Saturday, March 04, 2006

The strange case of Mr Bennish

I posted earlier about Jay Bennish, the American High School Geography teacher who has been suspended from his post pending investigation over whether his lessons breached the principles of objectivity and balance. The post, along with a link to the recording of what he said can be found here.

Since then, using the power of Google, there's a wealth of information about this odd case from Random Thoughts and Opinions, an American blog that has been following this case in some detail. Judge for yourselves (as if you needed to be told) but to me it becomes increasingly clear that it is young Mr Bennish who could do with some (remedial) education himself.

I can't find the link now but it emerges that Mr Bennish - the self-styled champion of the world's oppressed - is not even a member of a trades union, more or less inconceivable in this country (I have never met a teacher who was not a member of a union, and certainly not one of Mr Bennish's political disposition.) And now, it seems, he is claiming the protection of the First Amendment, which he has somehow convinced himself gives him carte blanche to say whatever he likes to his classes.

I would hope that any lawyer worth his salt would immediately point out that the publication of pornography is also covered by the First Amendment - but it would hardly be appropriate to show a tenth-grade class "Deep Throat", now would it? (That's be a rhetorical question, ok? If you think the answer's "yes", seek some help.)

Update: Seems Random Thoughts and Opinions has gone off air - wonder what's going on there? Might not be permanent - I'll check later.

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