Bill Diss has a passion for teaching young students. He has risked and sacrificed much of his life to make a difference in the lives of his students. Parents extol his efforts, and youngsters cherish his role as a mentor in their lives. Yet school authorities are making a grandstand effort to tar and feather him.
Mr. Diss’ teaching license is being challenged because he advises his students to make healthy choices that don’t include the agenda being forced upon students by Planned Parenthood and other agencies who promote “free sex” and similar agendas.
Mr. Diss—and indeed all teachers who genuinely care about teaching and empowering students with the ability to think, learn and live long and healthy, productive lives—need our help. If you live in the Portland, Ore., area, please attend the hearing Thursday, where charges are being brought against him. If not, please call or write the authorities to demand justice for Diss and his students and their families who appreciate him.
One student wrote, “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.”
My friend Paul Rondeau, noted columnist and commentator, writes in The Washington Times, “Bill Diss is an experienced, highly qualified and popular computer science teacher. On [Thursday], 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.”
Paul goes on to point out, “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 [Thursday].
“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.’”
So, my question is this: Why are school authorities trying to destroy Mr. Diss? Why was Planned Parenthood allowed to go in and audit Mr. Diss’ classes?
Feedback to Paul’s article is very telling, as a hearty repartee ensued from readers.
Reader A writes, “Mr. Diss brought his religion into the classroom. Mr. Diss’ religion belongs in his church.”
Reader B writes, “There’s a difference between you acting in accordance with your belief system, and you lecturing to a captive audience about it from a position of authority.”
Responding to Reader B, Reader C comments, “You mean like exactly what the PP reps were going to do ... without parents’ knowledge? The PP people who make a profit by encouraging youngsters to engage in sex and then give them abortions when sex is not the carefree recreation they promote when things don’t quite ‘work out.’”
Reader B responds, “‘[W]ere going to do’ So, we’re talking about something that didn’t happen? ‘profit by encouraging youngsters to engage in sex’ Do PP do that? Or is it our hormones that do that, and PP is just trying to facilitate information.”
Reader D then responds, “PP is trying to facilitate a market. Yes, choices that result only in ‘the choice’."
I was a teacher in a Georgia college for 19 years. I often faced persecution similar to that which Bill Diss is currently experiencing. I was ordered to stop telling the students the truth. I reminded my opposition that they couldn’t pay me enough to deceive my students.
Please, let’s pray for Bill Diss, his students and their families, and indeed all educators who are being attacked for exercising their constitutional rights of freedom of speech while their adversaries are being paid by our tax dollars to distribute condoms, easy access to abortions, harmful birth control products and deceptive propaganda that will stunt the intellectual and moral development of the generations to come.
Alveda C. King is the daughter of the late civil-rights activist the Rev. A.D. King and niece of Martin Luther King Jr. She is also a civil rights and pro-life activist, as well as director of the African-American outreach for Priests for Life. Click here to visit her blog.