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"I don't shut anybody down."


Guest Paul

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Throughout the meeting in Mr. Somma's office on October 10th, Mr. Paszkiewicz claimed: [October 10, 2006, 15:44-15:46] “I don’t shut anybody down.”

However, he spent most of the meeting attempting to shut down the student. He would invite or allow Matthew to initiate a discussion, shutting it down repeatedly and using his authority to try to make sure it was sidetracked. Here are a few examples of that.

i. [October 10, 2006, 0:28-1:15] {Somma} “Do you wanna start, David?” {Paszkiewicz} “I didn’t call the meeting.” {Matthew} “Good point. OK. A few of the things that we’ve done in the class I think were out of line completely. Um, what I wanna know is, did --- the things that I wrote in the letter, which I know you read, um, what in that letter did you not say, or what was out of context?” {Paszkiewicz} “Let me go sentence by sentence. I have to tell you, Matt, well, first, let me ask you this, Matt: Did you ever approach me personally about anything that upset you in the classroom?” {Matthew} “No, and I’ll tell you why. . .” {Paszkiewicz} “No, no, I just wanted to know, because I’m gonna go through them.” {Matthew} “Oh, you just want to know.” {Paszkiewicz} “You didn’t right?” {Matthew} “No.”

ii. [October 10, 2006, 1:43-2:02] {Matthew} “The truth of the matter was that at the time I didn’t know if I could trust you, and I know that’s a hard thing, hard thing to hear. . .” {Paszkiewicz} “Not at all. Let me finish, though.” {Matthew} “Alright . . .” {Paszkiewicz} “’Cause then we can bring up these trust issues, because my trust has been violated, Matt.”

iii. [October 10, 2006, 22:48-23:28] {Matthew} “. . . I just want to go down the list, and I just want to see what if any of this you did say, or . . .” {Paszkiewicz} “Let me just ask you something before you do, Matt, your goal in being in the class, was it to learn history, or was it to take notes on me?”

iv. [October 10, 2006, 57:54-58:54] {Matthew} “. . . the reason it was done in the way it was done, was because I had a feeling that maybe not even intentionally, Mr. Paszkiewicz, maybe not even intentionally, but I had a feeling that when you talk about these kinds of issues, when they’re brought up, and they’re discussed, usually the tendency would be that if the teacher says this is how it happened, generally the teacher is the one that’s listened to, and not the student. With this, I really --- I didn’t want to take a chance, because I did not feel safe.” {Paszkiewicz} “I would stay away from the word ‘safe.’ Ah, were you in harm’s way or something?” {Matthew} “No, I felt like I didn’t know . . .” {Paszkiewicz} “I just feel, to be honest with you, Matt, I’m disappointed because I think that, you know, you got the big fish.”

There are also examples of this in the classroom recordings. Many people have an impression of an educator who allows free expression of opinions, but if you actually listen, you hear that he allows free expression of opinions he thinks are acceptable. Anyone who steps outside that line is shut down --- and I don't mean because they're saying something wrong, he just doesn't agree with some things, so he shuts them down. In the classroom this is horrid pedagogy. In Mr. Somma's office, it was bullying.

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Throughout the meeting in Mr. Somma's office on October 10th, Mr. Paszkiewicz claimed: [October 10, 2006, 15:44-15:46] “I don’t shut anybody down.”

However, he spent most of the meeting attempting to shut down the student. He would invite or allow Matthew to initiate a discussion, shutting it down repeatedly and using his authority to try to make sure it was sidetracked. Here are a few examples of that.

i. [October 10, 2006, 0:28-1:15] {Somma} “Do you wanna start, David?” {Paszkiewicz} “I didn’t call the meeting.” {Matthew} “Good point. OK. A few of the things that we’ve done in the class I think were out of line completely. Um, what I wanna know is, did --- the things that I wrote in the letter, which I know you read, um, what in that letter did you not say, or what was out of context?” {Paszkiewicz} “Let me go sentence by sentence. I have to tell you, Matt, well, first, let me ask you this, Matt: Did you ever approach me personally about anything that upset you in the classroom?” {Matthew} “No, and I’ll tell you why. . .” {Paszkiewicz} “No, no, I just wanted to know, because I’m gonna go through them.” {Matthew} “Oh, you just want to know.” {Paszkiewicz} “You didn’t right?” {Matthew} “No.”

ii. [October 10, 2006, 1:43-2:02] {Matthew} “The truth of the matter was that at the time I didn’t know if I could trust you, and I know that’s a hard thing, hard thing to hear. . .” {Paszkiewicz} “Not at all. Let me finish, though.” {Matthew} “Alright . . .” {Paszkiewicz} “’Cause then we can bring up these trust issues, because my trust has been violated, Matt.”

iii. [October 10, 2006, 22:48-23:28] {Matthew} “. . . I just want to go down the list, and I just want to see what if any of this you did say, or . . .” {Paszkiewicz} “Let me just ask you something before you do, Matt, your goal in being in the class, was it to learn history, or was it to take notes on me?”

iv. [October 10, 2006, 57:54-58:54] {Matthew} “. . . the reason it was done in the way it was done, was because I had a feeling that maybe not even intentionally, Mr. Paszkiewicz, maybe not even intentionally, but I had a feeling that when you talk about these kinds of issues, when they’re brought up, and they’re discussed, usually the tendency would be that if the teacher says this is how it happened, generally the teacher is the one that’s listened to, and not the student. With this, I really --- I didn’t want to take a chance, because I did not feel safe.” {Paszkiewicz} “I would stay away from the word ‘safe.’ Ah, were you in harm’s way or something?” {Matthew} “No, I felt like I didn’t know . . .” {Paszkiewicz} “I just feel, to be honest with you, Matt, I’m disappointed because I think that, you know, you got the big fish.”

There are also examples of this in the classroom recordings. Many people have an impression of an educator who allows free expression of opinions, but if you actually listen, you hear that he allows free expression of opinions he thinks are acceptable. Anyone who steps outside that line is shut down --- and I don't mean because they're saying something wrong, he just doesn't agree with some things, so he shuts them down. In the classroom this is horrid pedagogy. In Mr. Somma's office, it was bullying.

So when are you going to prove it to a jury, just the facts?

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Throughout the meeting in Mr. Somma's office on October 10th, Mr. Paszkiewicz claimed: [October 10, 2006, 15:44-15:46] “I don’t shut anybody down.”

However, he spent most of the meeting attempting to shut down the student. He would invite or allow Matthew to initiate a discussion, shutting it down repeatedly and using his authority to try to make sure it was sidetracked. Here are a few examples of that.

i. [October 10, 2006, 0:28-1:15] {Somma} “Do you wanna start, David?” {Paszkiewicz} “I didn’t call the meeting.” {Matthew} “Good point. OK. A few of the things that we’ve done in the class I think were out of line completely. Um, what I wanna know is, did --- the things that I wrote in the letter, which I know you read, um, what in that letter did you not say, or what was out of context?” {Paszkiewicz} “Let me go sentence by sentence. I have to tell you, Matt, well, first, let me ask you this, Matt: Did you ever approach me personally about anything that upset you in the classroom?” {Matthew} “No, and I’ll tell you why. . .” {Paszkiewicz} “No, no, I just wanted to know, because I’m gonna go through them.” {Matthew} “Oh, you just want to know.” {Paszkiewicz} “You didn’t right?” {Matthew} “No.”

ii. [October 10, 2006, 1:43-2:02] {Matthew} “The truth of the matter was that at the time I didn’t know if I could trust you, and I know that’s a hard thing, hard thing to hear. . .” {Paszkiewicz} “Not at all. Let me finish, though.” {Matthew} “Alright . . .” {Paszkiewicz} “’Cause then we can bring up these trust issues, because my trust has been violated, Matt.”

iii. [October 10, 2006, 22:48-23:28] {Matthew} “. . . I just want to go down the list, and I just want to see what if any of this you did say, or . . .” {Paszkiewicz} “Let me just ask you something before you do, Matt, your goal in being in the class, was it to learn history, or was it to take notes on me?”

iv. [October 10, 2006, 57:54-58:54] {Matthew} “. . . the reason it was done in the way it was done, was because I had a feeling that maybe not even intentionally, Mr. Paszkiewicz, maybe not even intentionally, but I had a feeling that when you talk about these kinds of issues, when they’re brought up, and they’re discussed, usually the tendency would be that if the teacher says this is how it happened, generally the teacher is the one that’s listened to, and not the student. With this, I really --- I didn’t want to take a chance, because I did not feel safe.” {Paszkiewicz} “I would stay away from the word ‘safe.’ Ah, were you in harm’s way or something?” {Matthew} “No, I felt like I didn’t know . . .” {Paszkiewicz} “I just feel, to be honest with you, Matt, I’m disappointed because I think that, you know, you got the big fish.”

There are also examples of this in the classroom recordings. Many people have an impression of an educator who allows free expression of opinions, but if you actually listen, you hear that he allows free expression of opinions he thinks are acceptable. Anyone who steps outside that line is shut down --- and I don't mean because they're saying something wrong, he just doesn't agree with some things, so he shuts them down. In the classroom this is horrid pedagogy. In Mr. Somma's office, it was bullying.

If Matthew didn't "feel safe" why didn't you demand to be in that meeting? Please don't give me the stock answer that Somma wouldn't allow it.

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Throughout the meeting in Mr. Somma's office on October 10th, Mr. Paszkiewicz claimed: [October 10, 2006, 15:44-15:46] “I don’t shut anybody down.”

However, he spent most of the meeting attempting to shut down the student. He would invite or allow Matthew to initiate a discussion, shutting it down repeatedly and using his authority to try to make sure it was sidetracked. Here are a few examples of that.

i. [October 10, 2006, 0:28-1:15] {Somma} “Do you wanna start, David?” {Paszkiewicz} “I didn’t call the meeting.” {Matthew} “Good point. OK. A few of the things that we’ve done in the class I think were out of line completely. Um, what I wanna know is, did --- the things that I wrote in the letter, which I know you read, um, what in that letter did you not say, or what was out of context?” {Paszkiewicz} “Let me go sentence by sentence. I have to tell you, Matt, well, first, let me ask you this, Matt: Did you ever approach me personally about anything that upset you in the classroom?” {Matthew} “No, and I’ll tell you why. . .” {Paszkiewicz} “No, no, I just wanted to know, because I’m gonna go through them.” {Matthew} “Oh, you just want to know.” {Paszkiewicz} “You didn’t right?” {Matthew} “No.”

ii. [October 10, 2006, 1:43-2:02] {Matthew} “The truth of the matter was that at the time I didn’t know if I could trust you, and I know that’s a hard thing, hard thing to hear. . .” {Paszkiewicz} “Not at all. Let me finish, though.” {Matthew} “Alright . . .” {Paszkiewicz} “’Cause then we can bring up these trust issues, because my trust has been violated, Matt.”

iii. [October 10, 2006, 22:48-23:28] {Matthew} “. . . I just want to go down the list, and I just want to see what if any of this you did say, or . . .” {Paszkiewicz} “Let me just ask you something before you do, Matt, your goal in being in the class, was it to learn history, or was it to take notes on me?”

iv. [October 10, 2006, 57:54-58:54] {Matthew} “. . . the reason it was done in the way it was done, was because I had a feeling that maybe not even intentionally, Mr. Paszkiewicz, maybe not even intentionally, but I had a feeling that when you talk about these kinds of issues, when they’re brought up, and they’re discussed, usually the tendency would be that if the teacher says this is how it happened, generally the teacher is the one that’s listened to, and not the student. With this, I really --- I didn’t want to take a chance, because I did not feel safe.” {Paszkiewicz} “I would stay away from the word ‘safe.’ Ah, were you in harm’s way or something?” {Matthew} “No, I felt like I didn’t know . . .” {Paszkiewicz} “I just feel, to be honest with you, Matt, I’m disappointed because I think that, you know, you got the big fish.”

There are also examples of this in the classroom recordings. Many people have an impression of an educator who allows free expression of opinions, but if you actually listen, you hear that he allows free expression of opinions he thinks are acceptable. Anyone who steps outside that line is shut down --- and I don't mean because they're saying something wrong, he just doesn't agree with some things, so he shuts them down. In the classroom this is horrid pedagogy. In Mr. Somma's office, it was bullying.

I really don't agree with your assessment in this regard - at least how it relates to the quotes you cited above. I think that - in this specific post - you're crossing the idea of Mr. P's allowance of free expression of opinions as an educator in the classroom, with his allowance of free expression of opinions as an educator whose job is being threatened in his bosses office. You may charactierize this as "bullying" in Mr. Somma's office - but I don't know of alot of people who, when threatened with their jobs, would be so completely open to free expression from the person raising the threat. As such, I do not anticipate that teachers would be somehow exempt from such defensive measures.

In addition, I did not find the statements made above to be representative of horrid pedagogy or bullying. I think that Mr. P felt like Matthew violated Mr. P's sense of trust between student and teacher. Of course, no one is suggesting that there is an absolute trust between student and teacher. However, if Mr. P perceived there to be one - then his statements were not unreasonable in light of same.

I know that you've got a lot on your plate, and that you're trying to fight the good fight here. But I just want to keep you honest in the process. And I don't feel as though you hit the mark with this post as accurately as you may have done on others.

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I really don't agree with your assessment in this regard - at least how it relates to the quotes you cited above.  I think that - in this specific post - you're crossing the idea of Mr. P's allowance of free expression of opinions as an educator in the classroom, with his allowance of free expression of opinions as an educator whose job is being threatened in his bosses office.  You may charactierize this as "bullying" in Mr. Somma's office - but I don't know of alot of people who, when threatened with their jobs, would be so completely open to free expression from the person raising the threat.  As such, I do not anticipate that teachers would be somehow exempt from such defensive measures.

In addition, I did not find the statements made above to be representative of horrid pedagogy or bullying.  I think that Mr. P felt like Matthew violated Mr. P's sense of trust between student and teacher.  Of course, no one is suggesting that there is an absolute trust between student and teacher.  However, if Mr. P perceived there to be one - then his statements were not unreasonable in light of same.

I know that you've got a lot on your plate, and that you're trying to fight the good fight here.  But I just want to keep you honest in the process.  And I don't feel as though you hit the mark with this post as accurately as you may have done on others.

Then most respectfully, I disagree with you. Trying as best I can to put myself into Mr. Paszkiewicz's position, the best and most face-saving approach was to apologize, demonstrate humility and move on. Digging in the heels was not the best answer for Mr. Paszkiewicz, and it was wrong vis-a-vis the student.

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.

You're missing the point. Mr P is the adult. In trying to guilt Matt into covering for his lies, Mr. P brings in the health and safety of his children (his sick child, he's only financial support of the family, etc.). Meanwhile, no one is protecting the safety of Matt (shunning, death threats, etc.). It is the worst abuse of power of teacher over student. Mr. P did wrong and then lied about it; further, he let's his little cult followers do his dirty work of tormenting the boy for him. Fortunately, the LaClairs are stronger and have the law on their side. Thank God Paul is a lawyer, most Hudson County lawyers would just bury the case.

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Matthew said he didn't feel safe in class, not in the meeting.

With Somma and Wood (iirc) there too, he was perfectly fine at the meeting.

Why do you feel the need to answer for Paul? Paul's silence on the issue of why he let Matthew attend that meeting alone speaks volumes about motive.

Poor Strifey, too bad the Mayor spoke out and doesn't endorse crucifying the teacher.

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Why do you feel the need to answer for Paul? Paul's silence on the issue of why he let Matthew attend that meeting alone speaks volumes about motive. 

Poor Strifey, too bad the Mayor spoke out and doesn't endorse crucifying the teacher.

What it shows is that Somma thought he was going to let Mr. P twist Mathew's arm and the preaching would continue. Thus let's keep lawyer dad out of the meeting. What's so great is that a 16 year old managed to prove his case: Mr. P, the christian is a liar. Mr. P's manipulation was put aside and the kid got what he came for: audio of a lying teacher. Can a teacher lie in a meeting with his superior and not get reprimanded.

I am glad that Mayor Santos has come out in support of the LaClairs. It's clear that Mooney, Somma, MacDonald, Lindenfelser and the other members of the Board of Education have served the town poorly. If Mooney (has he listened to the audio tapes yet?), Lindenfelser (let me bill some more on this), MacDonald (I'm the boss, nobody speak on this board but me) had acted by reprimanding Mr. P and making a public statement about the separation of church and state this would have never gotten to where it has.

Let's hope that Mayor Santos has the political power to settle this matter. My tax dollars are at stake.

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