WASHINGTON, November 8, 2013 — Bill Diss is an experienced, highly qualified and popular computer science teacher. On November 14, the Portland school district and Planned Parenthood will try to have him declared unfit to teach.
Diss is the only teacher in Oregon to earn the distinction of being credentialed to teach computer science for college credit at the high school level. Diss is a highly qualified high school educator who has been teaching for more than a decade at a desperate public school that almost closed in 2010 — a school that serves a population which is 75 percent minority.
Diss earned special recognitions for his work with at-risk black students and for helping to stop gang violence in Portland parks. But, because he refused to allow Planned Parenthood into his classroom, school administrators branded him “unfit to teach” and intend to end his career with Portland Public Schools on November 14.
Parents and students alike are thankful for his dedication. One parent (who holds an M.Ed.) wrote, “[My daughter] found a teacher that achieved tremendous balance between high expectations and accommodating individual needs.”
Another mother who says Diss is a gem wrote, “The highlight of [my son’s] day however is his math class with Mr. Diss. … It seems he goes to great lengths to make himself available for any student who needs additional help. … Mr. Diss cares enough about his students to have firm boundaries and tell them the truth, even when it hurts.”
And therein lies the problem: Diss is staunchly pro-life and does not hide those views from his students.
Diss’ fight against sex industry giant Planned Parenthood on his own time is well-known. It has raised the ire of Principal Carol Campbell and other school administrators for years.
Diss said that, on one occasion, Campbell demanded to know exactly what Diss had said at a prayer vigil. Hearing there was video, she also wanted to see that.
On September 17, 2012, things escalated. With Campbell’s backing, an “education team” went to Diss’ classroom to enroll students in the Health and Human Services’ Teen Outreach Program (TOP). One of the TOP goals is to reduce teen pregnancy. It teaches students (among other things) about premarital sex, contraception, and abortion.
Pro-life critics of the program say that TOP is just a slickly packaged comprehensive sex education program promoted by $375 million rolled into Obamacare. As the de facto defunding of abstinence education by the White House progresses, TOP agents tempt parents with a $30 payment if the parents sign a medical release giving an undefined “healthcare provider” permission to treat the students in the absence of the parents.
When three TOP agents entered Diss’ math class, they immediately put up signs and began offering gift certificates and cash incentives to his students to enroll them in the program. Suspicious, Diss asked for identification. It turned out the presenters did not work for Uncle Sam. Rather, they were employees of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette — the local PP that affirms homosexuality, promotes “sex-positive celebrations,” and offers abortions.
Diss asked them to leave the classroom but, within moments, Campbell arrived to enforce access to the students. Diss says that when he asked to be excused for religious preference reasons, Campbell refused.
In a formal letter to Principal Campbell written the following day, Bill Snyder, security/facilities manager for PPCW, complained that Diss told students that Planned Parenthood “was a racist organization, was involved in eugenics, and was a provider of abortions.”
While some black leaders like Jesse Jackson would not agree, Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, goes even further: “The most obvious practitioner of racism in the United States today is Planned Parenthood, an organization founded by the eugenicist Margaret Sanger and recently documented as ready to accept money to eliminate black babies.”
Ryan Bomberger, a young rising star in the black pro-life movement, echoes the sentiment. His TooManyAborted project uses video to expose “Planned Parenthood’s history of eugenic racism and unaltered present.”
Snyder’s memo went on to complain that Diss was overheard “telling students in the hallway that PPCW was going to talk to them about abortion and students were intimidated to the point that none of them signed up for the class.”
Planned Parenthood records show the organization committed over 332,000 abortions last year, estimated to be one-third of its total clinic revenues. The national abortion ratio by race is 300 percent higher for African Americans.
After that day, Diss says Planned Parenthood was allowed to monitor his class for the next two weeks and he has been monitored almost 40 times by Campbell, Vice Principal Jeandre Carbone, Frank Scotto of human resources, and even Planned Parenthood management.
Diss says he has been subjected to over a dozen hearings. On November 14, 2013, Portland schools will bring formal charges that Diss is unfit to teach. The formal hearing is meant to end his career.
One of the charges brought against him includes talking about premarital sex, sexual purity, and abortion in his math and computer science classes.
Do these educators know how to spell i-r-o-n-y?
While Planned Parenthood hopes to get Diss’s teaching credentials revoked, the Portland Association of Teachers has hired lawyers to protect Diss’ First Amendment rights.
Upon hearing of Diss’ troubles, a former student wrote the school: “Mr. Diss has done a lot for me and my family and there is no way that we could ever repay him. I believe that the world is in desperate need of good, honest people. If Mr. Diss gets his teaching license revoked, then that will only take another good source of help from the students.”
The grateful former student concluded, “This is all despite the fact that he and I have different points of view on Planned Parenthood.”
Jim Sedlak of STOPP.org, recognized as the leading national expert on Planned Parenthood, said, “Planned Parenthood is ruthless. This is about political power, not the truth, the children, or good teachers. They will no doubt pack the hearing with pro-choice activists to sway the outcome.”
The attorney representing Diss agrees, saying that it is imperative that families and teachers who support his civil rights attend. She believes that Diss is being persecuted for his religious beliefs. The hearing will be conducted at the headquarters of Portland public schools at 501 N. Dixon Street in Portland, Oregon, beginning at 4 p.m. on November 14.
Mr. Diss told Common Sense in an e-mail:
“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.
“[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. 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.
At press time, Campbell, Carbone, Smith and Scotto have not replied to phone calls or e-mail requests for comment.
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