The Rocky Mountain News reports that Jay Bennish lawyer David Lane plans to file a lawsuit in federal court this morning to put the highly controversial teacher back in the classroom. Bennish is currently on paid administrative leave while the Cherry Creek School District conducts an investigation based on his 20-minute recorded left-wing political tirade. From the News story:
“I know about 10 federal judges who are more than willing to teach the Cherry Creek School District what the First Amendment is all about,” his attorney, David Lane, said Thursday.
Lane said he expects to file a federal lawsuit as early as this morning, and that seeking a court order to return Bennish to the classroom is one option he might pursue.
He called district administrators “scared little rabbits” who bowed to pressure from parents when they suspended Bennish.
A public school district takes heed of some of its customers and its own policies, and out of the rhetorical bag comes the “scared little rabbits” description? Puh-lease. It’s cute and clever rhetoric by David Lane. But who is there to stand up and call school district officials “scared little rabbits” for agreeing to collective bargaining provisions that subsidize the union at taxpayers’ expense or provisions that mandate the deduction of political funds from union member paychecks? Who does the public education system serve, anyway – parents & taxpayers, or employee interest groups?
The ability to say whatever you want on the job – including as a teacher in the classroom – without employment sanctions is not protected by the First Amendment. How ironic, therefore, that this story should come hard on the heels of a study released showing that only one in four Americans can name more than one of the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. And how many of those Americans learned about civics, or U.S. history, or geography in a classroom taught by someone like Jay Bennish? What a vicious, and frightening, cycle.
Rather than let the investigation play out, Bennish and Lane have chosen to make a federal case out of this, virtually ensuring that it will stay hot in the media spotlight for quite awhile – which also means that if the case interests you, you should bookmark Mount Virtus to find ongoing analysis of developments in this case.
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