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Friday, March 17, 2006

Teachers and Thier Charges

I'm convinced that when you see something wrong you speak out. The adage that "“All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” fits. Below is a letter to Cherry Creek Colorado High School teacher Jay Bennish, sent with sincerity and belief that even people like him can change. I encourage you to email him at:

jbennish@cherrycreekschools.org

I suspect the school district's IT departments are a little miffed at him right now for crashing their servers with all the email he has generated.


Mr. Bennish, I wanted to be among the many to welcome you back to school and the profession that you love. While I approve of your profession please cease taking liberties with your students. I am a veteran and will forever defend your right to speak and dissent. But your right to coercion ends at the threshold to your classroom. While you may feel that our President is similar to Adolph Hitler, I can assure you from my experience that it is in no way similar or even in the same realm. There are obviously not enough good teachers in this country and it is becoming harder to attract well qualified and honorable people to the profession. And, it is my opinion that more needs to be done in compensation and protection for teachers who speak out. But know when and where to do so. You are free to say our troops are like Hitler’s SS troops, Stazi or the former Soviet Union’s GRU or KGB outside of school grounds. Not where you can influence the minds and hearts of the young adults put in your charge. Again I will defend your right to disagree and speak but in current events your role as a teacher should be to initiate and mediate discussion, and direct to a certain extent. But to influence the political leanings of your students does a dishonor to your profession by limiting thought and individualism. And not allowing other viewpoints. Imagine a student listening to a lecture by you espousing the similarities of Bush and Hitler. That student is then asked to write a paper on his thoughts…how free is that student to express views differing from yours, in reality and in the students mind? These are things to ponder as you resume your duties. Respectfully, Kenneth A. Jenkins, USAF Ret.

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