An Oregon public school teacher says he’s on the verge of being fired because of his outspoken views against Planned Parenthood and abortion.
Bill Diss, who taught at Benson High School in Portland for 11 years, was placed on paid leave March 19 and recommended for dismissal, the Oregonian reported. That day, the math teacher said he was given a few minutes to collect his things and was escorted from school premises by police, according to the Christian News Network.
Diss is a staunch Roman Catholic and blocked two Planned Parenthood workers from entering his classroom in September because, he said, they lacked proper identification.
Planned Parenthood is a partner in the Portland school district’s Teen Outreach Program, aimed at preventing teen pregnancy, and funded by a federal Department of Health and Human Services grant, according to the Oregonian.
“I think, deep down, it’s because of my views,” Diss told the newspaper. “And that it’s much more important for them to have Planned Parenthood in the schools than to have a really dedicated teacher who really teaches math well and goes the extra mile and does a whole bunch with the kids.”
He was reprimanded for the incident and the workers were eventually allowed in to give a presentation aimed at preventing teenage pregnancy — though school district officials said Diss interrupted them.
In December, Diss helped organized a protest at a school board meeting against Planned Parenthood’s presence in the district, calling it “a chance to get healed so that filth doesn’t have to be handed to other people.”
Former students told KGW-TV Diss is known for sharing his anti-abortion views at school.
“He doesn’t do it a lot, but students do make fun of him for being against it and everything,” junior Ty’sha Harrell said. “When he does talk about it, he does have really good views and everything, sometimes he goes too deep into it. He brings religion into it.”
In one suspension letter provided to the Oregonian, school officials accused him of trying to block students from attending the Planned Parenthood program because of his religious beliefs and told them to “shut (their) mouths.”
“(Students) also quoted you as saying, ‘they would end up on 82nd (Avenue) and that they kill over a million babies every three years,'” the letter, addressed from school principal Carol Campbell and the human resources director, stated.
Diss told the newspaper there was a misunderstanding in the reference to 82nd Avenue, a known hub for prostitution, but admitted to talking about Planned Parenthood and his religious beliefs in class.
In a statement to KGW, the school district said it does 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,” the statement said.