PORTLAND - Administrators removed a teacher from Portland’s Benson High on Tuesday. Bill Diss is on paid leave and said he is in danger of being fired.
Diss said he’s taught in Portland schools for 11 years. In his personal life, he is a strong Roman Catholic with unwavering views on abortion.
The teacher said earlier this year he kept two Planned Parenthood workers out of his class because they lacked proper identification. They were apparently in the building as part of an optional class on sex education.
Diss is convinced that led to his ouster.
“Also I think that every act of sex should be open to life, so I would be very much against contraceptive acts,” Diss said.
“I certainly fight Planned Parenthood, which I certainly have a right to do. And that was all on the outside, until this year when they brought Planned Parenthood in there,” said Diss.“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.”
But is there more to it than that? Former students say Diss has a reputation for sharing his pro-life views at school.
“He doesn’t do it a lot, but students do make fun of him for being against it and everything," said junior Ty’sha Harrell. "When he does talk about it, he does have really good views and everything, but sometimes he goes too deep into it. He brings religion into it,”
She and her friend Pharoah Dawan' Fluker said they liked Diss as a teacher, but added that some kids have baited him.
The Portland Public School District issued a brief statement regarding Diss:
“We do not discuss the nature of personnel issues and actions out of respect for the individual. But I can tell you that we respect the rights of all employees to their own political, religious, social and other beliefs and affiliations and expect all employees to conduct themselves professionally in their work, most especially with students.”
Diss said he has done nothing wrong and will fight to keep his job.