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FOX hunts down Jay Bennish in an airport since he won't appear in the studio

Reported by Chrish - March 9, 2006

John Gibson , reporting on Colorado teacher' Jay Bennish today 3/8/06 on the Big Story, boiled the situation down to "the geography teacher who compared Bush to Hitler". FOX New' Carol McKinley tracked him down iat Denver International Airport for an interview on the run, as apparently Mr Bennish chose to give his NY interview to NBC. He continues to defend his remarks as taken out of context, and Gibson's further condensing surely doesn't help.

McKinley reported that the taped segment was only 20 minutes of a 50 minute discussion, and that Bennish regularly "throws out outlansish things to his students so they'll keep their minds sharp and get them to participate." If he's allowed back into the school, she says, he's not likely to change his style.

Actual video shows his words to be "Like I said I will continue to provoke critical thought and critical discussion; I will continue to present alternative perspectives and various viewpoints that exist, and I will try every day of my life to be a better teacher and become the best teacher that I can be."

Immediately following that video was some of Sean Allen, the student who brought the segment to the conservative media, seen in a FOX News studio: "I wouldn't say anybody's the bad guy. I feel like he's taken a lot of attacks, as well as me. I've taken a lot of attacks in the situation. But what I am confident in is that the school board will make the right decision on this situation."

McKinley says that since Bennish has spoken out publicly, the school district is being barraged with phone calls , and with so much potential new information coming in the decision on Bennish's fate has been postponed. Sean Allen's future is also up in the air; the student has been through so much over this in the last week he is going to transfer to another school.

Going back to Gibson, he says that he heard that Allen was being threatened by other kids at the school who supported Bennish. McKinley confirms this but adds that Bennish's father in another state has also been threatened.

Comment: The man's lecture has been shrunk down to an anti-Bush bumpersticker to get the far right riled, in case they've had a chance to calm down from whatever they were riled about last week. Left out again is his caveat, paraphrased by Judge Andrew Napolitano: 'You know? I'm not tellin' ya' what to believe. I'm not even saying if I believe this. I'm suggesting that you question authority and I want to stir the pot and I want you to think about these things.'

He's been suspended, his students miss him, his dad has been threatened; the kid has to change schools mid-year and that's never easy even under good circumstances. All this fallout because a teacher challenged tenth-graders to think about their world and that didn't sit well with someone. No thinking in school!

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