The Corner

Oregon Teacher Says Opposition to Planned Parenthood Program Led to Suspension

A Portland math teacher has been suspended and says he will soon be fired for taking on the school district over an initiative associated with Planned Parenthood, the Oregonian reports. Bill Diss, who has taught at Benson Polytechnic High School for over a decade, had previously been suspended for vocally opposing the Teen Outreach Program earlier in the year. In his most recent suspension, Diss was escorted off the premises by police.

Planned Parenthood is a local partner of the program, which aims to prevent teenage pregnancy, drug use, and dropping out of high school. The district doesn’t fund the Teen Outreach Program; it is administered by Planned Parenthood through a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services. Diss, a Catholic, has organized efforts opposing Planned Parenthood’s involvement because of his pro-life views, including a protest with parents in December. In one instance, Diss refused to let representatives of the initiative give a presentation in his class.

In one of the letters Diss received from Portland Public Schools, the district wrote that he was suspended for “unprofessional, intimidating and/or harassing behavior.” In general, the letters he received from the district claimed that it was “inappropriate” for him to discuss subjects such as religion, abortion, and premarital sex in his class. Diss admitted that he had talked about these topics in class, but said that he allows his students to voice their views as well.

Diss said he has hired a lawyer and plans to file a grievance with the union if he is let go.

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