Oregon Teacher Says He’s Being Fired for Pro-Life Views
A math teacher in Portland, Oregon says he’s about to be fired because of his views on abortion. Bill Diss has been removed from the classroom and placed on leave after an incident in which he refused to allow members of Planned Parenthood to enter his classroom. Diss says he refused them entry because they didn’t have the identification required to gain access. From Yahoo!:
Diss recently attempted to prevent two Planned Parenthood representatives from making a presentation to his class because, he said, they didn’t have suitable identification. They were at the school to play a role in a voluntary sex education course, according to local NBC affiliate KGW.
Apparently, the agents from Planned Parenthood were at Benson High because Planned Parenthood is one of the partners of the district’s Teen Outreach Program, which aims to prevent teen pregnancy as well as illegal drug use and dropping out.
Planned Parenthood’s participation is funded by a federal Department of Health and Human Services grant, notes The Oregonian.
Diss, who told KGW that he is “very much against contraceptive acts,” believes that incident was the final straw in a series of incidents.
“I certainly fight Planned Parenthood, which I certainly have a right to do,” Diss told the station. “And that was all on the outside, until this year when they brought Planned Parenthood in there.”
The report goes on to say that Diss freely admits this isn’t the first incident related to this topic:
This incident isn’t Diss’s first suspension-related rodeo, though. He told The Oregonian he has endured two suspensions just this year. The exact causes of those suspensions are not entirely clear, though they seem to be related to Diss’s outspokenness.
One letter Diss received from the Portland Public Schools cites “unprofessional, intimidating and/or harassing behavior.”
In December, Diss was one of the organizers of a large group protesting Planned Parenthood involvement in the Teen Outreach Program at a school board meeting.
“This is a chance to get healed so that filth doesn’t have to be handed to other people,” Diss explained at that time, according to The Oregonian.
District officials have also accused Diss of inappropriately talking about premarital sex, sexual purity, abortion and religion in his math and computer science classes — and in study halls.
“(Students) also quoted you as saying, ‘they would end up on 82nd (Avenue) and that they kill over a million babies every three years,’” read a letter the district (and Benson High’s principal) sent to Diss.
In the Portland area, 82nd Avenue is a hub for prostitution.
Diss also contends that all previous incidents occurred outside of school and the only time he reacted during school was when Planned Parenthood tried to enter for their presentation. He also says he will retain counsel and file a union grievance to fight attempts to fire him.
I’m not really sure to make of all this. If this was the first time he reacted during school hours and those trying to enter his classroom didn’t have the required identification, you’d think he’d be OK. That being said, if, as the school alleges, this is the latest in a series of ‘intimidating’ and ‘harassing’ outbursts he has had related to this, he may be out of luck.
For me, I don’t think Planned Parenthood has any place in our public schools. I think public schools should be a place for academic instruction and personal or religious views need not come into play. That should apply to Planned Parenthood as well as Mr. Diss.
However, I can sympathize with Diss here. If you see that your school and classroom is being used as a forum for the types of presentations described above, I think it’s only fair you be permitted to present an opposing view. I just think you have to be careful in how you do that, which may be the problem Diss is looking at here.