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mnodonnell

David Paszkiewicz should be fired

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When I choose to eat something it doesn't affect you.  When smokers smoke they affect everyone around them.  Because they are personality types that can't control themselves the government has to do it for them.  Like Paul says, they have to be put on the potty.

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Yeah, but it's different when you're talking about whether smoking's allowed in a private establishment, I think. Banning smoking in public places (and government buildings and stuff like that), fine, your reasoning is perfect. But no one is forced to patronize some business or another, so why shouldn't a business owner be allowed to decide whether or not he/she wants to allow smoking in that particular establishment?

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Guest Guest
I have my own health insurance. Do I have to give up my motorcycle too?

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No, as long as your motorcycle riding doesn't affect anyone els.

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Guest Keith-Marshall,Mo
Yeah, but it's different when you're talking about whether smoking's allowed in a private establishment, I think. Banning smoking in public places (and government buildings and stuff like that), fine, your reasoning is perfect. But no one is forced to patronize some business or another, so why shouldn't a business owner be allowed to decide whether or not he/she wants to allow smoking in that particular establishment?

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Thank you Strife. That's exactly what I meant. People either don't realize or care (which is far worse) about the precedents that we are setting. On another note, why is it that everyone wants smokers to quit yet the Dems new SCHIP bill (which I support in principal) will be paid for only by smokers?

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His religious and political bias? The following is a response to that comment.

http://www.evo.hr/cat/

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Nice try, but daddy already admitted that his humanist views were essentially religious and that he favored them as the default religion in government schools (and his political comments have been unmistakably polarized to the left).

If you think posting a picture of a cat gets him off the hook for religious and political bias then the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree in terms of critical thinking.

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Than man got busted, he denied it. What more do you need to know?

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Beyond the evidence that you've just given me that you aren't willing to provide evidence backing up your claim?

Not much, I suppose.

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His religious and political bias? The following is a response to that comment.

http://www.evo.hr/cat/

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If you do not like what is going on in your school, thank Matt LaClair and his dad. After all, he did say that someone threatened his life so this entire poem fits what the LaClairs have done to the schools in Kearny. And mostly since the Pledge of Allegiance and The Lord's Prayer are not allowed in most public schools anymore

Because the word "God" is mentioned....

A kid in Arizona wrote the attached

NEW School prayer.

I liked it. Please pass it on to whomever you wish.

New Pledge of Allegiance ! ”

Now I sit me down in school

Where praying is against the rule

For this great nation under God

Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,

It violates the Bill of Rights.

And anytime my head I bow

Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,

That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.

The law is specific, the law is precise.

Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall

Might offend someone with no faith at all.

In silence alone we must meditate,

God's name is prohibited by the state.

We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,

And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.

They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.

To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,

And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.

It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong,

We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,

Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.

But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,

No word of God must reach this crowd!

It's scary here I must confess,

When chaos reigns the school's a mess.

So, Lord, this silent plea I make:

Should I be shot; My soul please take!

Amen

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Guest fellow alum

The fact is, he's a really good teacher and the religious statements only came up in answer to provacative questions from one student, questions about how he felt about a topic, not about the topic.

I hope you never get fired because someone who doen't know the facts decides they don't like you.

I realize that this issue is old, and, as a result of the legal settlement, supposedly resolved.

However, I am shocked that this man is still teaching in any public school setting.  I am stunned that the town where I grew up and the high school where I was educated would allow this to happen.

The logistics of the recording and the popularity of Mr. Paszkiewicz are irrelevant.  Divorce yourself from the personal passions inherent to the case and consider that the teacher in question:

- Abused a position of authority to advance his personal beliefs;

- displayed incompetence for his position as evidenced by his teaching on science and ignorance of the U.S. Constitution; and

- by virtue of his personal beliefs, made his students uncomfortable in their own ethics and mortality.

This is grounds for immediate dismissal of Mr. Paszkiewicz.  Further, the Board of Education's mishandling of the matter should call their own positions into question.

I am not some liberal outsider swooping in to offer a tongue-lashing to the residents of Kearny.  I am a concerned alumnus of Kearny High School that realizes, had the events taken place 12 years earlier, I could have been caught in this crossfire.

Sincerely,

Michael O'Donnell

KHS '95

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Nice try, but daddy already admitted that his humanist views were essentially religious and that he favored them as the default religion in government schools (and his political comments have been unmistakably polarized to the left).

If you think posting a picture of cat gets him off the hook for religious and political bias then the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree in terms of critical thinking.

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To have the full experience, the sound on your computer must be on when you go to the link. Sorry I did not mention it before.

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Ummm ... excuse me Mr. Non-D**bA** ... but back in the dark ages when I went to Kearny High, classroom discussions did not take place in a multiple choice format.  I see where you are going, but again, this is waaaaaaaaaaa (almost done ) aaaaay oversimplified proposition and it ignores the ebb and flow typically involved in a worthwhile classroom discussion.

Now, if you are going to replace teachers with books on tape that are played in front of the classroom, you can rely on the fact that there will be no personal interjections, biases or opinions.  But when you're dealing with human beings - who may be unaware of their own biases and/or stereotypes - you have to accept a little "opinion transfer" during the "knowledge transfer".  And a little interjection now and then can be valuable additions to the education process.

To (hopefully) make my point, let's consider a hypothetical.  Assume that Matthew grows up and does the world a favor by getting into education .... shall we say a history teacher at KHS?  And let's further assume that, during a classroom discussion 20 years from now, a student asks Matthew whether dinosaurs were on Noah's ark.  And Matthew, in an unguarded moment, replies, "I just don't see it as being scientifically possible, but we're not really going to discuss that in this class". 

I'd venture to say that it's not part of the state approved curriculum even in 2027 - but should he be fired for crossing the line?  Seems like many - including yourself - are calling for a zero tolerance policy.  While not the D**bA** to whom you were replying, I would venture to say that this is a matter of degree and would not justify a termination.  Am I wrong (and believe me, I'm certainly open to being convinced otherwise, just no one has done so yet)?

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For starters, the post wasn't about how classroom discussions take place. It was about simple distinctions that any competent teacher should be able to make. So you completely missed the point.

Second, the law, which is what is at issue here, is based on these kinds of distinctions. I went to public school, too, and not one of my teachers ever pulled a stunt like Paszkiewicz did. And like most people I had some pretty good teachers. The ones who weren't good teachers weren't stymied by church-state separation; they just weren't good teachers. I've talked to quite a few people about this. No one, not one person, can remember hearing anything this blatant and this ridiculous in class, not even the students who went to religious schools!

Third, no one is suggesting teachers can't teach and interact with their students. In fact, the proof that good teachers have no problem with this distinction is that not one teacher in the Kearny school system has gotten into this kind of trouble in recent memory, maybe ever. And since Matthew has had plenty of teachers over the years, the reasonable conclusion is that those teachers know where the line is and aren't crossing it. The simple fact is that Paszkiewicz got busted because he had his own private agenda, which anyone with a little common sense would have realized was far, far out of bounds. He did it because he wanted to do it, and thought he could get away with it. Well guess what, Mr. teacher man got busted, and now it's time to pay the price.

Fourth, you seem to be completely oblivious to what a public school teacher may and may not do. Dinosaurs and humans did not co-exist. That's a scientific fact, and if Matthew or any other teacher conveys it to a public school class, he will be completely within proper bounds. What do you think Dr. Miller from Brown told the entire KHS student body on October 10, and why do you think he was allowed to have that forum? It's not a question of degree. It's a question of science versus superstition. The religious right doesn't like it, but the public schools teach science, not superstition; the mere fact that the fundies would like to babble superstition doesn't mean they get to do it.

Fifth, neither atheists nor theists may promote their religious views. Public schools must stay neutral on that subject. The mere fact that science (and history, for that matter) conflicts with some people's religious dogmas, does not mean that the schools must forego teaching that science.

Finally, it is ridiculous to suggest that only a zero-tolerance policy would result in Paszkiewicz being fired. His offenses were multiple:

1. Blatant and sustained religious proselytizing in class;

2. Complete departure from the curriculum for at least an entire week;

3. Promotion of anti-scientific nonsense in a school with a legitimate science curriculum;

4. Lying to his bosses in an attempt to foist his burden onto his student.

This wasn't a simple mistake. It was sustained indefensible conduct, purposefully done, and with no hint of remorse thereafter. That merits termination.

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I am not stating that Mr. P made "small" mistakes.  I am dealing from the perspective of the individual that has to decide if Mr. P loses his job.  So, let's look at the facts:

1.  There was no proof that he was a recidivist - his record was clear of any discipline for prior like statements.

2.  There was no final adjudication in a disinterested court of competent jurisdiction (or other labor, administrative or other governmental or quasi-governmental authority) that Mr. P violated Constitutional bounds.

3.  There is no definitive "proof" that Mr. P lied - there is supposition and ample evidence that he said one thing in the classroom, and said another in Mr. Somma's office.  However, he did not have the benefit of being able to review recordings of the classroom discussion, nor did he make any affidavit swearing that he never made those statements.  Accordingly, as scienter is an issue in determining lying, I only have hard proof of misstatements, not lying.

4.  He was under no legal obligation to protect Matthew.  He may have had a moral obligation, but not since the final episode of "Seinfeld" has violating the Good Samaritan rule been punishable.

Now, if you want to go with a "where there's smoke, there's fire" argument, that's your call.  BUT, I am not going to take on the teacher's union with this evidence.  Moreover, while you can characterize his conduct as being "egregious" and an "obvious" "blatant" violation" such that it warrants his immediate dismissal, you should at least acknowledge that your opinions are subjective, and reasonable minds CAN differ ... such as the Board of Education and administration who decided to keep him employed, as well as the LaClair family, who did not call for his dismissal.

Keeping the calls for Mr. P's head going at DefCon 5 really isn't doing anyone any good ... and it amounts to nothing more than an exercise in impotence.  How 'bout doing something positive instead.

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1. He admitted he has been doing this all the years he has been teaching there. He is an admitted recidivist.

2. The Board of Education is the adjudicator, had they chosen to do their job properly.

3. I heard the recordings, and I say he was lying. That's how these things get decided, by what a reasonable person armed with the facts would believe.

4. Moral turpitude on top of everything else is excellent grounds for termination.

There's a feeling that Paszkiewicz got away with it. He deserves no peace until he at least apologizes for what he did. He hasn't even done that.

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The fact is, he's a really good teacher and the religious statements only came up in answer to provacative questions from one student, questions about how he felt about a topic, not about the topic.

I hope you never get fired because someone who doen't know the facts decides they don't like you.

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That's just not true. Paszkiewicz brought up almost every one of those topics himself. Other students brought up a couple of the other religious subjects. Matthew asked some great questions, as he has every right to do, but he did not bring up any of the topics. You're just wrong.

Completely aside from that, it doesn't matter who initiates the disucussion. A public school teacher may not promote his religious views in class, even if his students invite him to do it. The student has every right to ask the question. To the extent that it calls for a religious opinion, the teacher has no right to answer it. He may not do it. Period. That's the law.

And from what I heard on those recordings, he is not a good teacher. He's a buffoon.

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Nice try, but daddy already admitted that his humanist views were essentially religious and that he favored them as the default religion in government schools (and his political comments have been unmistakably polarized to the left).

If you think posting a picture of a cat gets him off the hook for religious and political bias then the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree in terms of critical thinking.

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Some religions are secular. To the extent that they are, they overlap with our secular Constitution.

You're far too easy, Bryan. Go play with kiddies your age so you won't get hurt.

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And in the comment about what Paul said about the young lady on desk, he never did say it was wrong, did he?

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Really, Guest. Paul's analogy was completely dependent on that being wrong. He was using it as an example of something that was so blatantly and obviously wrong that no one reading could be so profoundly stupid as to have any difficulty recognizing its wrongness or the purpose of the analogy. It seems that he overestimated at least one reader.

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You can tell a post has little or no merit when it's got to be dressed up with colors and increased size. This post does not disappoint in that regard.

<snipped dopey chain letter, along with all of its window dressing>

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The fact is, he's a really good teacher

A "really good" history teacher would, you know, know US history. This joker thinks separation of church and state is a myth, for one thing. He is no better a history teacher than someone who doesn't know his/her times table as a math teacher.

and the religious statements only came up in answer to provacative questions from one student, questions about how he felt about a topic, not about the topic.

Absolute lie. Paszkiewicz introduced every religious topic himself.

I hope you never get fired because someone who doen't know the facts decides they don't like you.

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I'd suggest you're the one who doesn't know the facts, considering all of the false statements you made.

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Yeah, but it's different when you're talking about whether smoking's allowed in a private establishment, I think. Banning smoking in public places (and government buildings and stuff like that), fine, your reasoning is perfect. But no one is forced to patronize some business or another, so why shouldn't a business owner be allowed to decide whether or not he/she wants to allow smoking in that particular establishment?

70416[/snapback]

The business may be privately owned, but if it serves the general public then the government should be able to make laws to protect the public.

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That's just not true. Paszkiewicz brought up almost every one of those topics himself. Other students brought up a couple of the other religious subjects. Matthew asked some great questions, as he has every right to do, but he did not bring up any of the topics. You're just wrong.

Completely aside from that, it doesn't matter who initiates the disucussion. A public school teacher may not promote his religious views in class, even if his students invite him to do it. The student has every right to ask the question. To the extent that it calls for a religious opinion, the teacher has no right to answer it. He may not do it. Period. That's the law.

And from what I heard on those recordings, he is not a good teacher. He's a buffoon.

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Was the volume up when you were listining to the CDs?

I heard those CDs I heard the kids asking the questions.

What nonsense is this the children has the right to ask but teachers can't answer?

So why ask then?

What religion was being promoted?

In this case didn't Paul by forcing the school to bring ADL and the other buffoon to speak to the students promoting his religion? Because that was his goal. Yeh yeh you going to say he does not work at school. That is not the point. The point is that he did what you are actually accusing the teacher of doing. Paul had his religion promoted. The guy that spoke at the KHS had all the students captive. There was no DISCUSSION. There was no asking and answering question time. Only his view was heard. He was preaching.

Try to open your eyes and ears.

Go listen to the cds again and see the difference about what happen in that classroom. Compare the two.

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1. He admitted he has been doing this all the years he has been teaching there. He is an admitted recidivist.

2. The Board of Education is the adjudicator, had they chosen to do their job properly.

3. I heard the recordings, and I say he was lying. That's how these things get decided, by what a reasonable person armed with the facts would believe.

4. Moral turpitude on top of everything else is excellent grounds for termination.

There's a feeling that Paszkiewicz got away with it. He deserves no peace until he at least apologizes for what he did. He hasn't even done that.

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#1 - wrong, and you are mischaracterizing his statements. i don't like what he had to say either, but I'm trying to be impartial.

#2 - wrong, the board of education would have been the plaintiff in the matter of trying to terminate his employment, or would have been an additional defendant had Matthew pressed that his Constitutional rights were being violated.

#3 - so your opinion is how things get decided? since he is still working there, can you at least entertain the idea that reasonable minds can differ? because if you cannot, you have to entertain the idea that you may not be reasonable.

#4 - might want to check up on the definition of moral turpitude to be sure that a reasonable person would share your notion of what moral turpitude really is, and what apply that definition in this matter. again, i don't like that he hung the kid out there to dry, but you are really, really reaching.

He hasn't gotten away with anything. He has been appropriately admonished that this type of conduct is not acceptable and - from what I have seen - there have been no reports that he has continued making these statements in class. His misstatements that ran contrary to the curriculum are being corrected. He is under no legal obligation to apologize - and who are you anyway, the apology police?

Please, enough already. Sometimes you have to be wise enough to accept your victories as they come and walk away. Calling for Mr. P's head or an apology is a losing cause. You may choose to whine about this for the rest of your days, but isn't there something more productive that you can do?

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To have the full experience, the sound on your computer must be on when you go to the link. Sorry I did not mention it before.

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The audio added nothing to the rebuttal.

At least daddy makes his pathetic arguments with occasional rhetorical sophistication.

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Some religions are secular. To the extent that they are, they overlap with our secular Constitution.

You're far too easy, Bryan. Go play with kiddies your age so you won't get hurt.

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Awesome. "Guest" has found a loophole in the principle of religious neutrality. Secular religions may be favored by the government. Wasn't that the system favored in the old Soviet Union?

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Guest Guest
This wasn't a simple mistake. It was sustained indefensible conduct, purposefully done, and with no hint of remorse thereafter. That merits termination.

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Looking back on my days in the Kearny School system, a lot of teachers said a lot of things that could have gotten them in a lot of trouble.

I still think that your characterizations remain exaggerated at best, and your logic is flawed.

That being said, I wonder what it is that you cannot entertain the idea that someone can support Matthew, disagree with the teacher's actions, but thinks that the teacher's conduct did not warrant termination?

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Absolute lie. Paszkiewicz introduced every religious topic himself.

Here's Matthew LaClair introducing the problem of evil:

"But for example, wouldn't something like Noah's Ark be an example of a mistake by God?"

Tell us more about lying, Strife.

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The fact is, he's a really good teacher and the religious statements only came up in answer to provacative questions from one student, questions about how he felt about a topic, not about the topic.

A well-liked teacher, no doubt; but some of his statements call his competence into question. A firm grasp of the subject matter is essential, in my opinion.

I hope you never get fired because someone who doen't know the facts decides they don't like you.

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I hope so, too, although it's entirely possible. When likability is involved I'm not sure facts matter. Besides, he may be a perfectly wonderful man. I have family members that know him and like him quite a bit. However, I would like to see him fired and I do not even know him. I'm basing my opinion on the facts at hand, and nothing more.

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The business may be privately owned, but if it serves the general public then the government should be able to make laws to protect the public.

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That doesn't make any sense. Why doesn't the government close down all the fast food places, then? It would protect the public because that food is unhealthy, by your logic.

As I often say (more often in person than here, though), "freedom includes the freedom to be stupid." If the government is allowed to 'censor' some thing or another just because it's bad for people who do it (again, in a private establishment, anyone who didn't like it if it allowed smokers could patronize a competing establishment), that sets a very bad precedent.

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