Shawnee Mission North teacher suspended for mentioning porn-film title in class, kids say

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- A teacher who has been a part of the Shawnee Mission North faculty for almost 12 years has been suspended, reportedly due to a comment he made about obscenity laws.

Ben Keech teaches American Government and according to one of his students, school leaders overreacted to a discussion and the memorable comment he made that was later taped to his desk as a sort of keepsake to learning.

"We were talking about the history of pornography how it used to have to be purchased at like Blockbuster, like at video stores," said Tanner Erb, a student. "He was talking about how one girl can walk in there and get 101 Dalmatians and you could walk in there, being a lonely adult male, and get a movie '101 Ways to Do your Mom' and how ironic that was," said Erb.

Erb told FOX 4's Shannon O'Brien that Keech encourages his students to write down funny or interesting quotes they hear in class, and then tape them on the front of his desk.

They are called "Keech Quotes". The quote about the "101 Ways to Do Your Mom" made it up there.

"Everyone got a kick out of it, everyone laughed and that’s the quote that she wrote down and put up on the desk," said Erb.

Since his suspension, Keech's Quotes have been taken down and replaced with encouraging messages from students.

Some parents who spoke to FOX 4 about the suspension think it's an extreme reaction, especially two weeks before school ends.

"At first I was thinking there was going to be more to the story. I kept thinking it had to be something bigger than this because it seems like a really minor thing to suspend a teacher over," said Taryn Heath, Tanner's mother.

"When we begin micromanaging everything our teachers say, then we are walking a really fine line. We begin to take out of education what they have to offer. The passion that they have to give to their students," she said.

Keech  has hired an attorney and is to report before the school board for a hearing.

School district officials declined to comment on the suspension, but did say Mr. Keech has been a teacher at Shawnee Mission North since July 1, 2002.

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