On Tuesday, school officials at Benson High School in Portland, Oregon removed 11-year veteran teacher Bill Diss from the classroom on and placed him on paid leave, reports The Oregonian.
The reason that Diss is getting dissed? To hear the math teacher tell it, school officials have singled him out because he is a devout Roman Catholic with a reputation for declaring his staunchly pro-life views.
Diss recently attempted to prevent two Planned Parenthood representatives from making a presentation to his class because, he said, they didn’t have suitable identification. They were at the school to play a role in a voluntary sex education course, according to local NBC affiliate KGW.
Apparently, the agents from Planned Parenthood were at Benson High because Planned Parenthood is one of the partners of the district’s Teen Outreach Program, which aims to prevent teen pregnancy as well as illegal drug use and dropping out.
Planned Parenthood’s participation is funded by a federal Department of Health and Human Services grant, notes The Oregonian.
Diss, who told KGW that he is “very much against contraceptive acts,” believes that incident was the final straw in a series of incidents.
“I certainly fight Planned Parenthood, which I certainly have a right to do,” Diss told the station. “And that was all on the outside, until this year when they brought Planned Parenthood in there.”
“It is much more important for the school to have Planned Parenthood at Benson than it is to have a teacher teach computer science and math,” he added.
This incident isn’t Diss’s first suspension-related rodeo, though. He told The Oregonian he has endured two suspensions just this year. The exact causes of those suspensions are not entirely clear, though they seem to be related to Diss’s outspokenness.
One letter Diss received from the Portland Public Schools cites “unprofessional, intimidating and/or harassing behavior.”
In December, Diss was one of the organizers of a large group protesting Planned Parenthood involvement in the Teen Outreach Program at a school board meeting.
“This is a chance to get healed so that filth doesn’t have to be handed to other people,” Diss explained at that time, according to The Oregonian.
District officials have also accused Diss of inappropriately talking about premarital sex, sexual purity, abortion and religion in his math and computer science classes — and in study halls.