Florida Pilot

A compendium of random thoughts from a former Washington Beltway insider who is now having a lot more fun flying small airplanes in Central Florida.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Geography or liberal politics

The Colorado geography teacher who spent a good portion of his class comparing George W. Bush to Hitler has apparently returned to work after an unpublicized settlement with the school district.

For some strange reason, this was characterized as a "freedom of speech" issue but that makes no sense. Surely the school management has the authority (actually responsibility) to specify the curriculum in enough detail to make sure that geography itself is covered. And, while geography can cover a wider range of issues that simple knowledge of capitals and location of mountains, the fact is that the National Geographic Society conducts periodic surveys that show that American students are well behind in basic geographic knowledge.

As far as I can tell, no one was attempting to restrict what Mr. Bennish could say outside of his classroom which, if it had happened, would be a free speech issue. In fact, the school district rules apparently are quite liberal in that they only required that both sides of controversial issues be presented. In the instant case, perhaps Mr. Bennish could have augmented his comparison of Bush to Hitler with a discussion about the symptoms of Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS), one of which is making senseless comparisons of Bush to Hitler.

Perhaps other liberal-minded teachers who cannot keep their case of BDS under control with medication or by other means will be a bit more cautious realizing that a motivated student can easily record a Bush-bashing lecture as in this case.


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