The Reluctant Hero

Bill Diss was a friendly, quiet teacher at Benson High School in Portland, Oregon. Dedicated to his profession and to his students, he never sought the limelight or controversy. A good teacher, in most other ways he was, and is, a pretty average guy . . . except in one respect: Bill Diss is a man of character and principle.

In 2007 Planned Parenthood announced the construction of a new facility, the proximity of which would certainly draw Benson students into its web.

That is when Mr. Diss stood up for his convictions and for his students. . . “our precious children” he calls them. Believing that the presence of the proposed facility where unborn babies are killed would result in injury and destruction of lives of teenagers that he taught with skill and love, Bill was instrumental in organizing opposition to the construction of the facility. He and his comrades fought the good fight but ultimately lost that battle; the abortion plant was built. Life Legal Defense Foundation has told parts of the story of the subsequent harassment by the School District of this good teacher and principled man in previous communications, as have many national and local media outlets.

In September of 2012, Planned Parenthood, with the complicity of District administrators, sent representatives into Mr. Diss’ Study Hall/Tutorial class to recruit students for the Teen Outreach Program, an after-school sex education class. The TOP instruction teaches adolescent children about matters that destroy their innocence and encourage sexual acts that, in many cases, should be reserved for adults and in other cases are unfit for man or beast.

The District retaliated.

By March of 2013, after many efforts by District officials to document a case against him, most of which allegations were contrived, Bill Diss was suspended. The Planned Parenthood and District conspirators must have savored watching him being escorted from the building by police officers.

In December of 2013 he was fired.

When it was his time to step up to the plate, Bill Diss did not hesitate.

Now it is our time to step up. Although we are in one of the worst possible venues in the country, LLDF will file suit around the end of this summer against the District. The immediate challenge is to shed light on the darkness and secrecy surrounding the relationship between the District and Planned Parenthood, the power behind the District’s war on a good teacher and a quiet hero.

Many years ago, a wise man said: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” His teaching applies to our friend and client.

We call upon each of you to stand with us as we stand up for Bill Diss. Please keep us and our case in your thoughts and in your prayers. We will keep you informed as we stand together.

This battle is not over. It is about to begin.

[A short summary of Diss v. Portland Public Schools may be found in this issue’s ReCAP. More information about the Diss case may be found on Life Legal web site at Portland Schools Terminate Pro-Life Teacher and (video of news broadcast).]


This article originally appeared in Lifeline (Summer 2014).