Cherry Creek School District geography teacher Jay Bennish’s ordeal is over. Bennish has been reinstated with full pay. The school’s statement is here. I just received a voice-mail from civil liberties guru and lawyer David Lane, who represents Mr. Bennish (and CU Prof Ward Churchill) and he is very excited.

He reports: Mr. Bennish has been reinstated with full pay. Not one nickel will be withheld from his paycheck. He’ll be back in the classroom Monday. They feel wonderful. It is an excellent outcome. Lane is gratified that the Cherry Creek School District understands the primacy of the First Amendment. He’s only sorry that Mr. Bennis was pulled out of class for the investigation.

Congratulations to David and Mr. Bennish, and to those who cherish the First Amendment’s right to freely express yourself.

Also, praise to the Colorado Senate which yesterday nixed a bill Republicans introduced to try and make political hay of the incident:

The state Senate on Friday rejected a proposal authorizing schools to fire teachers who routinely present one-sided views in the classroom and instead agreed to a measure saying teachers who violate school policies can be dismissed.

“I think we are just trying to score political points based on what’s happening on talk radio, and I don’t think we ought to legislate like that,” said Sen. Peter Groff, D-Denver.

Another excellent take is this one over at TPM Cafe. Mike Littwin’s Rocky Mountain News column is also a good read.