Suffering from low blood pressure and need it raised? Want to hear one of the reasons why many people are disenchanted with public schools? There’s nothing quite like indoctrinating young minds, whether from willful ignorance or whatever the cause may be. Mike Rosen, the preeminent radio talk show host in the Rocky Mountain West, has recorded classroom footage from Jay Bennish’s geography class at Overland High School, featuring an unbalanced rant against President Bush, America, and capitalism.
One of Bennish’s students made the recording and will appear with his mother on the Mike Rosen Radio Show on 850 KOA tomorrow morning, Wednesday, March 1. I haven’t heard if the host was able to get Bennish himself, the Overland principal, or any representative from the Cherry Creek School District in metro Denver to appear, though he has extended an invitation. Rosen’s show airs from 9 AM to Noon Mountain Standard Time for those outside the region. It should be compelling radio.
For those of you who may recall, Walter Williams featured the Colorado indoctrinator in his column last week.
Update (3/2): Kudos to the Cherry Creek School District for taking action. It looks like media scrutiny will be on this case. Neither Mike Rosen nor the Allen family expressed any desire for the removal of Mr. Bennish from his job – just that his tirade would be treated as an example of what school district policy should not tolerate. Stay tuned…
Michelle Malkin has transcribed a lot of the tape and has some more links, as well. More at Slapstick Politics, too.
Mike Rosen talked to student Sean Allen again today, who stayed at home because some of his friends at Overland had overheard serious threats. Makes sense, when you see the number of students who protested the school district putting Bennish on administrative leave.
Update II: The sudden surge of interest in this story has highlighted the case for educational choice in America’s affluent suburbs. Cherry Creek School District may be the most affluent district in Colorado and one largely untouched by a lot of the charter school and other choice reforms that are prominent in this state. When a teacher like Bennish spouts his one-sided tirades – and he is far from alone – it is further evidence that the schools are more accountable to their interest group customers – teacher and educrat unions – than to the parental customers. Choice and competition are vital remedies to a system not only lagging in academic performance but ideological balance.
True, we should guard against making sporadic decisions. But the accounts I have heard indicate the parents sought resolution within the system first. Like a lot of frustrated parents, they probably learned that the system is more accountable to the interest groups (e.g., the teachers union) than to the families they serve. From my perspective, this just makes a stronger case for more educational choice.
To the last commenter – objective analyses of major media sources has shown that most outlets lean somewhat to the left of political center. There is no problem at all questioning the world from different points of view. There is a problem with a teaching authority holding a captive audience of students by only ever presenting ONE point of view. It violates the school district policy of teaching about controversial issues.
His classroom diatribe is not just a matter of questioning the government … did you actually hear the recording? The logic was shallow, many of the facts suspect, and the whole tone and presentation was one-sided & imbalanced.
Would you defend the public school teacher who gave such a one-sided presentation for literal creationism or for a state-run church? I should hope not. Don’t blind yourself with narrow ideology.