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A student of uncommon courage

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I had thought this story was over on KOTW, but someone decided to comment on it again on the "David Paszkiewicz should be fired" topic and the senior play topic. The students involved in the play, and their teacher, should be given their credit without reference to anything else, so I'm posting this response on this topic instead.

Can't figure out why someone would post to say Matthew's "15 minutes of fame" are over, but that's up to them. Just as a hint, if you don't want to discuss it, stop posting on it. I had let a few things pass because the topic appeared to be dying out, but since you raised it again and obviously are still interested, I'll post an update.

Some people don't think Matthew's time on the stage is over. He has earned a national, and perhaps international, reputation as a student activist on church-state, science and education issues, and continues to receive correspondence from numerous organizations and individuals. All of his speaking engagements have been extraordinarily well-received. Nearly everywhere he speaks, several people express their hope that he will become involved in politics, and the reasons they cite almost every time are his honesty and his courage. I've heard at least a dozen people ask, only half-joking, if he might run for president someday. When he spoke at New York Ethical Culture (you have to know these people to get the point), there was a line of adults asking him for his autograph. You want to talk about it, I can talk about it.

On Thanksgiving weekend, a Kearny High alumnus from the 1960s, who had never met Matthew, visited us at our home because he wanted to meet Matthew. Last Friday Matthew received a plaque from the freemasons group in Jersey City, at the installation ceremony of their new officers. Last Thursday, he was invited to go to Abingdon, PA, on invitation from Ellery Schempp, who was filming a program for CNN; he was going to go but decided not to at the last minute because he wasn't feeling well enough and didn't want to miss school the next day. (Ellery Schempp was the Plaintiff in Abingdon School District v. Schempp, the 1963 US Supreme Court case on school prayer.) Next week Matt will speak to a group of students at Columbia High School in Maplewood, on their invitation. He has been invited to address the Westchester County Ethical Culture Society in the winter.

When Rev. Barry Lynn addressed the student body last week, as arranged by Matthew, we were privileged to drive him to the school. There is also a possibility that one or more groups involved in this story will be writing about it further. I'll be sure to update you if that occurs.

The Anti-Defamation League will finish the teacher training on these issues in January, and after that the teachers in the social studies and science departments will convey the material to their students. All except Mr. Paszkiewicz. Ms Wood, the department head, will be presenting the material in his classes. That is per our legally binding agreement with the Board of Education. Draw your own conclusions about that.

In February, Dr. Charles Liu of the Hayden Planetarium will present the last of three student assemblies, this one on cosmology (including the Big Bang theory) and science in general. That will conclude our arrangements under the settlement, but of course we can continue to discuss the issues here if you want to.

And of course Vic Losick continues to film for the documentary. Kearny residents haven't been eager to speak to him, but Rev. Lynn, Dr. Miller, Dr. Tyson and many others have. No telling what distribution it may get, but I'll be sure to let you know when it comes out in a year or so.

No doubt I'll be accused of re-opening the issue, but the fact is that several of these things happened within the past week or so, and I let them go to allow the topic to die out. But I tell you again, as I have been telling you for a year that this is not going to end on your terms. As long as you keep discussing it, so will I. Up to you.

77296[/snapback]

It has ended and Matthew "earned" nothing.

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I had thought this story was over on KOTW, but someone decided to comment on it again on the "David Paszkiewicz should be fired" topic and the senior play topic. The students involved in the play, and their teacher, should be given their credit without reference to anything else, so I'm posting this response on this topic instead.

Can't figure out why someone would post to say Matthew's "15 minutes of fame" are over, but that's up to them. Just as a hint, if you don't want to discuss it, stop posting on it. I had let a few things pass because the topic appeared to be dying out, but since you raised it again and obviously are still interested, I'll post an update.

Some people don't think Matthew's time on the stage is over. He has earned a national, and perhaps international, reputation as a student activist on church-state, science and education issues, and continues to receive correspondence from numerous organizations and individuals. All of his speaking engagements have been extraordinarily well-received. Nearly everywhere he speaks, several people express their hope that he will become involved in politics, and the reasons they cite almost every time are his honesty and his courage. I've heard at least a dozen people ask, only half-joking, if he might run for president someday. When he spoke at New York Ethical Culture (you have to know these people to get the point), there was a line of adults asking him for his autograph. You want to talk about it, I can talk about it.

On Thanksgiving weekend, a Kearny High alumnus from the 1960s, who had never met Matthew, visited us at our home because he wanted to meet Matthew. Last Friday Matthew received a plaque from the freemasons group in Jersey City, at the installation ceremony of their new officers. Last Thursday, he was invited to go to Abingdon, PA, on invitation from Ellery Schempp, who was filming a program for CNN; he was going to go but decided not to at the last minute because he wasn't feeling well enough and didn't want to miss school the next day. (Ellery Schempp was the Plaintiff in Abingdon School District v. Schempp, the 1963 US Supreme Court case on school prayer.) Next week Matt will speak to a group of students at Columbia High School in Maplewood, on their invitation. He has been invited to address the Westchester County Ethical Culture Society in the winter.

When Rev. Barry Lynn addressed the student body last week, as arranged by Matthew, we were privileged to drive him to the school. There is also a possibility that one or more groups involved in this story will be writing about it further. I'll be sure to update you if that occurs.

The Anti-Defamation League will finish the teacher training on these issues in January, and after that the teachers in the social studies and science departments will convey the material to their students. All except Mr. Paszkiewicz. Ms Wood, the department head, will be presenting the material in his classes. That is per our legally binding agreement with the Board of Education. Draw your own conclusions about that.

In February, Dr. Charles Liu of the Hayden Planetarium will present the last of three student assemblies, this one on cosmology (including the Big Bang theory) and science in general. That will conclude our arrangements under the settlement, but of course we can continue to discuss the issues here if you want to.

And of course Vic Losick continues to film for the documentary. Kearny residents haven't been eager to speak to him, but Rev. Lynn, Dr. Miller, Dr. Tyson and many others have. No telling what distribution it may get, but I'll be sure to let you know when it comes out in a year or so.

No doubt I'll be accused of re-opening the issue, but the fact is that several of these things happened within the past week or so, and I let them go to allow the topic to die out. But I tell you again, as I have been telling you for a year that this is not going to end on your terms. As long as you keep discussing it, so will I. Up to you.

77296[/snapback]

This will never die until you LET IT GO!!!

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Guest Kearny Senior
I had thought this story was over on KOTW, but someone decided to comment on it again on the "David Paszkiewicz should be fired" topic and the senior play topic. The students involved in the play, and their teacher, should be given their credit without reference to anything else, so I'm posting this response on this topic instead.

Can't figure out why someone would post to say Matthew's "15 minutes of fame" are over, but that's up to them. Just as a hint, if you don't want to discuss it, stop posting on it. I had let a few things pass because the topic appeared to be dying out, but since you raised it again and obviously are still interested, I'll post an update.

Some people don't think Matthew's time on the stage is over. He has earned a national, and perhaps international, reputation as a student activist on church-state, science and education issues, and continues to receive correspondence from numerous organizations and individuals. All of his speaking engagements have been extraordinarily well-received. Nearly everywhere he speaks, several people express their hope that he will become involved in politics, and the reasons they cite almost every time are his honesty and his courage. I've heard at least a dozen people ask, only half-joking, if he might run for president someday. When he spoke at New York Ethical Culture (you have to know these people to get the point), there was a line of adults asking him for his autograph. You want to talk about it, I can talk about it.

On Thanksgiving weekend, a Kearny High alumnus from the 1960s, who had never met Matthew, visited us at our home because he wanted to meet Matthew. Last Friday Matthew received a plaque from the freemasons group in Jersey City, at the installation ceremony of their new officers. Last Thursday, he was invited to go to Abingdon, PA, on invitation from Ellery Schempp, who was filming a program for CNN; he was going to go but decided not to at the last minute because he wasn't feeling well enough and didn't want to miss school the next day. (Ellery Schempp was the Plaintiff in Abingdon School District v. Schempp, the 1963 US Supreme Court case on school prayer.) Next week Matt will speak to a group of students at Columbia High School in Maplewood, on their invitation. He has been invited to address the Westchester County Ethical Culture Society in the winter.

When Rev. Barry Lynn addressed the student body last week, as arranged by Matthew, we were privileged to drive him to the school. There is also a possibility that one or more groups involved in this story will be writing about it further. I'll be sure to update you if that occurs.

The Anti-Defamation League will finish the teacher training on these issues in January, and after that the teachers in the social studies and science departments will convey the material to their students. All except Mr. Paszkiewicz. Ms Wood, the department head, will be presenting the material in his classes. That is per our legally binding agreement with the Board of Education. Draw your own conclusions about that.

In February, Dr. Charles Liu of the Hayden Planetarium will present the last of three student assemblies, this one on cosmology (including the Big Bang theory) and science in general. That will conclude our arrangements under the settlement, but of course we can continue to discuss the issues here if you want to.

And of course Vic Losick continues to film for the documentary. Kearny residents haven't been eager to speak to him, but Rev. Lynn, Dr. Miller, Dr. Tyson and many others have. No telling what distribution it may get, but I'll be sure to let you know when it comes out in a year or so.

No doubt I'll be accused of re-opening the issue, but the fact is that several of these things happened within the past week or so, and I let them go to allow the topic to die out. But I tell you again, as I have been telling you for a year that this is not going to end on your terms. As long as you keep discussing it, so will I. Up to you.

77296[/snapback]

I doubt that anyone is reading your posts anymore, I stopped a long time

ago. But hey, if you want to keep talking about junior, knock yourself out.

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I had thought this story was over on KOTW, but someone decided to comment on it again on the "David Paszkiewicz should be fired" topic and the senior play topic. The students involved in the play, and their teacher, should be given their credit without reference to anything else, so I'm posting this response on this topic instead.

Can't figure out why someone would post to say Matthew's "15 minutes of fame" are over, but that's up to them. Just as a hint, if you don't want to discuss it, stop posting on it. I had let a few things pass because the topic appeared to be dying out, but since you raised it again and obviously are still interested, I'll post an update.

Some people don't think Matthew's time on the stage is over. He has earned a national, and perhaps international, reputation as a student activist on church-state, science and education issues, and continues to receive correspondence from numerous organizations and individuals. All of his speaking engagements have been extraordinarily well-received. Nearly everywhere he speaks, several people express their hope that he will become involved in politics, and the reasons they cite almost every time are his honesty and his courage.

77296[/snapback]

Ah, yes, the honesty of telling the principal that he didn't know how he could prove what he claimed Paskiewicz had said while he sat with digital copies in his possession.

Great honesty, there.

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This will never die until you LET IT GO!!!

77395[/snapback]

He's not the one who keeps bringing it up. Was it Paul who mentioned Matthew for no apparent reason in the senior play thread? No, I don't think so.

Get your facts straight. At least Paul had the decency to, instead of responding where it would continue to be off-topic, to 'reply' in a topic where it would be on the original subject. It is Matthew's detractors that just can't stop whining about him, even this long after the fact; get it right.

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Guest Paul
This will never die until you LET IT GO!!!

77395[/snapback]

That depends on what you mean. Matthew has gained a reputation with some very well-connected people, so for him it probably will not end. If he can continue to contribute to society by his work in these fields, it will continue in that way, too.

The story will continue to be told for a long time, I suspect. That's not up to you, or me.

As far as what I think you're referring to, which is KOTW, I had let it go. That is a fact. Most of the things I discussed in my last post happened during a week when no one was commenting on this. As I said before (but obviously you do not wish to believe), I let them pass without comment here to let the story die here. However, when people raised the issue, I commented. That is what I will continue to do.

As his father, I am proud of him beyond anything I ever imagined (even before he was born) or have any right to expect. So for me, you're right, it will never die. This will be a source of pride for me and for Debra for the rest of our lives. That's not your concern.

However, and as I have told you before, the public discussion at KOTW and elsewhere will not end on your terms. I have already demonstrated that I am willing to let it die on these pages, but not while people keep posting about it. You can deny that because it's not what you wish to believe, but that is the fact, and I am the one who knows.

So if you don't want to keep the topic alive, stop discussing it. Barring something exceptional, I'll let it die here. But if you keep bringing it up, I will continue to comment. You may not like it, but that's how it's going to be.

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Ah, yes, the honesty of telling the principal that he didn't know how he could prove what he claimed Paskiewicz had said while he sat with digital copies in his possession.

Great honesty, there.

77548[/snapback]

Bryan, the dishonesty is yours. Matthew produced those recordings only a moment after he made the comment, which wasn't even as you characterize it. Obviously, the question/comment was meant to invite the principal to think about the power teachers have over students, and how a student is powerless unless he has some means to defend himself. There wasn't enough time between the comment and Matthew's production of the recordings for anyone to do anything beyond what had already been done, and in any case no one in that meeting should have been doing anything except telling the truth, including the adults who thought they held the power. Matthew's comment was offered to make a point, not to deceive anyone. Unfortunately, that point was, and obviously is, lost on those who do not wish to hear it.

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Bryan, the dishonesty is yours. Matthew produced those recordings only a moment after he made the comment, which wasn't even as you characterize it. Obviously, the question/comment was meant to invite the principal to think about the power teachers have over students, and how a student is powerless unless he has some means to defend himself. There wasn't enough time between the comment and Matthew's production of the recordings for anyone to do anything beyond what had already been done, and in any case no one in that meeting should have been doing anything except telling the truth, including the adults who thought they held the power. Matthew's comment was offered to make a point, not to deceive anyone. Unfortunately, that point was, and obviously is, lost on those who do not wish to hear it.

77623[/snapback]

You're wrong. It was the gotcha moment that Matthew has been after for years.

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You're wrong. It was the gotcha moment that Matthew has been after for years.

77662[/snapback]

Even if that were true, so what?

Would it diminish Paszkiewicz's wrongdoing in any way?

Would it diminish the wrongdoing by the administration and the school board in any way?

Would it diminish the failure of the other students to speak up in any way?

Would it change the fact that in order to do it Matthew had to stand down a lot of people, stand up to his own peer group and the school's administration, and persevere in the face of adversity?

I repeat: you have no basis for that statement, but even if it was true:

So what?

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Even if that were true, so what?

Would it diminish Paszkiewicz's wrongdoing in any way?

Would it diminish the wrongdoing by the administration and the school board in any way?

Would it diminish the failure of the other students to speak up in any way?

Would it change the fact that in order to do it Matthew had to stand down a lot of people, stand up to his own peer group and the school's administration, and persevere in the face of adversity?

I repeat: you have no basis for that statement, but even if it was true:

So what?

77700[/snapback]

What "basis" do you have to say that it isn't true?

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You're wrong. It was the gotcha moment that Matthew has been after for years.

77662[/snapback]

What a cheap shot. Matthew doesn't think like you do, happily for the rest of us. Instead of accusing him without any basis, why not accept the fact that you don't understand him? He's way past you.

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What "basis" do you have to say that it isn't true?

77769[/snapback]

Civilized people assume the best about each other, not the worst, unless and until there is evidence sufficient to raise doubt. In this case, there is no past pattern of conduct to suggest that Matthew was looking to "gotcha" anyone. He has exhibited no "gotcha" behavior in the past, nor any during this episode. He has been criticized for his political views, his refusal to stand for the pledge of allegiance, and probably for other things, but there is no "gotcha" in it anywhere. In fact, all the "gotcha" is on the side of his detractors, who have tried one thing after another to discredit him, only to be shot down at every turn.

The burden is on the one making the accusation of a base motive. In this case, there isn't a shred of evidence to support the accusation. Therefore, civilized people presume it to be false.

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What a cheap shot. Matthew doesn't think like you do, happily for the rest of us. Instead of accusing him without any basis, why not accept the fact that you don't understand him? He's way past you.

77792[/snapback]

Yeah, he's really out there.

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What a cheap shot. Matthew doesn't think like you do, happily for the rest of us. Instead of accusing him without any basis, why not accept the fact that you don't understand him? He's way past you.

77792[/snapback]

Is this the kid that wears dresses and doesn't like God?

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Civilized people assume the best about each other, not the worst, unless and until there is evidence sufficient to raise doubt. In this case, there is no past pattern of conduct to suggest that Matthew was looking to "gotcha" anyone. He has exhibited no "gotcha" behavior in the past, nor any during this episode. He has been criticized for his political views, his refusal to stand for the pledge of allegiance, and probably for other things, but there is no "gotcha" in it anywhere. In fact, all the "gotcha" is on the side of his detractors, who have tried one thing after another to discredit him, only to be shot down at every turn.

The burden is on the one making the accusation of a base motive. In this case, there isn't a shred of evidence to support the accusation. Therefore, civilized people presume it to be false.

77868[/snapback]

You don't know what you're talking about. There have been plenty of these incidents going back to when Matthew was at Lincoln School. He fancies himself a social crusader who likes to protect the rest of us sheep that don't know any better. He has been looking for a moment like this for years.

Why not just go to Somma and tell him my teacher is preaching in class and I have it recorded, here are the discs? I guess it isn't as dramatic.

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You don't know what you're talking about.  There have been plenty of these incidents going back to when Matthew was at Lincoln School.  He fancies himself a social crusader who likes to protect the rest of us sheep that don't know any better.  He has been looking for a moment like this for years.

So your answer to the claim that you're just throwing accusations without any supported evidence is...another baseless accusation. You know, you could have saved time and just said, "Yes, you're right."

Why not just go to Somma and tell him my teacher is preaching in class and I have it recorded, here are the discs?

The funny thing is that doing that would directly conflict with the people accusing Matthew of going 'over' Paszkiewicz. Matthew can never win--no matter what he decides to do, people like you will say he was wrong. Your bias is extremely obvious.

I guess it isn't as dramatic.

78132[/snapback]

1. There would be no drama (nor even an opportunity for it) if Paszkiewicz wasn't a liar.

2. The recordings were a precaution (which proved to be necessary). Apparently you never considered the distinct possibility that Matthew and Paszkiewicz would work things out in that meeting, and he wouldn't even have had to reveal the recordings at all if Paszkiewicz admitted his wrongdoing and offered to rectify the situation.

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You don't know what you're talking about.  There have been plenty of these incidents going back to when Matthew was at Lincoln School.  He fancies himself a social crusader who likes to protect the rest of us sheep that don't know any better.  He has been looking for a moment like this for years.

Why not just go to Somma and tell him my teacher is preaching in class and I have it recorded, here are the discs? I guess it isn't as dramatic.

78132[/snapback]

He did - and waited a month. Nothing happened.

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Bryan, the dishonesty is yours. Matthew produced those recordings only a moment after he made the comment, which wasn't even as you characterize it.

Are you breathing nitrous oxide or what?

Matthew made the comment during his meeting with Somma, Woods and Paszkiewicz. He had already made the recordings, for he had them with him. It is completely ridiculous and/or stupid to claim that Matthew has an excuse because he "produced" the recordings only after he made the comment, for plainly he knew how he could prove what he said he didn't know how to prove.

Matthew lied.

Obviously, the question/comment was meant to invite the principal to think about the power teachers have over students, and how a student is powerless unless he has some means to defend himself.

If that's what he meant then he should have generalized with something like "If you just take the teacher's word over mine then how could I prove my case without recording him in class?"

Matthew's language clearly dealt with a particular situation in which he (thought he) knew perfectly well how to prove his case.

He lied.

There wasn't enough time between the comment and Matthew's production of the recordings for anyone to do anything beyond what had already been done, and in any case no one in that meeting should have been doing anything except telling the truth, including the adults who thought they held the power.

So you're saying the lie was gratuitous. I'd agree with that.

Matthew's comment was offered to make a point, not to deceive anyone.

:excl:

The whole point of the office meeting from Matthew's point of view was to obtain comments about Paszkiewicz's teaching made under the assumption that the comments had not been recorded. That's why Matthew also recorded the office meeting. Taping someone without their knowledge is deceitful regardless of what the laws happen to be in New Jersey. You can excuse it if you like because you think it serves some higher purpose, but don't pretend that Matthew was not deliberately deceitful because you'll just end up deceiving yourself.

Unfortunately, that point was, and obviously is, lost on those who do not wish to hear it.

77623[/snapback]

Here's your black belt indicative of your mastery of unintended irony. Not that you'll need to actually wear it. Your skills will announce themselves.

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Here's your black belt indicative of your mastery of unintended irony.  Not that you'll need to actually wear it.  Your skills will announce themselves.

79805[/snapback]

Genius, pure genius ... if only you would use your powers for good instead of evil.

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