conducting a thorough investigation of the complaint from the Overland High School parent and student concerning comments. The school district says at first glance it does appear the teacher acted inappropriately at the very least. A spokesperson for the Cherry Creek School District said they have placed Bennish on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. This is not a disciplinary action; the school district wants to remove him while they sort through the rest of the investigation. The Cherry Creek School District expects to finish the investigation by the end of the week.   Additional Resources…  Official statement on Overland High School incident   Listen to the taped remarks made by Overland High teacher Jay Bennish in a 10th grade World Geography class. They were recorded by student Sean Allen.   Reporter Chris Vanderveen says the Cherry Creek School District is reviewing whether the comments Bennish made were an isolated incident or part of a pattern. March 1, 2006. 6 p.m.   Reporter Carrie McClure has student reaction to the Bennish investigation. March 1, 2006. 10 p.m.

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