PORTLAND — A Portland-area teacher who was escorted from his local high school by police over his continued opposition to Planned Parenthood will face a misconduct hearing today as district officials consider declaring him “unfit to teach.”
As previously reported, Bill Diss, an 11-year math and computer science teacher at Benson High School in Portland, was removed from the school by police this past March because he refused to allow the organization in his classroom. Planned Parenthood had visited Diss’ class to urge students to sign up for its Teen Outreach Program (TOP) as it was seeking to recruit youth throughout the school.
Diss has been speaking out against the organization publicly since 2007.
According to reports, Planned Parenthood of Columbia Williamette began promoting the program at Benson High School last year, which allegedly contains teaching about premarital sex, contraception and abortion. Last September, two representatives from the organization showed up at Diss’ door, hoping to speak to students. However, the math and computer science teacher, who identifies as a Roman Catholic, would not let Planned Parenthood enter and asked the representatives to leave.
Following Diss’ refusal to allow the representatives into his classroom, the principal and vice principal of the school paid Diss a visit and temporarily removed him from the class. Planned Parenthood also filed a complaint against the teacher. The next day, he was forced to sit in on a Planned Parenthood presentation.
“They were extremely aggressive in obtaining the children’s signatures by promising them all sorts of gifts and cash,” Diss said.
Later, Diss also took issue with TOP permission forms that were being sent home with some students, which bore his name. His attorney contacted Planned Parenthood and the school, demanding that they retract statements on the form that appeared as if Diss approved of the program. They threatened a lawsuit, stating that Diss was being harassed for his beliefs about the organization.
Ever since, Diss says that the school has been sending him regular notes that question his teaching skills and methods. He has been required to attend numerous hearings, and today, he will face a formal misconduct hearing that will weigh whether he may keep his teaching credentials. Diss said that he was informed by legal counsel that the proceedings will be “very vicious.”
“The hearing is divided into two parts: The first part is at 4:00 p.m., when the district will have an hour to bring charges against me for misconduct and being unfit to teach,” he explained to the publication Common Sense. “[During] the second hour from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., we get an opportunity to respond to the charges.”
“I am asking all to pray and I would cherish your presence the second hour or for the entire hearing,” Diss continued. “Please bring your families. I think it is important that the school attorney and board members understand the importance of families and children. The press will also be there and I suspect many supporters of Planned Parenthood will be there.”
One of the charges brought against Diss, according to the Washington Times, involves his comments about sexual purity and abortion in his math and science classes.
“Do these educators know how to spell i-r-o-n-y?” reporter Paul Rondeau asked.