Fired pro-life teacher faces misconduct hearing
PORTLAND, OR, November 8, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A teacher who says he was fired for pro-life activism in his personal life and opposing Planned Parenthood’s presence in his classroom is facing a misconduct hearing next Thursday, November 14.
In March, Benson High School math and computer science teacher Bill Diss was relieved of his teaching duties and escorted out by police “pending a recommendation to the superintendent that you be dismissed from your employment with Portland public schools.”
Diss says he was targeted for his pro-life activism, which included protesting the construction of an abortion clinic in an African-American community in Portland. Portland is a high-risk area for underage sex trafficking, especially in the black community.
Diss found himself at the center of more controversy when Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette began giving presentations to students as part of the federally funded Teen Outreach Program. Diss refused to let Planned Parenthood employees interrupt his class to present their material, at which point he was temporarily removed from his classroom and forced to watch a Planned Parenthood presentation the next day.
Diss told LifeSiteNews.com that, no matter his strong moral convictions, he was never unprofessional. “I went after kids on impurity. If they were hanging over each other in the hall, I would have them separate.”
Diss said he “received a letter from a commander from the police" praising his "work of stopping gang violence and in addressing purity among teenagers. He also walked parks at night over a two-year period after a string of shootings near Benson.
A former student on the Rate My Teacher website claims Diss was forced to take “calmness classes” by the school, something Diss denies. District spokesperson Christine Miles declined to comment, saying “we treat all employees the same. Their matters are kept confidential.”
LifeSiteNews.com reached out to Miles asking why Diss’ hearing took nearly eight months to come to fruition after he was escorted out of his classroom, but she did not immediately return phone calls.
Diss told LifeSiteNews.com that he is currently teaching English as a Second Language to help the community, including the mother of a former student at the school.
In an e-mail to supporters, Diss said the hearing will be two hours long, and his legal counsel informs him it “will be very vicious.” He has asked supporters to attend the hearing, which he says is going to happen even though district policy is to keep all disciplinary meetings private.
Other students at Reddit and Rate My Teacher have complained about Diss' teaching style. Diss says he has 400 letters from “students, teachers, police officers, and administrators” praising him for his work in the community, with extra-curricular activities, and in his job as a teacher.
Next week’s disciplinary hearing will be held at the Portland Public School District headquarters, at 501 N. Dixon Street in Portland, Oregon.
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