Thursday, March 02, 2006

Jay Bennish - Communist Agent for Colorado Schools

Coming home from school today, I listened to the news about Jay Bennish, a 10th grade geography teacher who taught communism and anti-Bush, anti-America thinking along with (or in place of) his geography lessons: Here's a summary of what he taught in the taped lesson that is being played and replayed on the radio, TV and Internet.

(1) He compares Bush to Hitler.
(2) He thinks capitalism is at odds with human rights, caring and compassion.
(3) He teaches that the US government working WITH the government of another country to try to decrease the amount of illegal crops justifies other countries coming to the U.S. and destroying legal tobacco-producing areas.
(4) He teaches that the U.S. is the worst terrorist country in the world.

And those are only the highlights of his lesson. I read through the transcript of the lesson and if I hadn't been TOLD it was a geography class, I never would have guessed it.

When the student who was secretly taping the class disagreed with him, he accepted the disagreement and then very "reasonably" explained why the student was wrong and quickly brought the lesson back to the U.S. and Israel being the real terrorists. It was this calm, outward acceptance and consideration of the student's questions and then turning it around on the student that bothered me the most.

As a long-time public school teacher, I have always been aware of the tremendous influence I have on the children I teach. Children identify with their teachers, and they often emulate them. Sometimes when kids are going through their adolescent rebellion phase, they are prone to trust teachers before their parents. Teaching is an absolutely mind-boggling responsibility.

I wrote awhile back about the book Children's Story by James Clavell. The story covers one class period in an elementary classroom. Although there is no direct correlation between the story and what Jay Bennish did in the classes he taught, there are some similarities that are striking and chilling. As I said before, Children's Story is a quick read - maybe 30 - 45 minutes at the most. It's worth the effort, and it will make you consider the power of the classroom teacher.

Further reading on the Jay Bennish story: Michelle Malkin, The American Check-up, Plains Feeder, The Political Dogs, The Defiance, Is This Blog On?, Severe Writers Block, Survival Theory, Intercepts, The Education Wonks, Conservative Thinking, Right Wing Nation, The Uncooperative Blogger, Freedom Folks, Tundra Tabloids

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