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mnodonnell

David Paszkiewicz should be fired

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O'Donnell didn't get the memo.

I don't feel like letting O'Donnell post his claptrap without an opposing view.  Is that OK with you?  ;)

True.  And I forgive Matthew for overstepping the line.

Regardless, O'Donnell is now here doing exactly that.

Huh?

Convince O'Donnell and you'll convince me.  :)

69587[/snapback]

Matthew crossed the line how?

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Excuse me,

69583[/snapback]

There's no excuse for you, but I'll keep reading anyway. ;)

but Paszkiewicz put himself and his own family's livelihood in danger with his high levels of incompetence, irresponsibility, and dishonesty. He has no one to blame for any and all consequences of his 'teaching methods' but himself.

69583[/snapback]

I thought you'd have a kneejerk reaction to this, thanks for not disappointing me.

If the only thing keeping one from getting fired is that the public at large isn't aware what one is doing while on the job, then it's obvious that person has no business holding the position he or she does.

69583[/snapback]

Well, thanks to Matthew, now the public at large is aware of what he was doing, and he wasn't fired. Hmmmm. Well, there goes that argument out the window.

But considering how blatantly obvious it was on the recordings (and Paszkiewicz's tone suggests anything but him being new to having this type of conversation with students), and the fact that a grand total of one student in that class said anything, that actually makes it seem more likely that this is an ongoing thing. When you have classes full of students who don't make the slightest complaint about the stuff on those recordings, it says something--at the very least, it strongly suggests familiarity.

69583[/snapback]

You're completely missing the point. So, as you love to state ... I say prove it. Show me his disciplinary records where he was ever warned, reprimanded or disciplined for preaching in class. Until you can do that, you can speculate all you like about whether it was done before, but you can't prove a thing. That's the dilemma facing those who needed to decide whether or not he should keep his job. You can call for his head all you like - but when impartial ... I repeat, impartial ... individuals have to sit down and evaluate whether to end someone's career, they need a little something called proof before them. While there is ample proof that he made statements in class, there is NO proof on the record that he ever made them before.

Also, considering that Paszkiewicz tried to lie his way out of the statements Matthew recorded him saying, and would have succeeded was he not recorded, who knows if another student complained, but without irrefutable evidence like Matthew had, was simply ignored in a he-said-she-said situation? Regardless, even as a 'first offense,' it is so far over the line in so many ways.

69583[/snapback]

Again, prove that someone else complained. You can't. So please either get the proof or stop saying it.

And when you say 'first offense' are you discussing his statements in class, or his conduct afterwards? Two very different issues. The former I think is excusable for the reasons in the prior post. The latter is more troubling to me, but there is one problem, and that is the word "lie". If I state that he "lied," it presupposes that I know his mental state when he made the statement ... which makes me Kreskin). Unless I am absolutely sure that he "lied" I have to at least entertain the possibility that he simply misspoke. I'm not saying probability, I'm saying possibility.

You're dealing with a family's livelihood here ... and if you're going to end it on one incident, you better be darn sure that it was a lie, not a misstatement. If I'm a betting man, I'm going with the former. But if I have to evaluate the incident impartially, I'm not willing to chop off a head on what I "think" to be true.

Again, I really think how far over the line he went negates any 'first time' leniency that would otherwise be reasonable.

69583[/snapback]

Well, fortunately for society you are not the arbiter of potentially career-ending first time mistakes.

then, in a later class, he complained about having to watch what he said because he feared his words would be twisted around--that was a less-than-subtle (not to mention completely dishonest, considering Matthew's proof was literally verbatim recording of the man's own words), completely unprofessional jab at Matthew. No humility there. No sign that he didn't know he did something wrong (if he thought he did nothing wrong, why would he lie about it? That's the million-dollar question for the 'benefit of the doubt' argument).

69583[/snapback]

Again, you are jumping to conclusions about scienter about which you have no solid proof. You do not KNOW that he lied. I guess that's the million-dollar answer to your million-dollar question.

Not only did Paszkiewicz not merely 'make a mistake,' he made several mistakes, displayed gross incompetence of his own subject, and flatly lied in an attempt to cover up his actions.

Paszkiewicz has done plenty to show that this was no simple 'oops.' It happened in several consecutive classes, and (can't emphasize this enough) he lied about what he said. There is no way one can look at all that and convince anyone this was all some 'honest mistake.'

69583[/snapback]

I can't emphasize this enough, you cannot prove his scienter. Again, you presuppose that he remembered EXACTLY what he said during a discussion on one of the first days of class. He was not asked to go under oath and make firm statements about what he actually said, and then contradicted those statements afterwards.

And before that knee jerks again, I really do THINK that the guy probably lied. However, when we're talking about someone having to make the decision to euthanize a person's entire career and livelihood - the person at the switch needs to do more than think it. And if they pulled the switch prior to KNOWING it, you can be sure that Mr. P and the teacher's union would have filed lawsuits that would have cost the townspeople far more in taxes than the original incident EVER could have done. Moreover, you make a martyr out of the guy which - much to his credit - Paul seemed to understand. This whole thing would have swung from being about Matthew trying to uphold the Constitution to being about whether a teacher was wrongly terminated.

Again, you are trying very hard to trivialize his actions, but they are far too deliberate to be explained away so easily.

69583[/snapback]

Who says I'm trying to trivialize his actions. All I'm stating is that someone shouldn't be fired without at least a warning that his conduct was out of bounds. Now he knows. If it happens again, fire him.

I think a math teacher only has to say that they think 1 + 1 = 5 once (ignoring something like a slip of the tongue, smartasses :)) to put their job in serious danger. Why should it be any different for a history teacher? His incompetence by itself is enough reason to cost him his job. He doesn't know his US history, period, and neither do all the students who weren't even aware that Paszkiewicz was doing anything wrong.

69583[/snapback]

This wasn't math - which is rooted in fact. This is history, which is rooted in (at best) opinion. And do you really know if Mr. P "knows" his US history? Have you tested him? No, I venture to say that you did not. So your statement that he is incompetent in US history not only goes against the State - who tested and certified him, but it also appears to be coming from a part of your body closer to the daisy - geographically speaking - than where your mouth resides.

His statements - in sidebar discussions in the first couple of class hours of the school year - went to science (which he does not teach). Does he understand evolution? Heck no. Does he think that dinosaurs were on the ark? Heck yes (although you can't "prove" that they weren't). But neither of those issues are US history (unless you are willing to concede that the ark was real, and landed somewhere within the geographical borders of the United States).

More on point - is his understanding of the Establishment Clause - at best - a little hazy? Sure it is. But didn't you see the Robert Wuhl special when he highlighted that the phrase "in order to form a more perfect Union" is grammatically incorrect? If the great Thomas Jefferson can slip up now and then, shouldn't we be able to overlook a mistake from someone not charged with actually drafting the Constitution?

Again, he has been warned now - if he does it again, we'll all sign a petition that allows you to pull the string on the guillotine.

People will most often point their fingers at the teachers first when it comes to kids not being learned in a subject. But what can you expect, when incompetent teachers like Paszkiewicz are being defended like this? GIGO.

69583[/snapback]

Defending someone's actions and merely stating that a hasty termination of a family's livelihood is ill-advised are two separate things. I'm not defending his actions. I am, however, suggesting that proportion and restraint are appropriate ANY time you're dealing with a family's livelihood.

I don't know - maybe you aren't supporting a family so you have no understanding of how important it is to provide for them. If that's the case, I can excuse your ignorance in this matter, but I will never agree with you and perhaps - just perhaps - you might want to acknowledge that you're talking out of school on the subject.

Mr. P made mistakes in this matter - a lot of them. Paul is ensuring that they are being corrected appropriately. In my estimation, Paul's refusal to call for Mr. P's job shows both a tremendous amount of restraint, AND a highly intuitive understanding of strategy. Or maybe it's just that he's also a daddy and he gets the importance of the role.

In any event, feel free to condemn his actions all you like, but I think that fairness and justice dictate that Mr. P is appropriately still employed and, hopefully, much wiser for the wear.

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Excuse me, but Paszkiewicz put himself and his own family's livelihood in danger with his high levels of incompetence, irresponsibility, and dishonesty.
Cite me lying, and prove the statement is a lie; I dare you. Put up or shut up.

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...ic=16892&st=20#

So that's how that works. ;)

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The belief that Jesus Christ is humankind's personal lord and savior, and the only path to eternal salvation.  See John 3:16.

Regarding science: placing dinosaurs (or anything, for that matter) on Noah's Ark.  Injecting religious scripture into a public high school curriculum would be a violation of the Constitution's Establishment Clause.

I think it's safe to say that Matthew LaClair as not comfortable in Mr. Paszkiewicz's classroom.  Suggesting that Muslim's will go to hell for their beliefs could potentially make some Muslim students uncomfortable.

Concerned rationalist.

69415[/snapback]

Michael, I speak for many people in thanking you for posting what most of us have been thinking. The Board's failure to fire Paszkiewicz, not just for proselytizing in class, but for lying about it at his student's expense, should have resulted in immediate termination. By failing to fire him, and circling the wagons around the teacher at the student's expense, they neglected their duty and embarrassed themselves.

I am also very impressed by your intelligence and self-awareness. Your self-description as a "concerned rationalist" is the perfect response to Bryan's childish comebacks, not least because the content of your posts shows that you are exactly what you say you are.

Please understand, if you're going to try to discuss anything with Bryan, that none of this means anything to him. He is perhaps the least objective person I've ever encountered.

If, for example, you stated that the sky appears blue to the human eye (and he wished to believe that the sky appears yellow), he would insist that you justify your statement with a complete molecular analysis of the several layers of the atmosphere and a complete anatomical and functional description of the human eye, brain and neurological system. And even if you provided the same, he would still insist that science is entirely subjective, therefore his claim that the sky is yellow is as meritorious as your statement that the sky appears blue. In other words, you are held to rigorous scrutiny on all points, far beyond the bounds of reason, while he is held to no standard or accountability at all. You are intellectually responsible to the nth degree for your every word, while Bryan is responsible for nothing; if he says it, then it is true.

The fact that David Paszkiewicz was engaged in sustained proselytizing to a classroom full of teenagers in a public school means nothing to him. He desires that state of affairs, therefore in his mind (such as it is), it is justified on all counts.

In other words, trying to have a discussion with Bryan is like trying to talk to a brick wall. He will not appreciate what you've said, but reasonable people do. Again, thank you.

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Guest Guest_Curious in VA_*

Defending someone's actions and merely stating that a hasty termination of a family's livelihood is ill-advised are two separate things. I'm not defending his actions. I am, however, suggesting that proportion and restraint are appropriate ANY time you're dealing with a family's livelihood.

I don't know - maybe you aren't supporting a family so you have no understanding of how important it is to provide for them. If that's the case, I can excuse your ignorance in this matter, but I will never agree with you and perhaps - just perhaps - you might want to acknowledge that you're talking out of school on the subject.

Mr. P made mistakes in this matter - a lot of them. Paul is ensuring that they are being corrected appropriately. In my estimation, Paul's refusal to call for Mr. P's job shows both a tremendous amount of restraint, AND a highly intuitive understanding of strategy. Or maybe it's just that he's also a daddy and he gets the importance of the role.

In any event, feel free to condemn his actions all you like, but I think that fairness and justice dictate that Mr. P is appropriately still employed and, hopefully, much wiser for the wear.

69605[/snapback]

Curious in VA checking in...for some reason I can't log in at the moment....

I apologize for only taking a piece of the Guest's reponse, but I think that this piece contained a very valid point (except for the "You aren't supporting a family" and "daddy" comments) on a first offense (depending on the offense of course). If there had been other complaints or if the teacher was written up for other issues, this could have resulted in a termination. I am sure that the parties involved in this case did evaluate if there were grounds for termination, but it determined that coaching and corrective actions were appropriate instead. I am sure that if this was a documented habitual behavior the outcome may have been different and it would not have gotten the publicity this situation garnered.

As I have said before I believe there were many lessons learned on each side of the issue, but we are now all playing "armchair quarterback" to a situation that was addressed to the satisfaction of all parties involved.

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Who gets no pass on this one?

Are you supposed to get a pass on the fact that you apparently just gave up on supporting your arguments in favor of just insisting that you're correct?

Paszkiewicz is the one that does not get the pass.

The back-and-forth we were having was an endless stream of rhetoric between the two of us. I was re-focusing the discussion.

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The man is a youth pastor. He brought that aspect of his private life into a public school classroom. You know it. I know it.

Ah, the old proclaim your position correct technique.

Never saw that one before.

Are you bored?.

69591[/snapback]

After reading your post, yes.

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Paszkiewicz is the one that does not get the pass.

Thanks for the clarification.

The back-and-forth we were having was an endless stream of rhetoric between the two of us.  I was re-focusing the discussion.

69683[/snapback]

In other words, you're too cowardly to try to back up the smears you published.

Name the supposed lies Paszkiewicz "inculcated."

Nice dodge. You won't back up the very accusation from which Paszkiewicz doesn't get a pass.

Way to keep to the topic there, O'Donnell.

:o

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Thanks for the clarification.

In other words, you're too cowardly to try to back up the smears you published.

Name the supposed lies Paszkiewicz "inculcated."

Nice dodge. You won't back up the very accusation from which Paszkiewicz doesn't get a pass.

Way to keep to the topic there, O'Donnell.

:o

69693[/snapback]

Wow! You are such a d**k!

KOTW Note: The above post was edited for content.

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In other words, you're too cowardly to try to back up the smears you published.

My words speak for themselves -- there is no need to re-interpret them. If I was a coward I would have posted under a pseudonym.

Nice dodge. You won't back up the very accusation from which Paszkiewicz doesn't get a pass.

My accusations are crystal clear. If you do not understand them by this point, it's time to bow out of the discussion.

Way to keep to the topic there, O'Donnell.

I am keeping it focused. This is not about you and I, or debating ability, or rhetoric, or Matthew LaClair. This is about the education of high school students and what is and is not appropriate to discuss in a classroom setting.

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My words speak for themselves -- there is no need to re-interpret them.

I don't think you think you were being a coward, so the translation was very probably required.

If I was a coward I would have posted under a pseudonym.

As though not using a pseudonym somehow makes it impossible for you to be free of cowardice?

The issue is there for all to see (so long as they're Internet-connected): You made an accusation and you haven't backed it up (cowardice).

My accusations are crystal clear.  If you do not understand them by this point, it's time to bow out of the discussion.

:lol:

Yes, the accusation is crystal clear, just like if I accuse you of literally being Osama bin Laden.

But is there evidence in support of the accusation? No. No evidence in either case. And that's the issue that you've dodged yet again (in a cowardly manner, if I do say so).

I am keeping it focused.

Right. Focused on making the accusation regardless of the evidence (the type of thing a coward would do).

This is not about you and I, or debating ability, or rhetoric, or Matthew LaClair.  This is about the education of high school students and what is and is not appropriate to discuss in a classroom setting.

69720[/snapback]

:o

A minute ago it was about you not letting Paszkiewicz off for lying about whatever it is you think he lied about (the thing you won't specify that results in you looking like a coward even by your real name).

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I don't think you think you were being a coward, so the translation was very probably required.

As though not using a pseudonym somehow makes it impossible for you to be free of cowardice?

The issue is there for all to see (so long as they're Internet-connected):  You made an accusation and you haven't backed it up (cowardice).

:lol:

Yes, the accusation is crystal clear, just like if I accuse you of literally being Osama bin Laden.

But is there evidence in support of the accusation?  No.  No evidence in either case.  And that's the issue that you've dodged yet again (in a cowardly manner, if I do say so).

Right.  Focused on making the accusation regardless of the evidence (the type of thing a coward would do).

:rolleyes:

A minute ago it was about you not letting Paszkiewicz off for lying about whatever it is you think he lied about (the thing you won't specify that results in you looking like a coward even by your real name).

69763[/snapback]

I guess that means you do not understand. We'll carry on without you.

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I don't think you think you were being a coward, so the translation was very probably required.

As though not using a pseudonym somehow makes it impossible for you to be free of cowardice?

The issue is there for all to see (so long as they're Internet-connected):  You made an accusation and you haven't backed it up (cowardice).

:lol:

Yes, the accusation is crystal clear, just like if I accuse you of literally being Osama bin Laden.

But is there evidence in support of the accusation?  No.  No evidence in either case.  And that's the issue that you've dodged yet again (in a cowardly manner, if I do say so).

Right.  Focused on making the accusation regardless of the evidence (the type of thing a coward would do).

:rolleyes:

A minute ago it was about you not letting Paszkiewicz off for lying about whatever it is you think he lied about (the thing you won't specify that results in you looking like a coward even by your real name).

69763[/snapback]

He lied about what he said....you d**k!

KOTW Note: The above post was edited for content.

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I guess that means you do not understand.  We'll carry on without you.

69785[/snapback]

No surprise, when your only other alternative is to support your claims.

Anybody else find it interesting that he's willing to accuse Paskiewicz of lying but refuses to provide specifics?

Cite me lying, and prove the statement is a lie; I dare you. Put up or shut up.

Heh. Carry on, coward.

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No surprise, when your only other alternative is to support your claims.

Anybody else find it interesting that he's willing to accuse Paskiewicz of lying but refuses to provide specifics?

Cite me lying, and prove the statement is a lie; I dare you. Put up or shut up.

Heh. Carry on, coward.

69804[/snapback]

Bryan, be careful when you lump quotes together. I do not speak for Strife, and Strife does not speak for me.

It strikes me as a cowardly maneuver.

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I'm interested to hear what the board thinks on these issues:

1. Should a teacher at a public school be restricted, in any manner, from straying from an approved curriculum? Are there any subjects (e.g. religion) that should be especially avoided or controlled?

2. If a student explicitly asks a question that concerns a restricted topic (as you have judged in question #1), how should the teacher respond?

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Anybody else find it interesting that he's willing to accuse Paskiewicz of lying but refuses to provide specifics?

69804[/snapback]

I don't find it interesting, since I listened to both the classroom recordings and the recording from the meeting in Somma's office. In the meeting in Somma's office, Paszkiewicz denied that he ever said "you belong in hell," even though he did. That is not a statement someone would forget making, unless he says it all the time, in which case he was lying about that. Either way, he was lying. He made numerous statements about things he supposedly did say, which were blatantly false per the classroom recordings, and numerous denials of saying things he did say. He claimed, for example, that he immediately shut down the discussion regarding the Muslim girl, which is false - he shut down the discussion after he personally put in his two cents. So not only is he a liar, he's also a horse's ass.

As is Bryan.

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Heh.  Carry on, coward.

69804[/snapback]

Bryan, be careful when you lump quotes together.

What care do you want apart from the tags that clearly read "mnodonnell" and "Strife767" respectively?

I do not speak for Strife, and Strife does not speak for me.

Who said otherwise?

The point is that Strife went into huffy mode when he perceived an accusation of lying that wasn't supported with evidence. Strife went so far as to tell the one who was making the supposed accusation to "[p]ut up or shut up."

Now, it's certainly possible that Strife is a hypocrite and only those who accuse him of lying should be expected to support the charge--but should we assume that he's that kind of hypocrite?

If he's not a hypocrite, we could expect Strife to think that accusations of lying--even if they are made against somebody other than Strife--should be accompanied by supporting evidence.

And that's exactly where you're lacking, O'Donnell.

It strikes me as a cowardly maneuver.

69830[/snapback]

I suppose if you're asked for the tortured rationale you use to reach that conclusion that we'll just get the same runaround you gave when you were asked to support your charge against Paszkiewicz.

If you really don't understand why you'd be a coward for not supporting your charges that Paszkiewicz lied, maybe you should send a private message to Strife so that he can explain it to you.

Carry on with the unsubstantiated charges and the marginally successful bid to proceed without me, coward.

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I'm interested to hear what the board thinks on these issues:

1.  Should a teacher at a public school be restricted, in any manner, from straying from an approved curriculum?  Are there any subjects (e.g. religion) that should be especially avoided or controlled?

2.  If a student explicitly asks a question that concerns a restricted topic (as you have judged in question #1), how should the teacher respond?

69831[/snapback]

3. Should a teacher receive any sort of reprimand at all for addressing a "restricted" topic regardless of whether or not there was an employment policy establishing that restriction (see ex post facto)?

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I don't find it interesting, since I listened to both the classroom recordings and the recording from the meeting in Somma's office. In the meeting in Somma's office, Paszkiewicz denied that he ever said "you belong in hell," even though he did.

"I don’t remember saying that and I don’t think I would say that."

Apparently you don't remember what you heard very well.

That is not a statement someone would forget making, unless he says it all the time, in which case he was lying about that.

That's ridiculous. What made the statement difficult to remember was the way LaClair took the statement out of context. LaClair tried to make it sound like Paszkiewicz was spending time proselytizing when what he was actually doing was explaining (in response to LaClair's question) how Christianity deals with the problem of evil. That's a historical doctrine, but LaClair tried to make it seem like Paszkiewicz was just shoving his religion down the students' throats.

Either way, he was lying.

... said the anonymous guest who just finished misrepresenting what happened in the meeting.

"You did not say if you reject that then you belong in hell."

"No, I quoted John 14:6."

Paszkiewicz thinks he's being accused of proselytizing (because that's what LaClair is accusing him of doing, in effect). Thus, he thinks of times where, in his mind, he referred to salvation as such. In the context of the statement LaClair quoted, Paskiewicz was explaining a historical Christian doctrine, not preaching to the class.

He made numerous statements about things he supposedly did say, which were blatantly false per the classroom recordings, and numerous denials of saying things he did say.

Somebody apparently forgot that LaClair didn't exhaustively tape every single thing Paszkiewicz uttered. It would be stupid to conclude that Paszkiewicz didn't say something he said he said merely because it didn't occur on the tape.

He claimed, for example, that he immediately shut down the discussion regarding the Muslim girl, which is false - he shut down the discussion after he personally put in his two cents.

You'll link to the recording on which you heard that exchange?

So not only is he a liar, he's also a horse's ass.

As is Bryan.

69850[/snapback]

:rolleyes:

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I'm interested to hear what the board thinks on these issues:

1.  Should a teacher at a public school be restricted, in any manner, from straying from an approved curriculum?  Are there any subjects (e.g. religion) that should be especially avoided or controlled?

Well, sure. A teacher shouldn't be talking about his/her personal life in general--not on class time. I mean, okay, if the class is on or ahead of schedule as far as the curriculum goes, I wouldn't jump down a teacher's throat for having a bit of a 'normal' chat with his/her students in the tail-end of a class, but long-winded 'speeches' about truly personal stuff (like the teacher (Adamski, iirc) who apparently (as one student who wrote to the Observer claimed) went on about her depression and medication etc.) should be at least heavily discouraged.

Religion in particular, just by virtue of being such a contentious issue, should be a topic avoided by just about any teacher. I'm sure there are teachers out there fully capable of having such a 'chat' about religion completely objectively, but those are few and far between--most cannot divorce personal feelings from it, and it's better to not say anything than to risk crossing the line with something like that, especially when we're talking about 'extracurricular' (technically, I guess) interaction with students during the class time proper.

2.  If a student explicitly asks a question that concerns a restricted topic (as you have judged in question #1), how should the teacher respond?

69831[/snapback]

Well, if they don't want to respond, they can answer as they otherwise would. Otherwise, they should let the student know that it isn't an appropriate topic for class time and offer maybe to talk to the student(s) in question after school or something instead.

I know there are going to be people who disagree with me (by virtue of the fact that there are people here who will disagree with even the most obvious things (read: Bryan challenging statements about Paszkiewicz having lied)), so I'll ask in advance: what's so unreasonable about the above? Be specific, please.

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He made numerous statements about things he supposedly did say, which were blatantly false per the classroom recordings, and numerous denials of saying things he did say.

Somebody apparently forgot that LaClair didn't exhaustively tape every single thing Paszkiewicz uttered. It would be stupid to conclude that Paszkiewicz didn't say something he said he said merely because it didn't occur on the tape.

69859[/snapback]

Not necessarily. It depends on whether he specified when he said it, and whether that time was during one of the recordings. If he claimed to have said something in the course of a specific exchange, and that entire exchange is recorded, then it would be possible to falsify his claim.

Guest may not have been referring to something like that. But if it's reasonable to give Paszkiewicz an out based on the possibility that his claim might be unfalsifiable (and so long as it's a tentative out, I'd have to agree), is it not also reasonable to cut Guest some tentative slack on the possibility that he might be referring to something that is falsifiable?

I'm quite willing to grant that your having missed this possibility is most likely just a matter of having spoken before thinking through the permutations. Just a simple mistake, not stupidity. Don't you think it might have been a bit premature to presume stupidity on the part of those who failed to reach the same (and as it turns out, incorrect) conclusion as you?

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