Thursday, October 24 2013 7:21 PM EDT2013-10-24 23:21:18 GMT
A journalism professor at the University of Kansas is under fire for his tweets about the National Rifle Association following the mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C.The Kansas State RifleMore >
A journalism professor at the University of Kansas is under fire for his tweets about the National Rifle Association following the mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC. He was suspended by KU on Friday. More >
OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -
A teacher at Shawnee Mission North apparently has been suspended, and students are fighting to get him back on the job.
Government teacher Ben Keech is quite vocal on social media, and his tweets apparently have not sat well with others along with controversial comments he made while in class. He is apparently facing a disciplinary hearing that could result in his termination.
He is popular with students, and about a half dozen students showed up Wednesday to protest any disciplinary action.
Some of the tweets appeared to be racially insensitive and insensitive about women. Supporters say they were jokes.
One student said Keech was discussing obscenity and pornography laws during a class on the U.S. government.
"He said a woman can go into a video store and purchase 101 Dalmatians but a lonely man can go in and purchase 101 ways to do your mom," the student said.
Some students say they hear much worse in the hallways.
Keech, who tweeted under the name @KeechQuotes, could not be reached for comment.
"You know a prostitute used to work at Chil-Fil-A [sic] if when she's done she says, 'My pleasure,'" Keech wrote.
He also wrote, "I love Hispanics who like to mow."
And earlier this month he wrote, "What do dirt and basketball have in common? Darker the better."
Students say Keech used his personal Twitter page.
"It's his personal page. If you don't like the stuff he posts, then you shouldn't be following him," one student said. "Honestly, students shouldn't be following teachers."
Other students concurred.
"He is very helpful. One of the most helpful teachers I've had and is just a really great teacher," senior Isaac Jonas said.
Jonas is one of several students who are praising Keech for his teaching style and dedication.
Former student Darcy Heck is also standing up for Keech.
"I was furious. It is ridiculous. He is like one of those teachers that helps you learn the subject and not just gives you paperwork," she said.
Heck started a change.org petition calling for Keech's reinstatement. So far, it has about 1,000 signatures.
The district wouldn't confirm that Keech is on leave. District officials told KCTV5 News that Keech is currently a teacher at Shawnee Mission North and that he has been with the district since July 2002.
Cliff Cohen, Keech's attorney, said the current concern about his conduct should be addressed appropriately by school district officials.
"Out of respect for the school district process, Ben will not have any public comment until the school district makes its decision," Cohen said.
It is believed that the district will take up Keech's fate on Monday.
Heck says if it wasn't for Keech, she wouldn't have graduated last year after she got pregnant.
"I didn't really want to go to school. I didn't want to go to any class. He had help me and talk to me and give me advice," she said.
That is why students say his presence on campus is needed.
"Having him as a teacher is really beneficial for both the students and the faculty," Jonas said.
Click here to see the petition seeking Keech's reinstatement.
Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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