STOPP

Teacher booted from Portland School District after protracted battle with Planned Parenthood

STOPP
By STOPP

March 22, 2013 (American Life League) - An exemplary math and computer science teacher has been unjustly escorted out of Benson High School by police following a protracted battle with school officials about Planned Parenthood’s presence in the school and its association with his students.

Bill Diss was notified on Tuesday after the last student left his class that he was being placed immediately 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.” The mild-mannered Mr. Diss told STOPP that he was given only a few minutes to gather his belongings before police escorted him out. He was ordered not to return to the Portland, Oregon, school where he has taught for 11 years.

Mr. Diss is an outstanding teacher, who recently was awarded certification and recognition as the only teacher in Oregon who is qualified to teach college level computer science to high school students for dual credit. He has taught at the college and high school level for a total of 18 years.

Planned Parenthood has been in pursuit of Mr. Diss since 2007 when he began organizing efforts to stop Planned Parenthood. A STOPP press release from February of 2009 noted that Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette wanted Bill Diss’ teaching license revoked. The press release quoted American Life League’s Jim Sedlak: “Bill has organized one of the most effective efforts against Planned Parenthood in the country. It’s no surprise Planned Parenthood will resort to anything—even going after his teaching license—in order to silence him.”

Bill was opposing, on his own time, outside of any school activities, the construction of a Planned Parenthood killing center in an African American neighborhood in Portland. The Planned Parenthood business was eventually built, and today targets minority women for abortions.

Planned Parenthood was unsuccessful in its revocation bid but, incredibly, a decree came from the school district that Bill could not indicate that he was a teacher at Benson or that he taught for the Portland schools when he was giving talks outside the school.

Things really started heating up again at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year when Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette began to push its Teen Outreach Program (TOP) in partnership with Benson High School. The program is fueled by a multi-million dollar Obamacare teen pregnancy prevention grant, funneled through a coalition of Planned Parenthood affiliates. Benson High is located in the inner city, where sixty-two percent of the students qualify for free or reduced price lunches.

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On September 17, 2012, Planned Parenthood operatives entered Mr. Diss’ classroom where he was tutoring students in basic math skills and other subjects. They expected to be given the floor to recruit students for the Teen Outreach Program. Because Mr. Diss had been notified that TOP representatives were coming to speak to the class and they produced ID showing they were from Planned Parenthood rather than TOP, Mr. Diss asked them to leave his classroom. They left, and a few moments later the principal and vice principal came to remove Mr. Diss from class.

The next day he was forced to sit through a Planned Parenthood presentation. “They were extremely aggressive in obtaining the children’s signatures by promising them all sorts of gifts and cash,” Bill said. Planned Parenthood filed a formal complaint against Mr. Diss with the school. You can read STOPP’s coverage about the events of that day and the TOP permission forms here.

Mr. Diss later discovered that the TOP permission form that was sent home the first day of school to Vietnamese-speaking parents used his name in a way that made it seem that he approved of the program. Mr. Diss’ attorney sent a notice to Planned Parenthood and Portland Public Schools complaining of defamation and demanding a retraction of information they sent to parents that indicated he approved of Planned Parenthood and the TOP program. He also noted harassment, emotional distress, and civil rights violations by the school in persecuting him and his Christian faith—all of which have been ongoing since the beginning of the school year. The school never issued a retraction.

Since then, Mr. Diss has received biweekly letters from the school, in effect nit-picking his teaching skills and accusing him of things like too much repetition in his mathematics classes, where he was told he could not teach the multiplication tables to math deficient students and could not review factoring. Students were allowed to withdraw from his classes because they did not want to do the extra work required to bring them up to speed in math. He has been through a dozen administrative hearings this year. Two weeks ago he was informed that his contract will not be renewed next year. When he was booted from the school on Tuesday, the only reason given was “for reasons already discussed.”

It is outrageous that Mr. Diss—an outstanding, well-loved teacher—has been totally trampled by this school district at the behest of Planned Parenthood because he cares deeply about the welfare of his students, and for exercising his First Amendment rights to speak out about the injustice of having Planned Parenthood in the community and in the classrooms. The TOP program he objects to even allows students to leave the campus after hours with Planned Parenthood employees.

Let us not forget, Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette is the same organization that is behind the disgusting video website Take Care Down There that features skits with such titles as “Horse Penis Virus,” “Bring your sister,” “I didn’t spew,” “Hot & heavy,” “Let me do me,” “Threesome,” and the “Down There Song.”

This is the influence that Mr. Diss is fighting. And this is what he has been harassed, and summarily dismissed, for fighting. If you are an Oregon resident who is concerned about this huge injustice, contact your state legislators and the state board of education and pass this information along to them, asking that they help right this horrible wrong. In addition, please pass this information along to other residents of Oregon and ask them to take action.

This article originally appeared on the website of the American Life League and is reprinted with permission.

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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