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A Notce of Claim is not a lawsuit.


Guest Paul

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Perhaps it is not surprising that the Kearny Board of Education has now issued a public statement trying to blame us for standing up for the Constitution, science education and our own rights. However, the Board's statement that our Tort Claims Notice will cost Kearny taxpayers money simply is not true.

As the lawyer who no doubt drafted this statement knows full well, a Notice is just that: a notice that an action may be brought in the future. There is a mandatory waiting time. No defense is interposed, and the only cost incurred is for the attorney to read the Notice, which can be done in a few minutes. Yet the Board has chosen to issue a statement trying to make it sound as though there is now a lawsuit to be defended. There is no pending action, and there need not be an action if the Board acts appropriately and without further delay.

In addition, we would happily save the taxpayers the cost of the Board's hand-selected investigator, which it calls "independent", if the Board would resolve this matter appropriately. An investigator is not "independent" when he is selected and paid for by the school district without consultation to the party involved. That sounds more like an attempt to whitewash the matter. We are willing to meet with the investigator to find out what he has in mind, but under the circumstances, our presumption until demonstrated otherwise by actions instead of mere words --- based on the district's failure to consult with us in making the choice --- is that the retention of this investigator is not sincere.

The suggestion that our Notice will cost the taxpayers money is false. If the Board wishes to deflect the blame that has rightly been cast in its direction, it should stop trying to mislead the public.

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There is no pending action, and there need not be an action if the Board acts appropriately and without further delay.

In addition, we would happily save the taxpayers the cost of the Board's hand-selected investigator, which it calls "independent", if the Board would resolve this matter appropriately.

Sorry, but I have not kept up on all the various threads regarding this, but in your mind what is "appropriately"?

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Perhaps it is not surprising that the Kearny Board of Education has now issued a public statement trying to blame us for standing up for the Constitution, science education and our own rights. However, the Board's statement that our Tort Claims Notice will cost Kearny taxpayers money simply is not true.

As the lawyer who no doubt drafted this statement knows full well, a Notice is just that: a notice that an action may be brought in the future. There is a mandatory waiting time. No defense is interposed, and the only cost incurred is for the attorney to read the Notice, which can be done in a few minutes. Yet the Board has chosen to issue a statement trying to make it sound as though there is now a lawsuit to be defended. There is no pending action, and there need not be an action if the Board acts appropriately and without further delay.

In addition, we would happily save the taxpayers the cost of the Board's hand-selected investigator, which it calls "independent", if the Board would resolve this matter appropriately. An investigator is not "independent" when he is selected and paid for by the school district without consultation to the party involved. That sounds more like an attempt to whitewash the matter. We are willing to meet with the investigator to find out what he has in mind, but under the circumstances, our presumption until demonstrated otherwise by actions instead of mere words --- based on the district's failure to consult with us in making the choice --- is that the retention of this investigator is not sincere.

The suggestion that our Notice will cost the taxpayers money is false. If the Board wishes to deflect the blame that has rightly been cast in its direction, it should stop trying to mislead the public.

Paul, as a citizen of Kearny, I occasionally peruse this site to see what's going on around town. I have tried to be objective about this whole issue surrounding your son and his history teacher. With the volume of posts and sidebar issues that this matter has raised, it is difficult for me to determine what exactly transpired in that classroom last September. I probably will never know and that's okay.

The one thing that disturbs though from reading all of this material is that there appears to be a pattern here with your son (again, I do not claim to know these are all truths). If this was the only issue, I would tend to be more sympathetic to his (as well as your) cause. That does not appear to be this case however. Before this incident, there was Matt refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and before that, making a spectacle of himself by wearing a girls skirt to school to prove a point about boys not being able to wear shorts on warm days outside of the permitted time of the year.

...and now you want to reserve the right to be compensated for severe emotional distress and damage to your reputation? I am trying hard to sympathize with you guys but I think I have had all I can take from one student and his family.

The words courageous and hero are being thrown around way too lightly in some of the posts I have read here...I'm thinking more along the lines of troublemaker but will hold back for now. I truly hope that you and Matt can still get together with Kearny High School and the Board of Education and come to so common ground to resolve this matter once and for all. Let's leave the ACLU and media out of it.... please!

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Perhaps it is not surprising that the Kearny Board of Education has now issued a public statement trying to blame us for standing up for the Constitution, science education and our own rights. However, the Board's statement that our Tort Claims Notice will cost Kearny taxpayers money simply is not true.

As the lawyer who no doubt drafted this statement knows full well, a Notice is just that: a notice that an action may be brought in the future. There is a mandatory waiting time. No defense is interposed, and the only cost incurred is for the attorney to read the Notice, which can be done in a few minutes. Yet the Board has chosen to issue a statement trying to make it sound as though there is now a lawsuit to be defended. There is no pending action, and there need not be an action if the Board acts appropriately and without further delay.

In addition, we would happily save the taxpayers the cost of the Board's hand-selected investigator, which it calls "independent", if the Board would resolve this matter appropriately. An investigator is not "independent" when he is selected and paid for by the school district without consultation to the party involved. That sounds more like an attempt to whitewash the matter. We are willing to meet with the investigator to find out what he has in mind, but under the circumstances, our presumption until demonstrated otherwise by actions instead of mere words --- based on the district's failure to consult with us in making the choice --- is that the retention of this investigator is not sincere.

The suggestion that our Notice will cost the taxpayers money is false. If the Board wishes to deflect the blame that has rightly been cast in its direction, it should stop trying to mislead the public.

So what you are saying is that at any time at your wish you can wave this Tort and the recipient of it has to back down or else you will sue? The notice is just a notice that you might sue in the future if everyone doesn't do exactly as you wish? Therefore what you are doing is holding the School Board, Town, and teachers, myself included, hostage. Much rather you sue and get it over with.

In the classroom this issue has already cause so much disruption that is has become unpleasant to be a teacher anymore. I have changed my way of teacher and carefully watch what I say and say only what the book says. I have been told that my classes are no longer interested, but these are the guidelines that your son has imposed upon us. All your actions have been just words, but words can be harming at times. Please do not think you or your family are the only ones affected by this. The exception is that you are hiding behind the protection of the tort.

From all the teachers, thank you.

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So what you are saying is that at any time at your wish you can wave this Tort and the recipient of it has to back down or else you will sue?  The notice is just a notice that you might sue in the future if everyone doesn't do exactly as you wish?  Therefore what you are doing is holding the School Board, Town, and teachers, myself included, hostage.  Much rather you sue and get it over with. 

In the classroom this issue has already cause so much disruption that is has become unpleasant to be a teacher anymore.  I have changed my way of teacher and carefully watch what I say and say only what the book says.  I have been told that my classes are no longer interested, but these are the guidelines that your son has imposed upon us.  All your actions have been just words, but words can be harming at times.  Please do not think you or your family are the only ones affected by this.  The exception is that you are hiding behind the protection of the tort. 

From all the teachers, thank you.

I was going to post a response but I might anger the LeClairs and they might sue me for making fun of them over the internet. LOL.

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So what you are saying is that at any time at your wish you can wave this Tort and the recipient of it has to back down or else you will sue?  The notice is just a notice that you might sue in the future if everyone doesn't do exactly as you wish?  Therefore what you are doing is holding the School Board, Town, and teachers, myself included, hostage.  Much rather you sue and get it over with. 

In the classroom this issue has already cause so much disruption that is has become unpleasant to be a teacher anymore.  I have changed my way of teacher and carefully watch what I say and say only what the book says.  I have been told that my classes are no longer interested, but these are the guidelines that your son has imposed upon us.  All your actions have been just words, but words can be harming at times.  Please do not think you or your family are the only ones affected by this.  The exception is that you are hiding behind the protection of the tort. 

From all the teachers, thank you.

Would you prefer that we just filed a suit?

If this matter has disrupted your classes, then I suggest you give your name and make your case publicly.

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Mr. LaClair, are you going to hold your son's hand the rest of his life while you seemingly shelter him from the outside world yet help further his cause for mediocre conflict? He's going to have a real difficult time transitioning into adulthood if he believes that running to the media and hanging lawsuits over everyone's head is going to create some form of a solution. I understand you don't agree with the teacher, and neither do I as I am also an Atheist, but at this point you're simply drawing attention toward yourselves, and so it's time to let it go. It's beating a dead horse, and really isn't going to amount to anything other than making this town look worse than it already does (and I know much of this as I relocated from another area of N.J.).

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So what you are saying is that at any time at your wish you can wave this Tort and the recipient of it has to back down or else you will sue?  The notice is just a notice that you might sue in the future if everyone doesn't do exactly as you wish?  Therefore what you are doing is holding the School Board, Town, and teachers, myself included, hostage.  Much rather you sue and get it over with. 

In the classroom this issue has already cause so much disruption that is has become unpleasant to be a teacher anymore.  I have changed my way of teacher and carefully watch what I say and say only what the book says.  I have been told that my classes are no longer interested, but these are the guidelines that your son has imposed upon us.  All your actions have been just words, but words can be harming at times.  Please do not think you or your family are the only ones affected by this.  The exception is that you are hiding behind the protection of the tort. 

From all the teachers, thank you.

Paul,

I have read some of your posts, and have never put my two cents worth into any of this... Now I think I will.

My 2 children both attended Kearny HS, and graduated in 2002&2003 respectively. Both had Mr. P as a teacher, and I had the pleasure of meeting him several times for conferences and he was one of the most open and honest teachers regarding my childrens education... I knew he was a Pastor outside of the school, and I actually asked him how he managed to be a teacher in a public school with his views on religion, and he stated he tried to keep them separated, but there were times when students asked his opinion about something pertaining to religion.

I am a firm believer in separately religion from the public sector, but do understand how sometimes in is inevitable. Questions arise, and by the curoisoty of many students,(especially high school age) it does happen. From what I have read over the past several months, I do think it went a little too far.

My question to you is, wouldn't it have been easier to have your son moved out of Mr.P's class, then to have all this take place? I think the school itself could have done a little more in regards to Mr.P's position regarding all of this, unfortuneately they didn't. I haven't heard any other students that have had such an issue with this, in fact I have only heard very positive things regarding Mr.P as a teacher in general. I am also a firm advocate that each and every student should be afforded the opportunity to a "Free and Appropriate Public Education", but if you as the parent are not satisfied with that, you have the option of sending your child to another school.

I am not taking sides in this matter, as I was not there when all this transpired, but I have to say threatening a lawsuit, what is that going to accomplish? This is making just more reasons for teachers in general to be afraid to teach our kids the principals of life, and with our help get them ready for this sometimes cruel world... yes, I say CRUEL world... I'm sorry your son and your family had to go through something like this, but it happens and we have to move on and grow up.

Sueing the BOE, the Administration, the Teacher and whoever else you have named is definately not the answer. I wish you only the best in your quest for justice, but I think if you really looked at the situation and what your son is learning from all of this, you would see how much more he needs the guidance of teachers who give their heart and soul to our kids, and yes sometimes there are a few that shouldn't be teachers, but I honestly think this has been made to be a mockery of what teachers stand for in general.

All my best to all the parties involved,

Lynne--a PARENT of former KEARNY HS students...

If this was my child, I would do the best I could to stand beside him, but also let him understand that these are the challenges we as law abiding citizens have to deal with in everyday life.

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In the classroom this issue has already cause so much disruption that is has become unpleasant to be a teacher anymore.  I have changed my way of teacher and carefully watch what I say and say only what the book says.  I have been told that my classes are no longer interested, but these are the guidelines that your son has imposed upon us.  All your actions have been just words, but words can be harming at times.  Please do not think you or your family are the only ones affected by this.  The exception is that you are hiding behind the protection of the tort. 

From all the teachers, thank you.

How said that respecting the students' Constitutional rights is such a hardship for you. I had no idea sticking to the topic you're paid to teach, rather than preaching, was so difficult.

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As a Jew I am appalled that such action is necessary. If the teacher had not disrespected Mr. LeClair by making such ridiculous comments. Had Kearny Board of Ed taken the responsible action in

nipping this in the bud sooner, we would not even be having this discussion. It is time for all folks in Kearny to take a positive stand on this issue and demand an end to this, it will disappear very quickly. The longer this goes on, the more embarassing it becomes.

quote=Paul,Feb 20 2007, 10:37 AM]

Perhaps it is not surprising that the Kearny Board of Education has now issued a public statement trying to blame us for standing up for the Constitution, science education and our own rights. However, the Board's statement that our Tort Claims Notice will cost Kearny taxpayers money simply is not true.

As the lawyer who no doubt drafted this statement knows full well, a Notice is just that: a notice that an action may be brought in the future. There is a mandatory waiting time. No defense is interposed, and the only cost incurred is for the attorney to read the Notice, which can be done in a few minutes. Yet the Board has chosen to issue a statement trying to make it sound as though there is now a lawsuit to be defended. There is no pending action, and there need not be an action if the Board acts appropriately and without further delay.

In addition, we would happily save the taxpayers the cost of the Board's hand-selected investigator, which it calls "independent", if the Board would resolve this matter appropriately. An investigator is not "independent" when he is selected and paid for by the school district without consultation to the party involved. That sounds more like an attempt to whitewash the matter. We are willing to meet with the investigator to find out what he has in mind, but under the circumstances, our presumption until demonstrated otherwise by actions instead of mere words --- based on the district's failure to consult with us in making the choice --- is that the retention of this investigator is not sincere.

The suggestion that our Notice will cost the taxpayers money is false. If the Board wishes to deflect the blame that has rightly been cast in its direction, it should stop trying to mislead the public.

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So what you are saying is that at any time at your wish you can wave this Tort and the recipient of it has to back down or else you will sue?  The notice is just a notice that you might sue in the future if everyone doesn't do exactly as you wish?  Therefore what you are doing is holding the School Board, Town, and teachers, myself included, hostage.  Much rather you sue and get it over with. 

In the classroom this issue has already cause so much disruption that is has become unpleasant to be a teacher anymore.  I have changed my way of teacher and carefully watch what I say and say only what the book says.  I have been told that my classes are no longer interested, but these are the guidelines that your son has imposed upon us.  All your actions have been just words, but words can be harming at times.  Please do not think you or your family are the only ones affected by this.  The exception is that you are hiding behind the protection of the tort. 

From all the teachers, thank you.

Apparently teachers don't proof read their own work.

So why haven't you teachers gathered together and asked Mr. P removed. It's nice to see the "teachers" blaming the victim. The student is not the problem. It's the teacher who violated the rules. I'm sure your job is more difficult. But it's the BOE and Mr. P who have extended the issue longer than it needed to be.

Transferring the whole class?

Smart. Real smart.

Just address the problem. In the open.

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So what you are saying is that at any time at your wish you can wave this Tort and the recipient of it has to back down or else you will sue?  The notice is just a notice that you might sue in the future if everyone doesn't do exactly as you wish?  Therefore what you are doing is holding the School Board, Town, and teachers, myself included, hostage.  Much rather you sue and get it over with. 

In the classroom this issue has already cause so much disruption that is has become unpleasant to be a teacher anymore.  I have changed my way of teacher and carefully watch what I say and say only what the book says.  I have been told that my classes are no longer interested, but these are the guidelines that your son has imposed upon us.  All your actions have been just words, but words can be harming at times.  Please do not think you or your family are the only ones affected by this.  The exception is that you are hiding behind the protection of the tort. 

From all the teachers, thank you.

Paul and Jr. are just eating this up. They're the heros of the left wing media and now that wonderful institution, the ACLU, has taken up their cause (what a surprise). I wonder when the movie deal will be announced ? Kearny should be very proud of their up-and-coming movie stars.

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Perhaps it is not surprising that the Kearny Board of Education has now issued a public statement trying to blame us for standing up for the Constitution, science education and our own rights. However, the Board's statement that our Tort Claims Notice will cost Kearny taxpayers money simply is not true.

Paul, if you are familiar with the content of the Board's statement, why do you not share the relevant portions when you make your charges?

As the lawyer who no doubt drafted this statement knows full well, a Notice is just that: a notice that an action may be brought in the future. There is a mandatory waiting time. No defense is interposed, and the only cost incurred is for the attorney to read the Notice, which can be done in a few minutes.

Didn't that cost the taxpayers money?

Yet the Board has chosen to issue a statement trying to make it sound as though there is now a lawsuit to be defended.

Did they?

What did they say that made it sound that way?

There is no pending action, and there need not be an action if the Board acts appropriately and without further delay.

Okay, so you're threatening legal action unless they do what you want.

That's one of those tactics that tends to make people resent lawyers.

In addition, we would happily save the taxpayers the cost of the Board's hand-selected investigator, which it calls "independent", if the Board would resolve this matter appropriately.

And how would you do that? You're willing to pay for the investigation?

Will you also pay for the instruction Kearny teachers are receiving in how to keep the school safe® from lawsuits such as the one that has been threatened?

Surely the message is that if you get your way it costs the school district less money in the long run?

An investigator is not "independent" when he is selected and paid for by the school district without consultation to the party involved.

So that whole "Independent Counsel" thing in the federal government is a crock?

Scooter Libby didn't have anything to do with screening Patrick Fitzgerald, did he?

That sounds more like an attempt to whitewash the matter. We are willing to meet with the investigator to find out what he has in mind, but under the circumstances, our presumption until demonstrated otherwise by actions instead of mere words --- based on the district's failure to consult with us in making the choice --- is that the retention of this investigator is not sincere.

Mostly likely he has doing an investigation in mind.

But somehow I doubt that would satisfy Mr. LaClair if he heard it from the investigator himself.

Mr. Paszkiewicz may well draw support from the Teacher's Union. The investigator would be crazy to presume guilt.

Why don't you just let him investigate and cut out the public whining sessions, Paul?

The suggestion that our Notice will cost the taxpayers money is false.

I'd like to see the relevant quotations.

If the Board wishes to deflect the blame that has rightly been cast in its direction, it should stop trying to mislead the public.

Provide the relevant quotations so that we can judge for ourselves who is doing the misleading.

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So what you are saying is that at any time at your wish you can wave this Tort and the recipient of it has to back down or else you will sue?  The notice is just a notice that you might sue in the future if everyone doesn't do exactly as you wish?  Therefore what you are doing is holding the School Board, Town, and teachers, myself included, hostage.  Much rather you sue and get it over with. 

In the classroom this issue has already cause so much disruption that is has become unpleasant to be a teacher anymore.  I have changed my way of teacher and carefully watch what I say and say only what the book says.  I have been told that my classes are no longer interested, but these are the guidelines that your son has imposed upon us.  All your actions have been just words, but words can be harming at times.  Please do not think you or your family are the only ones affected by this.  The exception is that you are hiding behind the protection of the tort. 

From all the teachers, thank you.

It's interesting that in your post you said:

"All your actions have been just words, but words can be harming at times"

Does this not also apply to Mr. Paszkiewicz "words"?

I must say that for a "Teacher" your grammer is .....I'll leave it at that. Maybe it's just typo's?

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Guest Abuse of Freedom
Perhaps it is not surprising that the Kearny Board of Education has now issued a public statement trying to blame us for standing up for the Constitution, science education and our own rights. However, the Board's statement that our Tort Claims Notice will cost Kearny taxpayers money simply is not true.

As the lawyer who no doubt drafted this statement knows full well, a Notice is just that: a notice that an action may be brought in the future. There is a mandatory waiting time. No defense is interposed, and the only cost incurred is for the attorney to read the Notice, which can be done in a few minutes. Yet the Board has chosen to issue a statement trying to make it sound as though there is now a lawsuit to be defended. There is no pending action, and there need not be an action if the Board acts appropriately and without further delay.

In addition, we would happily save the taxpayers the cost of the Board's hand-selected investigator, which it calls "independent", if the Board would resolve this matter appropriately. An investigator is not "independent" when he is selected and paid for by the school district without consultation to the party involved. That sounds more like an attempt to whitewash the matter. We are willing to meet with the investigator to find out what he has in mind, but under the circumstances, our presumption until demonstrated otherwise by actions instead of mere words --- based on the district's failure to consult with us in making the choice --- is that the retention of this investigator is not sincere.

The suggestion that our Notice will cost the taxpayers money is false. If the Board wishes to deflect the blame that has rightly been cast in its direction, it should stop trying to mislead the public.

Paul, you are out of your mind. Do you for one second believe anything you say. I think you got yourself convinced.

You think by holding the BOE hostage until you get your way will save the taxpayers money.

I can't even imagine the manhours spent already on this topic, which directly translate to MONEY spent!

From day one it was clear what direction you were headed.

Even if there wasn't one penny spent, the damage you have caused to the students, teachers and this Town can never be reversed.

A teacher allegedly "preaches" in class, (which is not allowed), you are offended and than you set off a mushroom cloud. Are you kidding me!

There are alot of worse things that happen EVERY single day, some constitutional violations some just plain BAD. Do yourself and everybody else a favor learn to let some things roll off your back. Learn to enjoy life, it's way too short!

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So what you are saying is that at any time at your wish you can wave this Tort and the recipient of it has to back down or else you will sue?  The notice is just a notice that you might sue in the future if everyone doesn't do exactly as you wish?  Therefore what you are doing is holding the School Board, Town, and teachers, myself included, hostage.  Much rather you sue and get it over with. 

In the classroom this issue has already cause so much disruption that is has become unpleasant to be a teacher anymore.  I have changed my way of teacher and carefully watch what I say and say only what the book says.  I have been told that my classes are no longer interested, but these are the guidelines that your son has imposed upon us.  All your actions have been just words, but words can be harming at times.  Please do not think you or your family are the only ones affected by this.  The exception is that you are hiding behind the protection of the tort. 

From all the teachers, thank you.

Wow, this sounds fake. As if there would be comments on a change in a way a teacher teaches that quickly.

"I've changed my way of teacher?" "My classes are no longer interested?" If you're actually a teacher and not just making this all up, I sure hope the subject's not English.

Where do you teach, "a teacher"?

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It's interesting that in your post you said:

"All your actions have been just words, but words can be harming at times"

Does this not also apply to Mr. Paszkiewicz "words"?

I must say that for a "Teacher" your grammer is .....I'll leave it at that. Maybe it's just typo's?

Leave it at that, "grammer". What a dope.

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Would you prefer that we just filed a suit?

If this matter has disrupted your classes, then I suggest you give your name and make your case publicly.

Why, so you can sue me and every other teacher in the district? Not on your life. I am not going to admit that I would want you to sue. You would enjoy that too much. You have verbally hurt this school district far too much already.

What puzzles me is that at both your media dog and pony shows that so many of those who are passing judgment have actually really never heard the tape. Even from the groups and news media that you brought there?

After last nights events I finally went and listened to them.

This is just my own opinion. First I admit that this particular teacher did discuss religion. He did discuss religion. However, the constant question by your son of trying to get this teacher to comment of to "hell with you" appeared to me better rehearsed that Tom Cruise did in the movie "A Few Good Men."

If he wasn't lead into making those comments then I don't know who was?

I guess there is a reason the tapes are kept so secret.

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Paul,

I have read some of your posts, and have never put my two cents worth into any of this... Now I think I will. 

My 2 children both attended Kearny HS, and graduated in 2002&2003 respectively.  Both had Mr. P as a teacher, and I had the pleasure of meeting him several times for conferences and he was one of the most open and honest teachers regarding my childrens education...  I knew he was a Pastor outside of the school, and I actually asked him how he managed to be a teacher in a public school with his views on religion, and he stated he tried to keep them separated, but there were times when students asked his opinion about something pertaining to religion. 

I am a firm believer in separately religion from the public sector, but do understand how sometimes in is inevitable.  Questions arise, and by the curoisoty of many students,(especially high school age) it does happen.  From what I have read over the past several months, I do think it went a little too far. 

My question to you is, wouldn't it have been easier to have your son moved out of Mr.P's class, then to have all this take place?  I think the school itself could have done a little more in regards to Mr.P's position regarding all of this, unfortuneately they didn't.  I haven't heard any other students that have had such an issue with this, in fact I have only heard very positive things regarding Mr.P as a teacher in general.  I am also a firm advocate that each and every student should be afforded the opportunity to a "Free and Appropriate Public Education", but if you as the parent are not satisfied with that, you have the option of sending your child to another school.

I am not taking sides in this matter, as I was not there when all this transpired, but I have to say threatening a lawsuit, what is that going to accomplish?  This is making just more reasons for teachers in general to be afraid to teach our kids the principals of life, and with our help get them ready for this sometimes cruel world... yes, I say CRUEL world...  I'm sorry your son and your family had to go through something like this, but it happens and we have to move on and grow up.

Sueing the BOE, the Administration, the Teacher and whoever else you have named is definately not the answer. I wish you only the best in your quest for justice, but I think if you really looked at the situation and what your son is learning from all of this, you would see how much more he needs the guidance of teachers who give their heart and soul to our kids, and yes sometimes there are a few that shouldn't be teachers, but I honestly think this has been made to be a mockery of what teachers stand for in general.

All my best to all the parties involved,

Lynne--a PARENT of former KEARNY HS students...

 

If this was my child, I would do the best I could to stand beside him, but also let him understand that these are the challenges we as law abiding citizens have to deal with in everyday life.

Yes, it would have been easier to have Matthew removed frpm the class --- just as it would have been easier for anyone who has ever stood for anything to have backed away. Whether it is something as mundane as standing up for someone who is being bullied, something as great as Martin Luther King's struggle for civil rights, or something as epic as Jesus' willingness to be crucified, it's always easier to back down. Please don't think I'm making any comparison between my son and MLK or Jesus as portrayed in the Bible; the point merely is that it's always easier to walk away from a battle, great or small.

As we've said many times, this is about defending the US Constitution and the quality of education in Kearny High, especially science education. They were under attack in that classroom, my son defended him, others admire him for it, and his mother and I am extremely proud of him for it. Just this morning we received a personal telephone call from a chief executive of a major American corporation praising Matthew for his stand.

I completely agree with you that a lawsuit is not the best solution to this situation. We have made it abundantly clear in the months this has been going on that we do not wish to sue. However, if the Board of Education will not take seriously the quality and content of education in their high school, and express their commitment through their actions, then we reserve the right to seek our remedies in court. I know some people won't like it, but if there are no other alternatives, what would you have us do?

Formally or informally, Mr. Paszkiewicz is part of an organized movement in the US called dominionism. The name refers to the idea that SOME Christians have that because they are in the majority they have the right to have dominion over everyone else, including and especially in matters of religion. Allow that to take place in the public schools, and the table is set for it to happen in our government, and then in our laws. We already have the nation's political parties divided along these lines. Just how much more of this do you think a democracy --- in which citizens respect all religions --- will tolerate?

You may not agree with us about how important this is, but that is the battle Matthew has chosen to fight. Backing away would send the message to the dominionists that they can get away with this, which is exactly what citizens who care about the preservation of democracy in America cannot allow to happen. That is how big we believe this issue is.

Finally, I do not believe competent teachers are at all afraid of Matthew. In his twelve years of schooling, no other teacher has crossed this line so blatantly. The fact that there is any doubt about the impropriety of this teacher's remarks in anyone's mind is shocking. He told high school juniors that if they do not share his religious beliefs, they belong in hell. How can any rational person defend that?

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Why, so you can sue me and every other teacher in the district? Not on your life. I am not going to admit that I would want you to sue. You would enjoy that too much.  You have verbally hurt this school district far too much already. 

What puzzles me is that at both your media dog and pony shows that so many of those who are passing judgment have actually really never heard the tape.

Seems to be happening more often with people like Mooney who apparently said the issue was "no big deal" without ever having heard the recordings.

Even from the groups and news media that you brought there?

After last nights events I finally went and listened to them.

This is just my own opinion. First I admit that this particular teacher did discuss religion.  He did discuss religion.  However, the constant question by your son of trying to get this teacher to comment of to "hell with you" appeared to me better rehearsed that Tom Cruise did in the movie "A Few Good Men."

If he wasn't lead into making those comments then I don't know who was?

Please quote the exact statement(s) Matthew made which you consider "leading" Mr. P. to talk about who does and doesn't belong in hell. I'd like to know the extent of this allegation's absurdity.

I guess there is a reason the tapes are kept so secret.

Secret? They're publicly available online, you dolt! How could they be any LESS secret?

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