An Oregon teacher is fighting for his job and teaching license after he was placed on administrative leave earlier this year. Bill Diss, a computer science and and math teacher who has taught in the Portland, Oregon, school system for eleven years, insists he was removed from the classroom because of his opposition to Planned Parenthood. Officials at Portland's Benson High School, however, argue that he is being fired for insubordination and unprofessional behavior toward students and fellow educators.
On March 19 Diss, who is a Catholic as well as a recognized local pro-life activist and advocate for teen abstinence, was notified that he was being placed on administrative leave “pending a recommendation to the superintendent that you be dismissed from your employment with Portland public schools for reasons that have been discussed with you.”
As reported in April by The New American, Diss' relationship with the school soured in 2012 after a local Planned Parenthood chapter was invited into Benson High School to speak to students about pregnancy prevention through its Teen Outreach Program (TOP). Planned Parenthood representatives came to Diss' classroom to make a presentation to Diss' students. When Diss discovered that the representatives were from the abortion provider he asked them to leave the room, which they did. But a few minutes later the principal and vice principal came and removed Diss from the classroom and allowed the Planned Parenthood representatives to continue their presentation.
“The following day, Diss said, he was compelled to sit through a Planned Parenthood presentation during which the representatives pressured students to join the program,” reported The New American. “'They were extremely aggressive in obtaining the children’s signatures by promising them all sorts of gifts and cash,' Diss recalled. Planned Parenthood officials subsequently filed a formal complaint against Diss for his intrusion into their efforts.”
While school officials insist that their efforts to dismiss Diss and even have his teaching license revoked are tied to unprofessional behavior, it is difficult to ignore a marked change in the district's attitude toward Diss relative to his conflict with Planned Parenthood. Through 2007 Diss' teaching evaluations indicated that he was a competent teacher with skills that were steadily improving. “It was only in 2008, after he began speaking publicly about Planned Parenthood, that the official assessments turned negative,” recalled the Catholic Sentinel.
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