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mnodonnell

David Paszkiewicz should be fired

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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.

And I heard Paszkiewicz introducing the religious topics before anyone asked questions about them. You go ahead and try to cite from the recordings a time when Matthew asked a question, and it wasn't preceded by anything religious out of Paszkiewicz's mouth. Come on, let's see it.

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

So why ask then?

Because obviously the kids aren't aware that those discussions are inappropriate in a public school classroom, and the teacher (you know, the person in charge of classroom discussions?), especially one who had been teaching for a freaking decade and a half (!), should know that!

What religion was being promoted?

Christianity.

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?

(Do you even know anything about the person you're so readily calling a "buffoon?")

No. They spoke about separation of church and state issues, and about the difference between creationism (which is religious) and evolution (which is scientific). That is nothing but fact--nothing religious about any of the talks those people gave.

Because that was his goal.

Says you, with no evidence.

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.

No, he didn't.

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.

Preaching? Preaching what, exactly? What did that guy say that was religious? Be specific, hotshot.

No, it wasn't a discussion, because the students needed to be told several things which they as a whole obviously didn't know. Is there a discussion when a math teacher is instructing students on how to complete a square? No--the students are being taught something that they do not know--there really is no reason to get their input at that point.

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.

70591[/snapback]

I suggest you take your own advice.

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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....

I do not like what is going on at Kearny High, and I do thank Matthew LaClair for bringing it to light. However, I do not see why the LaClairs are always dragged into this issue. As far the issue at hand is concerned, they are irrelevant. It is not about what David Paszkiewicz was preaching to one student, it's about what he was preaching, and will continue to preach, to all students.

Regarding prayer in schools: students can pray all they want in school -- there are no restrictions. It is the school itself that cannot endorse religion and therefore cannot promulgate prayer.

On to the always fun topic of the Pledge of Allegiance: "under God" was added to the pledge in by Congress in 1954 -- it was not in the original pledge. It was in response to the anti-communist fervor of the McCarthy era. Contrary to popular (at least in some places) opinion, this is not a Christian nation and our code of law is not based on the ten commandments.

Besides, free countries should not require their citizens to pledge an allegiance to anything.

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Guest Keith-Marshall,Mo
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.

70584[/snapback]

NO! THAT IS BULLSHIT! If you don't like smoking don't go in there! It IS that simple.

I don't like how organized religion warps the minds of otherwise logical thinking human beings however I'm not running trying to outlaw churches, I just stay away and let them be because that is thier right. Before you say otherwise that is a perfectly applicable comparison. We (smokers) are just asking for the same consideration. When people go to basballgames or race tracks they enter at thier own risk knowing full well the potential dangers. No one is creeating laws against them.

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[/color]A kid in Arizona wrote the attached

NEW School prayer.

I liked it. Please pass it on to whomever you wish. [/color]

Sitting alone on his chair (which reeked of years of him),

The angry little man railed against all the ignorant people

Who could not see all things clearly, as he did

From his smelly chair in his tiny, windowless room.

He barely heard the sound of children playing just a few feet from him

Outside his walls.

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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.

70591[/snapback]

It's not nonsense. It's the law.

Paszkiewicz was supposed to be teaching a history class in a public school. The questions were irrelevant to the curriculum, and outside of the teacher's prerogatives to express an opinion. The students may ask, and discuss among themselves, but the teacher may not express his views on matters of religion. The reason is that he is the authority figure in the classroom, acting on behalf of the state, which may not promote a religion. That's the law.

Paszkiewicz was promoting Christianity, and in particular fundamentalist biblical Christianity.

The ADL trained the teachers on the Constitution. If you want to call respect for the Constitution a form of religion, you're free to do that, but it won't negate the legal obligation to follow the Constitution.

The only reason there were no questions of Ken Miller was that Mr. Somma cut short his first address at 45 minutes. It was supposed to last an hour. Go complain to Somma. Miller was prepared to take questions, stopped his presentation at 45 minutes so that he could do so. However, he did take questions in the second assembly.

Miller was not preaching. He was teaching science, and he did it properly. If you don't think so, complain about something specific he said. You'll find that he knows the material. He wrote one of the biology texts used at Kearny High, is highly respected by his fellow biologists, and has a national if not international reputation as such.

Wanna whine about anything else?

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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?

70592[/snapback]

It appears we have a disagreement. Many of us think Paszkiewicz got away with educational murder. As for respect for opposing views and letting it go, that cuts both ways.

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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.

70520[/snapback]

Thank you Paul LaClair. Spoken like a true lawyer. Now you are posting as a guest. How immature are you?

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The audio added nothing to the rebuttal.

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

70593[/snapback]

A laughing cat is about all the sophistication needed to respond to Bryan's incessant sophistry.

How's that for rhetorical sophistication, bonehead?

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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]

These technical arguments are all sound, but I come down in favor of the ban on smoking in public places because there are at least three factors, the combination of which makes smoking unique. It's intrusive to those around it who do not smoke. It costs government and industry huge amounts of money every year. It has no health benefits or other redeeming features to justify it.

In short, smoking in public places is stupid and selfish, and quite beyond that, it costs everyone. I don't favor criminalization because that wouldn't work, but government very properly discourages the practice in every way it properly can. It's reasonable to think that a ban on public smoking will reduce the incidence of smoking in the long run. If it has those effects, it's worth it, especially when all it's balanced against is the smoker's right to have to be stupid in private instead of in public.

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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

70475[/snapback]

Now that we've turned down the volume, let's analyze it.

"Now I sit me down in school . . . Where praying is against the rule"

False. Students may pray any time they like so long as they do not disrupt the school's operations.

"For this great nation under God . . . Finds mention of Him very odd."

False. Students all over the country utter these two words in the pledge daily. In fact, there are probably no words more frequently spoken in the public schools, by mandate of law, than these. I think it's wrong and unconstitutional, but the claim that it's not being done is false.

"If Scripture now the class recites, . . . It violates the Bill of Rights."

Correct, if it is school-sponsored, because that forces religious dogmas on people who do not believe in them.

"And anytime my head I bow . . . Becomes a Federal matter now."

False. You may bow your head any time you like.

"Our hair can be purple, orange or green, . . . That's no offense; it's a freedom scene."

Correct.

"The law is specific, the law is precise. Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice."

False. It's only a violation if the school sponsors it. The word "vice" is misused.

"For praying in a public hall . . . Might offend someone with no faith at all."

It might, but it's still allowed. The implication is false.

"In silence alone we must meditate, God's name is prohibited by the state."

False. As noted above, the state mandates the use of "God's name." It should be true, and if the Supreme Court ever takes the First Amendment seriously, it will be true, but in fact students are all but required to pledge allegiance "under God".

"We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks, . . . And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks."

In most schools I know of, students are not allowed to cuss. Most schools also have dress codes. Piercing is generally allowed. Your point is . . .?

"They've outlawed guns . . ."

I hope kids aren't carrying guns in schools.

". . . but FIRST the Bible. To quote the Good Book makes me liable."

False. If you're a student, you may quote it all you like.

"We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen, . . . And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King."

Yes, you may. Is it your impression that this is a widespread practice?

"It's 'inappropriate' to teach right from wrong, We're taught that such 'judgments' do not belong."

False. It was the radical right that opposed values training. Those of us who think that the schools should promote human values think that the schools should teach values. They just won't be your narrow-minded and parochial values, and they won't necessarily be coming from your Bible.

"We can get our condoms and birth controls, Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles."

How many schools make birth control available to students? As for studying myths and fairy tales . . . suggest you check the glass in your own house before you throw stones.

"But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,"

Again, false. Students may preach all they like. The school may not sponsor it. Anyway, we can do far better than the Ten Commandments.

"No word of God must reach this crowd!"

In the first place, it's not the word of God just because you think it is. In the second place, students may say as they please.

"It's scary here I must confess, When chaos reigns the school's a mess."

The right is absolutely convinced that society has fallen apart because the Supreme Court started to get serious about the First Amendment in the early 1960s, but that's not the reason. The reason society is upside down is that everything has changed in less than a single human lifetime. Change has never happened so quickly, and people aren't good at adapting that quickly to that much change, not to mention the fact that our societies are now so complex that we may never fully adapt to the complexity. The people who can handle change and complexity least are people who think they have to have a clear and unchanging conception of God. These are the same people who still think the story of Adam and Eve recounts real events, when it is really just a metaphor for our becoming aware of our place in the world.

Ignorance is dangerous, but what's even more dangerous is when ignorant people think they know everything, and think everyone else is stupid for not seeing the world as they do.

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. . .  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.

70496[/snapback]

That is absolutely false. This teacher brought up almost every one of those subjects. Ditto-head defenders of this teacher are using the student's questions to say things that just aren't so. It really boils my blood. If you're going to claim to be Christian, how about a little honesty?

Anyway, what does liking someone have to do with any of this?

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I have no problem with a private establishment banning smoking if they wish, sweeping laws to FORCE a PRIVATE establishment is another story altogether.

You can villanize the smoker all you want but maybe you should take a good look a what is in the food and beverage that you consume everyday. Non smokers die of cancer everyday. Silly me I thought this was the land of the free where adults were allowed to make thier own choices.

Guess I better give GW a call to see what I'm allowed to do tommorrow.

70274[/snapback]

There's an important difference that's easily overlooked. Everyone has to eat and drink. No one has to smoke.

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Close cases don't draw this kind of attention, and this wasn't a close case. This conduct was egregious and sustained, and didn't even end with the Constitutional violations. It persisted through the lying in an attempt to intimidate Matthew. In short, Paszkiewicz blatantly violated the Constitution in a way that is obvious to anyone with half a brain, then he lied about it, tried to get his student in trouble, then he stood by silently while the same student was attacked. This was not a small mistake of any degree. It was sustained conduct that goes not only to Paszkiewicz's unwillingness to accept limits on where he can preach, but also to his moral character.

70293[/snapback]

I have to agree. There's a guest here who says he's trying to be fair, but you really have to bend over backwards with your eyes closed not to see how far out of line Paszkiewicz was on many, many levels.

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If I have to I'll grow my own tobacco. The statement was about forcing a PRIVATE establishment to ban smoking. If an establishment offers smoking and you don't like it...DON'T GO IN THERE! We don't need a LAWS for that. Smoking will take some years off my life, but at least they will be years I spent living MY life MY way! Instead of a long drawn existence in a puritancal opressive society!  You want the government running YOUR life?  As for me no thanks. What's next by the way? French Fries? Butter? Red Meat?

70379[/snapback]

No one is saying we should make smoking illegal. We tried that with alcohol, the results were disastrous, and prohibition was repealed. We're not going there again, and that's not the issue.

The issue is how far government should go to discourage smoking. I don't think banning it in public places is excessive. You can still live your life your way, you just have to do it in places that aren't open to the general public. Once an establishment is open to the public, people should be able to go there without inhaling or smelling your smoke.

It's not a question of puritanism or oppression. The questions are balancing competing private rights, and making smoking as rare as possible. No one is running your life. You just have to make a very bad decision outside of public establishments. And yes, government has the right to say smoking is a very bad decision that costs us all a lot of money, lowers worker productivity, consumes our medical resources, etc.

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

70380[/snapback]

A motorcycle provides transportation. Everyone has to eat and drink. No one has to smoke. It's a bad personal decision, which government properly acts to discourage, but should not make illegal (remember prohibition).

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

70382[/snapback]

Bryan needs to know how to look at things more objectively.

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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)?

70402[/snapback]

The above post ignores all the distinctions that matter. No one is saying that teachers may never express opinions; however, they may not express their personal religious views. By ignoring this aspect of the situation, the poster ignores the Constitutional problem, which is at the heart of the matter, and also ignores the fact that religious dogma is not part of the curriculum in our public schools.

As for any comment Matthew might one day make to a class should he become a teacher: if he points out that dinosaurs could not have been on a boat with human beings (since human beings did not appear on earth until dinosaurs had been extinct for more than sixty million years), he would in fact be within the approved science curriculum.

So yes, you're wrong. It's not a matter of degree. It's a matter of content, and not just subject matter content, but the content of what is being told to students. In short, Paszkiewicz was telling a fairy tale. Matthew would be (and was) correctly stating modern science.

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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.

70404[/snapback]

Mr. LaClair has since stated that had he known what he knows now, including how unrepentant Paszkiewicz would be, he might have called for P's termination. My guess is that LaClair understood the politics of the situation and chose to take the high road and keep his eye on the ball (which was student and teacher training according to him and his son), instead of putting himself at the center of a controversity within a controversy. If so, it was a smart move, but I don't it necessarily take it to represent how he really feels. His latest comments bear this out.

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Bryan needs to know how to look at things more objectively.

70646[/snapback]

Indeed, if I had your gift of objectivity I would have no inclination to see the evidence at all and I would not bother Keith over such trivialities.

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It's not nonsense. It's the law.

Paszkiewicz was supposed to be teaching a history class in a public school. The questions were irrelevant to the curriculum, and outside of the teacher's prerogatives to express an opinion. The students may ask, and discuss among themselves, but the teacher may not express his views on matters of religion. The reason is that he is the authority figure in the classroom, acting on behalf of the state, which may not promote a religion. That's the law.

Which law is that, again?

Paszkiewicz was promoting Christianity, and in particular fundamentalist biblical Christianity.

How did he supposedly do that?

The ADL trained the teachers on the Constitution. If you want to call respect for the Constitution a form of religion, you're free to do that, but it won't negate the legal obligation to follow the Constitution.

http://www.adl.org/issue_religious_freedom...mer_schools.asp

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Thank you Paul LaClair. Spoken like a true lawyer. Now you are posting as a guest. How immature are you?

70617[/snapback]

How ironic that you call someone else immature while you sling baseless accusations. But of course, you don't see it, do you?

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The audio added nothing to the rebuttal.

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

70593[/snapback]

Newton's third law states that "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." Your accusation was so ridiculous that I felt there should be an equal and opposite ridiculous response. I usually make my arguments in a more intellectual manner, however I felt that your remark did not necessitate such a response.

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Guest Bing
The above post ignores all the distinctions that matter. No one is saying that teachers may never express opinions; however, they may not express their personal religious views. By ignoring this aspect of the situation, the poster ignores the Constitutional problem, which is at the heart of the matter, and also ignores the fact that religious dogma is not part of the curriculum in our public schools.

As for any comment Matthew might one day make to a class should he become a teacher: if he points out that dinosaurs could not have been on a boat with human beings (since human beings did not appear on earth until dinosaurs had been extinct for more than sixty million years), he would in fact be within the approved science curriculum.

So yes, you're wrong. It's not a matter of degree. It's a matter of content, and not just subject matter content, but the content of what is being told to students. In short, Paszkiewicz was telling a fairy tale. Matthew would be (and was) correctly stating modern science.

70648[/snapback]

Instead of pointing out the flaws in your argument, let's just leave it at the fact that Mr. P is still employed, a fact that you continually ignore in determining whether reasonable minds could differ.

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Guest Keith-Marshall,Mo
These technical arguments are all sound, but I come down in favor of the ban on smoking in public places because there are at least three factors, the combination of which makes smoking unique. It's intrusive to those around it who do not smoke. It costs government and industry huge amounts of money every year. It has no health benefits or other redeeming features to justify it.

In short, smoking in public places is stupid and selfish, and quite beyond that, it costs everyone. I don't favor criminalization because that wouldn't work, but government very properly discourages the practice in every way it properly can. It's reasonable to think that a ban on public smoking will reduce the incidence of smoking in the long run. If it has those effects, it's worth it, especially when all it's balanced against is the smoker's right to have to be stupid in private instead of in public.

70621[/snapback]

This is a perfect example of what I as a smoker have a problem with. You, like everyone else make the same misguided disctinction between a private and or public extablishments. Just because a private establishment is open to the public does not inherently make it a "public" establishment and as such should retain the right to make its own decision about what activites are allowed on the premises.

But go ahead and make your laws but don't come whining to me when they take away something you enjoy. Whatever you don't think "It'll never happen to me."

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