11/19/2013 10:24:00 AM Teacher charges pro-life views behind pending dismissal
Catholic Sentinel photo by Ed Langlois
Bill Diss before he was suspended from work at Benson High School.
The math and computer teacher who refused to allow a Planned Parenthood program into his classroom is closer to being dismissed by Portland Public Schools.
Bill Diss, also pro-life director for the Knights of Columbus in Oregon, has been on administrative leave since March from his post at Benson High School. At a hearing Nov. 14 at the school district headquarters, the district, which includes Portland Schools Superintendent Carole Smith, recommended his dismissal to the school board.
Officials say they are responding to blunders in teaching and relationships, but Diss said his stance on abortion is what makes him a target.
Diss entered the public eye in 2007 by leading a campaign to block Planned Parenthood as a tenant on a city-owned block in Northeast Portland. He argues against abortion, but also against Planned Parenthood's stance on youth sexual activity.
Smith recommended that Diss be fired in May, but he requested a hearing to challenge the decision. The Nov. 14 meeting was presided over by Sascha Perrins, a regional administrator who works for Smith and is expected to carry her wishes to the school board.
Elizabeth McKanna, the attorney representing Diss, argued that he should have been placed on a remedial “plan of assistance” instead of being dismissed.