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Dissecting the Doofus


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Well, here we are, nearly a year after the story of one of the worst examples of malfeasance in the annals of educational history broke into the news, still arguing over it as though the conduct of this teacher could somehow be defended. I'm actually starting to think maybe there is a hell and we've all gone there, doomed to spend eternity watching fools try to defend the indefensible.

OK, if we're going to do it, let's at least do it right. Let's go over what Mr. Doofus actually said, line by line and point by point.

As an overview, any competent educator listening to what Mr. Doofus did in that classroom (and in the meeting in Somma's office, too) would say that this was an immature teacher who let his personal agenda completely obscure his job as a teacher, including most especially his obligations to his students (both intellectually and ethically). He completely forgot the lessons of his classes in education (or maybe never learned them in the first place), used a gentle tone of voice to disguise the fact that he was bullying his students intellectually, and allowed the students to make a few comments to give the impression that he was allowing an even-handed discussion; when what he was really doing was taking control of the class to give long-winded explanations promoting fundamentalist Christianity.

Any competent educator would immediately identify the following sins by this teacher, leaving the issue of church-state separation completely aside.

1. Competent teachers do not lose control of themselves. They do not allow, much less encourage, their classes to become vehicles for their own agendas.

2. Good, fair and honest teachers do not pretend to hold a free-form discussion, whether on or off the curriculum, and then take control of the discussion whenever they want to. If they're going to lecture, then lecture, but don't pretend you're doing something else; and if it's a lecture, it must be within the curriculum, which this was not. It's appropriate to field questions within the subject matter the teacher is being paid to teach, but don't go outside your field and presume to give long answers to students' questions, all the while pretending you're just having a open discussion with no right or wrong answers. If the discussion is outside the curriculum, which this certainly was, they can't have it both ways, pretending to conduct an open discussion, but then dominating the discussion with long-winded speeches promoting their own views.

3. Good teachers don't undermine what other teachers in the approved curriculum are doing. It's amazing that Mr. Doofus wasn't fired for what he said about science, the educational system and all his fellow educators, leaving the church-state problem completely aside. This guy is no educator. He's a jerk.

4. Good teachers set good examples intellectually and ethically. This jackass did enough things wrong in a single day to supply an education class an entire semester's worth of material of what not to do.

5. Ethical teachers do not lie about their own conduct in an attempt to get one of their students to back down from an accusation, especially when that accusation is true. This alone should have gotten Mr. Doofus fired.

So what the hey, let the games begin. We'll start with the class of September 14, 2006. I'm taking from the transcript, which I've read, and the recordngs, which I've heard.

The "discussion" begins with Mr. Doofus expounding on his views toward Halloween. While there's nothing in these first few minutes that explicitly crosses the church-state line, it's obvious that Mr. Doofus is itching to open up a discussion that will allow him to promote his religious views. Consider the following:

He was discussing the historical root of the "holiday" (an inaccurate term, not significant), then gratuitously interjects this: "I just don't want my kids dressing up as anything evil." Great. Let's open the discussion of evil.

And in just a few moments, we have this, again from Mr. Doofus. ". . . so we try to set up an alternative counterpoint of salvation . . ." So much for a student introducing the subject of religion or religious dogma. It began with the teacher, and there it is.

Then after a few minutes, he interjects his personal religious views again; and again, it's completely gratuitous, aimed toward the promotion of his own religious views: "Anyway, my kids are home schooled . . ." Great. Your public school students really needed to know that, Mr. Doofus. Why not just come right out and say that you don't believe in the system you're supposed to be a part of --- you know, the one that puts bread on your table, Mr. Hypocritical Doofus, who would really like to teach in a fundie school but can't because it doesn't pay enough. Great job of teaching students how to backstab their eventual employers, Mr. Hypocritical Doofus.

Then he starts talking about Kearny, how he doesn't lock his own doors because of what a great town Kearny is. And then we get the explicit introduction of fundamentalist Christian religious dogma with this statement by Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus: "The highest value in public education is tolerance. But tolerance of what? Deviant behavior? There are a lot of things I don't want my kids tolerating. Ethnic diversity? Yes. Deviant sexual behavior? No. Things like that, and that's all being taught right from kindergarten on up. I still believe in the concept of sin, man's fallen nature . . ."

And there you have it, the introduction of Christian dogma into the discussion by whom? Matthew? No. Another student? No. Who, then?

Why, none other than Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus himself. He was just itching to have that discussion opened, the class was going on for about five minutes, no student formally brought up religion, so Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus, having grown impatient after five minutes, decided to open it himself.

So what's wrong with what he said?

1. He's promoting religious dogma in a public school.

2. He's telling students in a public school that the entire educational system, of which he and they are parts, is corrupt. That's disloyalty, just for starters.

3. He's telling his students that the public schools are teaching deviant behavior, including deviant sexual behavior. There's no other way to interpret "that's all being taught right from kindergarten on up."

4. He's promoting a myth. "Man's fallen nature" is a myth. It is part of the creationist story, directly opposed to nature through evolution, and therefore a direct violation of the prohibition of promoting creationism instead of evolution. It's hardly subtle at this point, even though he's not explicitly using the terms "evolution" and "creation" yet. He'll get to that shortly. But don't let anyone tell you that he didn't introduce the subject. He did, it was entirely gratuitous, and Matthew had absolutely nothing to do with it.

This explanation of why he doesn't lock his doors then turns into a long, uninterrupted speech, in which Mr. Doofus goes on to say the following: ". . . you surrender your kid to the state from preschool on up through 12th grade, and Mom and Dad are trying to tell you that the Bible is God's word, and their lives are deeply rooten in faith. But yet the "smart" people --- and I say that in quotations becasue they're not all really that smart --- the teachers that you're exposed to from kindergarten through 12th grade, never once will you see them crack open a Bible, never once will you hear them quote it, never once hear a prayer uttered from their lips." So who brought up the Bible? Why, Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, of course. Not Matthew, not some other student. Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, and none other.

Now what else is wrong with those entirely gratuitous remarks?

1. Mr. Doofus is interjecting his personal views into what is supposed to be an open discussion. A good teacher would remember that he is the authority figure there. He can't have it both ways: an open discussion on the one hand, and a lecture on the other.

2. He's mocking and demeaning all the other teachers those students have ever had from kindergarten on up. That's the implication, and it's clear.

3. He's advocating for the Bible. It's not allowed.

And we've only gotten onto page 2. There are 18 pages of this drivel.

So why not? Let's have some fun.

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This explanation of why he doesn't lock his doors then turns into a long, uninterrupted speech, in which Mr. Doofus goes on to say the following: ". . . you surrender your kid to the state from preschool on up through 12th grade, and Mom and Dad are trying to tell you that the Bible is God's word, and their lives are deeply rooten in faith. But yet the "smart" people --- and I say that in quotations becasue they're not all really that smart --- the teachers that you're exposed to from kindergarten through 12th grade, never once will you see them crack open a Bible, never once will you hear them quote it, never once hear a prayer uttered from their lips." So who brought up the Bible? Why, Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, of course. Not Matthew, not some other student. Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, and none other.

71723[/snapback]

Immediately following that, a student (not Matthew) makes the following remark: "And then there's people like me, like my mom and my dad, like barely ever go to church, like they don't even go for Christmas. And like my grandparents are very . . ."

Well, that's far too much for Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus, who can't let the idea that someone doesn't go to church pass, even for a moment. He just has to interject himself right into mid-sentence with this: "Well, that's their prerogative. But you . . . should it be imposed on the rest of the world?"

Way to make your biases known up front, Doofus! Why not, this class is all about your biases, right? Of course, if the student had said that her parents do go to church, she would have been allowed to finish the sentence.

You see, Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus, there's a difference between what people do in school and what they do on their own time. The discussion was about what happens in public education. The student brings up the fact that on their own time, her parents don't go to church, and what's the first thing that comes to your mind --- they're imposing their will on the world. Of course, it would be perfectly OK if they did go to church. That wouldn't be imposing their will on anyone, would it?

OK, I get it. If people go to church, that's free choice. If they don't go to church, they're imposing their views on the world. Got it. Loud and clear.

Way to stay objective in class, Doofus. Way to let all the students know that they'll be treated equally regardless of their religious beliefs and views on religion. Way to make everyone feel welcome during the first few days of school. No intimidation there. Way to create a welcoming environment for everyone in your classroom, Doofus.

Jerk.

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Guest Keith-Marshall Mo,
Well, here we are, nearly a year after the story of one of the worst examples of malfeasance in the annals of educational history broke into the news, still arguing over it as though the conduct of this teacher could somehow be defended. I'm actually starting to think maybe there is a hell and we've all gone there, doomed to spend eternity watching fools try to defend the indefensible.

OK, if we're going to do it, let's at least do it right. Let's go over what Mr. Doofus actually said, line by line and point by point.

As an overview, any competent educator listening to what Mr. Doofus did in that classroom (and in the meeting in Somma's office, too) would say that this was an immature teacher who let his personal agenda completely obscure his job as a teacher, including most especially his obligations to his students (both intellectually and ethically). He completely forgot the lessons of his classes in education (or maybe never learned them in the first place), used a gentle tone of voice to disguise the fact that he was bullying his students intellectually, and allowed the students to make a few comments to give the impression that he was allowing an even-handed discussion; when what he was really doing was taking control of the class to give long-winded explanations promoting fundamentalist Christianity.

Any competent educator would immediately identify the following sins by this teacher, leaving the issue of church-state separation completely aside.

1. Competent teachers do not lose control of themselves. They do not allow, much less encourage, their classes to become vehicles for their own agendas.

2. Good, fair and honest teachers do not pretend to hold a free-form discussion, whether on or off the curriculum, and then take control of the discussion whenever they want to. If they're going to lecture, then lecture, but don't pretend you're doing something else; and if it's a lecture, it must be within the curriculum, which this was not. It's appropriate to field questions within the subject matter the teacher is being paid to teach, but don't go outside your field and presume to give long answers to students' questions, all the while pretending you're just having a open discussion with no right or wrong answers. If the discussion is outside the curriculum, which this certainly was, they can't have it both ways, pretending to conduct an open discussion, but then dominating the discussion with long-winded speeches promoting their own views.

3. Good teachers don't undermine what other teachers in the approved curriculum are doing. It's amazing that Mr. Doofus wasn't fired for what he said about science, the educational system and all his fellow educators, leaving the church-state problem completely aside. This guy is no educator. He's a jerk.

4. Good teachers set good examples intellectually and ethically. This jackass did enough things wrong in a single day to supply an education class an entire semester's worth of material of what not to do.

5. Ethical teachers do not lie about their own conduct in an attempt to get one of their students to back down from an accusation, especially when that accusation is true. This alone should have gotten Mr. Doofus fired.

So what the hey, let the games begin. We'll start with the class of September 14, 2006. I'm taking from the transcript, which I've read, and the recordngs, which I've heard.

The "discussion" begins with Mr. Doofus expounding on his views toward Halloween. While there's nothing in these first few minutes that explicitly crosses the church-state line, it's obvious that Mr. Doofus is itching to open up a discussion that will allow him to promote his religious views. Consider the following:

He was discussing the historical root of the "holiday" (an inaccurate term, not significant), then gratuitously interjects this: "I just don't want my kids dressing up as anything evil." Great. Let's open the discussion of evil.

And in just a few moments, we have this, again from Mr. Doofus. ". . . so we try to set up an alternative counterpoint of salvation . . ." So much for a student introducing the subject of religion or religious dogma. It began with the teacher, and there it is.

Then after a few minutes, he interjects his personal religious views again; and again, it's completely gratuitous, aimed toward the promotion of his own religious views: "Anyway, my kids are home schooled . . ." Great. Your public school students really needed to know that, Mr. Doofus. Why not just come right out and say that you don't believe in the system you're supposed to be a part of --- you know, the one that puts bread on your table, Mr. Hypocritical Doofus, who would really like to teach in a fundie school but can't because it doesn't pay enough. Great job of teaching students how to backstab their eventual employers, Mr. Hypocritical Doofus.

Then he starts talking about Kearny, how he doesn't lock his own doors because of what a great town Kearny is. And then we get the explicit introduction of fundamentalist Christian religious dogma with this statement by Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus: "The highest value in public education is tolerance. But tolerance of what? Deviant behavior? There are a lot of things I don't want my kids tolerating. Ethnic diversity? Yes. Deviant sexual behavior? No. Things like that, and that's all being taught right from kindergarten on up. I still believe in the concept of sin, man's fallen nature . . ."

And there you have it, the introduction of Christian dogma into the discussion by whom? Matthew? No. Another student? No. Who, then?

Why, none other than Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus himself. He was just itching to have that discussion opened, the class was going on for about five minutes, no student formally brought up religion, so Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus, having grown impatient after five minutes, decided to open it himself.

So what's wrong with what he said?

1. He's promoting religious dogma in a public school.

2. He's telling students in a public school that the entire educational system, of which he and they are parts, is corrupt. That's disloyalty, just for starters.

3. He's telling his students that the public schools are teaching deviant behavior, including deviant sexual behavior. There's no other way to interpret "that's all being taught right from kindergarten on up."

4. He's promoting a myth. "Man's fallen nature" is a myth. It is part of the creationist story, directly opposed to nature through evolution, and therefore a direct violation of the prohibition of promoting creationism instead of evolution. It's hardly subtle at this point, even though he's not explicitly using the terms "evolution" and "creation" yet. He'll get to that shortly. But don't let anyone tell you that he didn't introduce the subject. He did, it was entirely gratuitous, and Matthew had absolutely nothing to do with it.

This explanation of why he doesn't lock his doors then turns into a long, uninterrupted speech, in which Mr. Doofus goes on to say the following: ". . . you surrender your kid to the state from preschool on up through 12th grade, and Mom and Dad are trying to tell you that the Bible is God's word, and their lives are deeply rooten in faith. But yet the "smart" people --- and I say that in quotations becasue they're not all really that smart --- the teachers that you're exposed to from kindergarten through 12th grade, never once will you see them crack open a Bible, never once will you hear them quote it, never once hear a prayer uttered from their lips." So who brought up the Bible? Why, Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, of course. Not Matthew, not some other student. Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, and none other.

Now what else is wrong with those entirely gratuitous remarks?

1. Mr. Doofus is interjecting his personal views into what is supposed to be an open discussion. A good teacher would remember that he is the authority figure there. He can't have it both ways: an open discussion on the one hand, and a lecture on the other.

2. He's mocking and demeaning all the other teachers those students have ever had from kindergarten on up. That's the implication, and it's clear.

3. He's advocating for the Bible. It's not allowed.

And we've only gotten onto page 2. There are 18 pages of this drivel.

So why not? Let's have some fun.

71723[/snapback]

Amen Brother or Sister! Can't wait to hear the defense for this!

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71723[/snapback]

OK, we made it onto page 3. Matthew still hasn't asked a single question.

Another student asks Doofus what he would do if his child said "I don't have faith." Now granted, that's a personal question. Leaving completely aside the fact that a competent teacher has to know that he may not answer that question in a public school if it gets into religious dogma (which he has already interjected anyway, so why worry about the rules), the following statement is completely indefensible:

Mr. Doofus: "But you think of even God, the way he's portrayed in the scriptures. People have done horrible things in the Bible. Did he stop loving us? No, I mean the relationship was damaged, but he didn't stop loving us. And that's how --- the example we should have as parents."

Never mind the fact that it obviously doesn't occur to him that there are other scriptures besides the Bible, and other religions besides Christianity; never mind the fact that he's conveying his biases in an unmistakable fashion, and is about to whine about the fact that he's not allowed to do that; never mind the fact that the biblical god is hardly a model of love. Leaving the theological content aside, none of that is acceptable in a public school classrom, coming from the so-called "teacher."

An apologist for Mr. Doofus might argue that he was just answering a question about his personal practices, until you get to the last sentence, which is why I bolded it and italicized the "we". This statement is easily interpreted as endorsing the Bible and only the Bible. After all, that's all that he talks about. He doesn't even mention the fact that there are other scriptures and other conceptions of God, or preface his remarks with an appropriate qualification. He's promoting the Christian religion here. You can dissect his remarks to interpret them another way, but it's the invisibility of all other religions that makes these remarks impermissible.

And where are you getting this "we" stuff, Mr. Kimo Sabe Doofus? Since when does "we" exclude everyone who isn't Christian?

It gets worse fast. Doofus goes on to make the infamous remark about breaking his son's backside if he doesn't want to go to church.

For whom are your speaking, Mr. Doofus? I don't appreciate Mr. Doofus presuming to put this up as an example of how to treat our children. You don't speak for the community, certainly not in this. And not surprisingly, it's attached to his religious beliefs.

It gets worse again. Later, a male student makes the comment that he learned something about the Bible from his mother and his pastor. Mr. Doofus responds, "Don't buy it."

Now wait a minute. Mr. Doofus just told these students that children must agree with their parents on matters of religion until they are 18. Doofus' exact words were: "Until you're 18, you have to agree." Yet here he is telling his student to ignore his mother's teachings. So if there was ever the slightest doubt that Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus was misusing the classroom to promote his own religion, these remarks, taken together, put an end to any such doubt. They are irreconcilable to each other, completely contradictory. If it's about his kid and his beliefs, the child must agree until age 18 or have his backside broken. But if it's someone else's kid with different religious beliefs (even Christian beliefs, since the male student is a Christian!), well, now that's a different story. Other people's kids are free to ignore their parents' teachings. Let's all bow down to Mr. Proselytizing Hypocritical Doofus.

After all, that's the organizing principle here. David Paszkiewicz gets to speak for everyone. If something fits with his view of God and the Bible, it's good. If it doesn't fit, it's bad. Nice, neat, simple, but you can't do that in a public school.

There's no defending this hypocrisy, or this promotion of personal religious opinions not only to the exclusion of non-Christian views, but to the exclusion of Christian views he doesn't agree with. Go ahead, tell me he didn't make this all about his personal beliefs.

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Well, here we are, nearly a year after the story of one of the worst examples of malfeasance in the annals of educational history broke into the news, still arguing over it as though the conduct of this teacher could somehow be defended. I'm actually starting to think maybe there is a hell and we've all gone there, doomed to spend eternity watching fools try to defend the indefensible.

OK, if we're going to do it, let's at least do it right. Let's go over what Mr. Doofus actually said, line by line and point by point.

As an overview, any competent educator listening to what Mr. Doofus did in that classroom (and in the meeting in Somma's office, too) would say that this was an immature teacher who let his personal agenda completely obscure his job as a teacher, including most especially his obligations to his students (both intellectually and ethically). He completely forgot the lessons of his classes in education (or maybe never learned them in the first place), used a gentle tone of voice to disguise the fact that he was bullying his students intellectually, and allowed the students to make a few comments to give the impression that he was allowing an even-handed discussion; when what he was really doing was taking control of the class to give long-winded explanations promoting fundamentalist Christianity.

Any competent educator would immediately identify the following sins by this teacher, leaving the issue of church-state separation completely aside.

1. Competent teachers do not lose control of themselves. They do not allow, much less encourage, their classes to become vehicles for their own agendas.

2. Good, fair and honest teachers do not pretend to hold a free-form discussion, whether on or off the curriculum, and then take control of the discussion whenever they want to. If they're going to lecture, then lecture, but don't pretend you're doing something else; and if it's a lecture, it must be within the curriculum, which this was not. It's appropriate to field questions within the subject matter the teacher is being paid to teach, but don't go outside your field and presume to give long answers to students' questions, all the while pretending you're just having a open discussion with no right or wrong answers. If the discussion is outside the curriculum, which this certainly was, they can't have it both ways, pretending to conduct an open discussion, but then dominating the discussion with long-winded speeches promoting their own views.

3. Good teachers don't undermine what other teachers in the approved curriculum are doing. It's amazing that Mr. Doofus wasn't fired for what he said about science, the educational system and all his fellow educators, leaving the church-state problem completely aside. This guy is no educator. He's a jerk.

4. Good teachers set good examples intellectually and ethically. This jackass did enough things wrong in a single day to supply an education class an entire semester's worth of material of what not to do.

5. Ethical teachers do not lie about their own conduct in an attempt to get one of their students to back down from an accusation, especially when that accusation is true. This alone should have gotten Mr. Doofus fired.

So what the hey, let the games begin. We'll start with the class of September 14, 2006. I'm taking from the transcript, which I've read, and the recordngs, which I've heard.

The "discussion" begins with Mr. Doofus expounding on his views toward Halloween. While there's nothing in these first few minutes that explicitly crosses the church-state line, it's obvious that Mr. Doofus is itching to open up a discussion that will allow him to promote his religious views. Consider the following:

He was discussing the historical root of the "holiday" (an inaccurate term, not significant), then gratuitously interjects this: "I just don't want my kids dressing up as anything evil." Great. Let's open the discussion of evil.

And in just a few moments, we have this, again from Mr. Doofus. ". . . so we try to set up an alternative counterpoint of salvation . . ." So much for a student introducing the subject of religion or religious dogma. It began with the teacher, and there it is.

Then after a few minutes, he interjects his personal religious views again; and again, it's completely gratuitous, aimed toward the promotion of his own religious views: "Anyway, my kids are home schooled . . ." Great. Your public school students really needed to know that, Mr. Doofus. Why not just come right out and say that you don't believe in the system you're supposed to be a part of --- you know, the one that puts bread on your table, Mr. Hypocritical Doofus, who would really like to teach in a fundie school but can't because it doesn't pay enough. Great job of teaching students how to backstab their eventual employers, Mr. Hypocritical Doofus.

Then he starts talking about Kearny, how he doesn't lock his own doors because of what a great town Kearny is. And then we get the explicit introduction of fundamentalist Christian religious dogma with this statement by Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus: "The highest value in public education is tolerance. But tolerance of what? Deviant behavior? There are a lot of things I don't want my kids tolerating. Ethnic diversity? Yes. Deviant sexual behavior? No. Things like that, and that's all being taught right from kindergarten on up. I still believe in the concept of sin, man's fallen nature . . ."

And there you have it, the introduction of Christian dogma into the discussion by whom? Matthew? No. Another student? No. Who, then?

Why, none other than Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus himself. He was just itching to have that discussion opened, the class was going on for about five minutes, no student formally brought up religion, so Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus, having grown impatient after five minutes, decided to open it himself.

So what's wrong with what he said?

1. He's promoting religious dogma in a public school.

2. He's telling students in a public school that the entire educational system, of which he and they are parts, is corrupt. That's disloyalty, just for starters.

3. He's telling his students that the public schools are teaching deviant behavior, including deviant sexual behavior. There's no other way to interpret "that's all being taught right from kindergarten on up."

4. He's promoting a myth. "Man's fallen nature" is a myth. It is part of the creationist story, directly opposed to nature through evolution, and therefore a direct violation of the prohibition of promoting creationism instead of evolution. It's hardly subtle at this point, even though he's not explicitly using the terms "evolution" and "creation" yet. He'll get to that shortly. But don't let anyone tell you that he didn't introduce the subject. He did, it was entirely gratuitous, and Matthew had absolutely nothing to do with it.

This explanation of why he doesn't lock his doors then turns into a long, uninterrupted speech, in which Mr. Doofus goes on to say the following: ". . . you surrender your kid to the state from preschool on up through 12th grade, and Mom and Dad are trying to tell you that the Bible is God's word, and their lives are deeply rooten in faith. But yet the "smart" people --- and I say that in quotations becasue they're not all really that smart --- the teachers that you're exposed to from kindergarten through 12th grade, never once will you see them crack open a Bible, never once will you hear them quote it, never once hear a prayer uttered from their lips." So who brought up the Bible? Why, Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, of course. Not Matthew, not some other student. Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, and none other.

Now what else is wrong with those entirely gratuitous remarks?

1. Mr. Doofus is interjecting his personal views into what is supposed to be an open discussion. A good teacher would remember that he is the authority figure there. He can't have it both ways: an open discussion on the one hand, and a lecture on the other.

2. He's mocking and demeaning all the other teachers those students have ever had from kindergarten on up. That's the implication, and it's clear.

3. He's advocating for the Bible. It's not allowed.

And we've only gotten onto page 2. There are 18 pages of this drivel.

So why not? Let's have some fun.

71723[/snapback]

Congratulations!

I guess you must have a degree from DOOFUS University.

You parents should be proud.

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Well, here we are, nearly a year after the story of one of the worst examples of malfeasance in the annals of educational history broke into the news, still arguing over it as though the conduct of this teacher could somehow be defended. I'm actually starting to think maybe there is a hell and we've all gone there, doomed to spend eternity watching fools try to defend the indefensible.

Your nickname is well-chosen.

OK, if we're going to do it, let's at least do it right. Let's go over what Mr. Doofus actually said, line by line and point by point.

As an overview, any competent educator listening to what Mr. Doofus did in that classroom (and in the meeting in Somma's office, too) would say that this was an immature teacher who let his personal agenda completely obscure his job as a teacher, including most especially his obligations to his students (both intellectually and ethically). He completely forgot the lessons of his classes in education (or maybe never learned them in the first place), used a gentle tone of voice to disguise the fact that he was bullying his students intellectually, and allowed the students to make a few comments to give the impression that he was allowing an even-handed discussion; when what he was really doing was taking control of the class to give long-winded explanations promoting fundamentalist Christianity.

Any competent educator would immediately identify the following sins by this teacher, leaving the issue of church-state separation completely aside.

1. Competent teachers do not lose control of themselves. They do not allow, much less encourage, their classes to become vehicles for their own agendas.

What is the origin of this qualification? Teachers insert their own agenda routinely, from stating preferred authors to advocating political positions.

2. Good, fair and honest teachers do not pretend to hold a free-form discussion, whether on or off the curriculum, and then take control of the discussion whenever they want to. If they're going to lecture, then lecture, but don't pretend you're doing something else; and if it's a lecture, it must be within the curriculum, which this was not. It's appropriate to field questions within the subject matter the teacher is being paid to teach, but don't go outside your field and presume to give long answers to students' questions, all the while pretending you're just having a open discussion with no right or wrong answers. If the discussion is outside the curriculum, which this certainly was, they can't have it both ways, pretending to conduct an open discussion, but then dominating the discussion with long-winded speeches promoting their own views.

I don't see how you can rule the discussion "outside the curriculum" when religions of all kinds unquestionably influence the flow of history. If you're doing to "do it right" then shouldn't you explain your presuppositions?

3. Good teachers don't undermine what other teachers in the approved curriculum are doing. It's amazing that Mr. Doofus wasn't fired for what he said about science, the educational system and all his fellow educators, leaving the church-state problem completely aside. This guy is no educator. He's a jerk.

Doing it right apparently encompasses name-calling.

If a science teacher teaches historical science in terms of the traditional scientific method, where repeatability of observations does, in fact, occur as part of the scientific method, then isn't the science curriculum at fault rather than the epistemology lesson given by Mr. Paszkiewicz?

Perhaps a "competent" teacher is one who accedes to any dogma of a colleague ...

4. Good teachers set good examples intellectually and ethically. This jackass did enough things wrong in a single day to supply an education class an entire semester's worth of material of what not to do.

I can hardly wait for your attempt to give concrete examples.

5. Ethical teachers do not lie about their own conduct in an attempt to get one of their students to back down from an accusation, especially when that accusation is true. This alone should have gotten Mr. Doofus fired.

The evidence says that Paszkiewicz did not lie, though it's easy to see how a person whose objectivity had been thoroughly undermined by false reporting might see it otherwise.

So what the hey, let the games begin. We'll start with the class of September 14, 2006. I'm taking from the transcript, which I've read, and the recordngs, which I've heard.

The "discussion" begins with Mr. Doofus expounding on his views toward Halloween. While there's nothing in these first few minutes that explicitly crosses the church-state line, it's obvious that Mr. Doofus is itching to open up a discussion that will allow him to promote his religious views. Consider the following:

He was discussing the historical root of the "holiday" (an inaccurate term, not significant), then gratuitously interjects this: "I just don't want my kids dressing up as anything evil." Great. Let's open the discussion of evil.

Obviously very itchy.

And in just a few moments, we have this, again from Mr. Doofus. ". . . so we try to set up an alternative counterpoint of salvation . . ." So much for a student introducing the subject of religion or religious dogma. It began with the teacher, and there it is.

Taken out of context, as is the tradition. I detect no evidence in the audio that Paszkiewicz introduced salvation as a topic for discussion with that comment. Perhaps once you provide the context for the statement we can discuss it the right way.

Then after a few minutes, he interjects his personal religious views again; and again, it's completely gratuitous, aimed toward the promotion of his own religious views: "Anyway, my kids are home schooled . . ." Great. Your public school students really needed to know that, Mr. Doofus. Why not just come right out and say that you don't believe in the system you're supposed to be a part of --- you know, the one that puts bread on your table, Mr. Hypocritical Doofus, who would really like to teach in a fundie school but can't because it doesn't pay enough. Great job of teaching students how to backstab their eventual employers, Mr. Hypocritical Doofus.

Again, the "right way" seems to amount to name-calling.

Then he starts talking about Kearny, how he doesn't lock his own doors because of what a great town Kearny is. And then we get the explicit introduction of fundamentalist Christian religious dogma with this statement by Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus: "The highest value in public education is tolerance. But tolerance of what? Deviant behavior? There are a lot of things I don't want my kids tolerating. Ethnic diversity? Yes. Deviant sexual behavior? No. Things like that, and that's all being taught right from kindergarten on up. I still believe in the concept of sin, man's fallen nature . . ."

And there you have it, the introduction of Christian dogma into the discussion by whom? Matthew? No. Another student? No. Who, then?

Is there supposed to be something wrong with a reference to belief in the concept of sin and/or man's fallen nature?

Talking about this the right way, one would note that the topic is the world view taught in schools, one that places "tolerance" as a high ideal. The mention of sin is simply an illustration of the way the implicit world view of a public school conflicts with religious belief.

There's supposed to be something wrong with that?

Why, none other than Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus himself. He was just itching to have that discussion opened, the class was going on for about five minutes, no student formally brought up religion, so Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus, having grown impatient after five minutes, decided to open it himself.

Even if you were able to rule out students introducing religion (I don't see how you could do it based on the recording but maybe you'll explain it after calling me names), there seems no reason to regard the topic of sin as outside the history curriculum.

So what's wrong with what he said?

1. He's promoting religious dogma in a public school.

Really? What did he do to promote it other than mentioning it?

2. He's telling students in a public school that the entire educational system, of which he and they are parts, is corrupt. That's disloyalty, just for starters.

Once those kids get to college they'll probably have teachers receiving government funds telling them that the entire U.S. form of government is corrupt. The disloyalty charge is a red herring.

3. He's telling his students that the public schools are teaching deviant behavior, including deviant sexual behavior. There's no other way to interpret "that's all being taught right from kindergarten on up."

"The highest value in public education is tolerance. But tolerance - of what? Deviant behavior? There are a lot of things I don't want my kids tolerating. Ethnic diversity? Yes. Sexually deviant behavior? No. Things like that, and that's all being taught right from kindergarten and up."

A reasonable person does not ignore and omit the words "Things like that" and concludes that Paszkiewicz is talking about various things about which the school system might teach tolerance. Some public schools do encourage social acceptance of deviant behavior.

4. He's promoting a myth. "Man's fallen nature" is a myth. It is part of the creationist story, directly opposed to nature through evolution, and therefore a direct violation of the prohibition of promoting creationism instead of evolution. It's hardly subtle at this point, even though he's not explicitly using the terms "evolution" and "creation" yet. He'll get to that shortly. But don't let anyone tell you that he didn't introduce the subject. He did, it was entirely gratuitous, and Matthew had absolutely nothing to do with it.

It is not promoting a myth to note the tension between the implicit values of the state -run school system ("tolerance") and a specific doctrine.

Your argument does much to demonstrate how unhinged your side is over this issue.

This explanation of why he doesn't lock his doors then turns into a long, uninterrupted speech, in which Mr. Doofus goes on to say the following: ". . . you surrender your kid to the state from preschool on up through 12th grade, and Mom and Dad are trying to tell you that the Bible is God's word, and their lives are deeply rooten in faith. But yet the "smart" people --- and I say that in quotations becasue they're not all really that smart --- the teachers that you're exposed to from kindergarten through 12th grade, never once will you see them crack open a Bible, never once will you hear them quote it, never once hear a prayer uttered from their lips." So who brought up the Bible? Why, Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, of course. Not Matthew, not some other student. Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, and none other.

Is there supposed to be something wrong with mentioning the Bible in class?

I guess if you're anti-religious you might not want it mentioned that the modern public school system is not neutral toward religion but anti-religious in character ...

Isn't there some way to censor people like Paszkiewicz?

Now what else is wrong with those entirely gratuitous remarks?

1. Mr. Doofus is interjecting his personal views into what is supposed to be an open discussion. A good teacher would remember that he is the authority figure there. He can't have it both ways: an open discussion on the one hand, and a lecture on the other.

2. He's mocking and demeaning all the other teachers those students have ever had from kindergarten on up. That's the implication, and it's clear.

3. He's advocating for the Bible. It's not allowed.

And we've only gotten onto page 2. There are 18 pages of this drivel.

So why not? Let's have some fun.

71723[/snapback]

Don't forget to count your drivel.

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Guest Ad Infinitum

Still on page three, Mr. Doofus makes the following two statements within a minute or so of each other.

Mr. Doofus (1): ". . . but yet the state comes up with some weird perception of what educatin ought to be . . ."

Mr. Doofus (2): ". . . the public schools shouldn't teach a religion - but the scriptures aren't religion."

Egads, where to begin?

Well, for starters, we're back to "what do you mean by 'we,' Kimo Sabe?" Now you don't suppose Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus is including the Koran or the Upanishads when he refers to "scriptures," do you? He alludes to other religions in his next statement, but the only one he actually discusses is Christianity in its various denominations. His vision of the world is clear enough, and he's explicit about it. He wants the Bible taught in the public schools --- but that wouldn't be teaching a religion.

Yeah, right. Way to be objective and intellectually honest, Doofus.

By this time, Matthew has finally asked a question, two of them in fact. The second was (Matthew): "What would decide what should be - what religion should be taught in the schools, what would decide that?" It's a great question, and it goes to the heart of the problem with what Mr. Doofus is doing. You can't have a religiously diverse society in which people of all religions are treated equally, and yet at the same time teach a particular religion in the public schools. Oddly, Mr. Doofus seems to acknowledge this in his response, which begins with a statement that "it's not about teaching religion . . . the public schools should teach a religion."

There it is, from Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus' own mouth. Even he acknowledges the importance of separating church and state. (A point he has vigorously denied since, most notoriously in a letter to the Kearny Observer.) And then negates the whole thing by denying that teaching the Bible is teaching a religion.

Weird perceptions, indeed. And this delusional buffoon is allowed to continue teaching?

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Well, here we are, nearly a year after the story of one of the worst examples of malfeasance in the annals of educational history broke into the news, still arguing over it as though the conduct of this teacher could somehow be defended. I'm actually starting to think maybe there is a hell and we've all gone there, doomed to spend eternity watching fools try to defend the indefensible.

OK, if we're going to do it, let's at least do it right. Let's go over what Mr. Doofus actually said, line by line and point by point.

As an overview, any competent educator listening to what Mr. Doofus did in that classroom (and in the meeting in Somma's office, too) would say that this was an immature teacher who let his personal agenda completely obscure his job as a teacher, including most especially his obligations to his students (both intellectually and ethically). He completely forgot the lessons of his classes in education (or maybe never learned them in the first place), used a gentle tone of voice to disguise the fact that he was bullying his students intellectually, and allowed the students to make a few comments to give the impression that he was allowing an even-handed discussion; when what he was really doing was taking control of the class to give long-winded explanations promoting fundamentalist Christianity.

Any competent educator would immediately identify the following sins by this teacher, leaving the issue of church-state separation completely aside.

1. Competent teachers do not lose control of themselves. They do not allow, much less encourage, their classes to become vehicles for their own agendas.

2. Good, fair and honest teachers do not pretend to hold a free-form discussion, whether on or off the curriculum, and then take control of the discussion whenever they want to. If they're going to lecture, then lecture, but don't pretend you're doing something else; and if it's a lecture, it must be within the curriculum, which this was not. It's appropriate to field questions within the subject matter the teacher is being paid to teach, but don't go outside your field and presume to give long answers to students' questions, all the while pretending you're just having a open discussion with no right or wrong answers. If the discussion is outside the curriculum, which this certainly was, they can't have it both ways, pretending to conduct an open discussion, but then dominating the discussion with long-winded speeches promoting their own views.

3. Good teachers don't undermine what other teachers in the approved curriculum are doing. It's amazing that Mr. Doofus wasn't fired for what he said about science, the educational system and all his fellow educators, leaving the church-state problem completely aside. This guy is no educator. He's a jerk.

4. Good teachers set good examples intellectually and ethically. This jackass did enough things wrong in a single day to supply an education class an entire semester's worth of material of what not to do.

5. Ethical teachers do not lie about their own conduct in an attempt to get one of their students to back down from an accusation, especially when that accusation is true. This alone should have gotten Mr. Doofus fired.

So what the hey, let the games begin. We'll start with the class of September 14, 2006. I'm taking from the transcript, which I've read, and the recordngs, which I've heard.

The "discussion" begins with Mr. Doofus expounding on his views toward Halloween. While there's nothing in these first few minutes that explicitly crosses the church-state line, it's obvious that Mr. Doofus is itching to open up a discussion that will allow him to promote his religious views. Consider the following:

He was discussing the historical root of the "holiday" (an inaccurate term, not significant), then gratuitously interjects this: "I just don't want my kids dressing up as anything evil." Great. Let's open the discussion of evil.

And in just a few moments, we have this, again from Mr. Doofus. ". . . so we try to set up an alternative counterpoint of salvation . . ." So much for a student introducing the subject of religion or religious dogma. It began with the teacher, and there it is.

Then after a few minutes, he interjects his personal religious views again; and again, it's completely gratuitous, aimed toward the promotion of his own religious views: "Anyway, my kids are home schooled . . ." Great. Your public school students really needed to know that, Mr. Doofus. Why not just come right out and say that you don't believe in the system you're supposed to be a part of --- you know, the one that puts bread on your table, Mr. Hypocritical Doofus, who would really like to teach in a fundie school but can't because it doesn't pay enough. Great job of teaching students how to backstab their eventual employers, Mr. Hypocritical Doofus.

Then he starts talking about Kearny, how he doesn't lock his own doors because of what a great town Kearny is. And then we get the explicit introduction of fundamentalist Christian religious dogma with this statement by Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus: "The highest value in public education is tolerance. But tolerance of what? Deviant behavior? There are a lot of things I don't want my kids tolerating. Ethnic diversity? Yes. Deviant sexual behavior? No. Things like that, and that's all being taught right from kindergarten on up. I still believe in the concept of sin, man's fallen nature . . ."

And there you have it, the introduction of Christian dogma into the discussion by whom? Matthew? No. Another student? No. Who, then?

Why, none other than Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus himself. He was just itching to have that discussion opened, the class was going on for about five minutes, no student formally brought up religion, so Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus, having grown impatient after five minutes, decided to open it himself.

So what's wrong with what he said?

1. He's promoting religious dogma in a public school.

2. He's telling students in a public school that the entire educational system, of which he and they are parts, is corrupt. That's disloyalty, just for starters.

3. He's telling his students that the public schools are teaching deviant behavior, including deviant sexual behavior. There's no other way to interpret "that's all being taught right from kindergarten on up."

4. He's promoting a myth. "Man's fallen nature" is a myth. It is part of the creationist story, directly opposed to nature through evolution, and therefore a direct violation of the prohibition of promoting creationism instead of evolution. It's hardly subtle at this point, even though he's not explicitly using the terms "evolution" and "creation" yet. He'll get to that shortly. But don't let anyone tell you that he didn't introduce the subject. He did, it was entirely gratuitous, and Matthew had absolutely nothing to do with it.

This explanation of why he doesn't lock his doors then turns into a long, uninterrupted speech, in which Mr. Doofus goes on to say the following: ". . . you surrender your kid to the state from preschool on up through 12th grade, and Mom and Dad are trying to tell you that the Bible is God's word, and their lives are deeply rooten in faith. But yet the "smart" people --- and I say that in quotations becasue they're not all really that smart --- the teachers that you're exposed to from kindergarten through 12th grade, never once will you see them crack open a Bible, never once will you hear them quote it, never once hear a prayer uttered from their lips." So who brought up the Bible? Why, Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, of course. Not Matthew, not some other student. Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, and none other.

Now what else is wrong with those entirely gratuitous remarks?

1. Mr. Doofus is interjecting his personal views into what is supposed to be an open discussion. A good teacher would remember that he is the authority figure there. He can't have it both ways: an open discussion on the one hand, and a lecture on the other.

2. He's mocking and demeaning all the other teachers those students have ever had from kindergarten on up. That's the implication, and it's clear.

3. He's advocating for the Bible. It's not allowed.

And we've only gotten onto page 2. There are 18 pages of this drivel.

So why not? Let's have some fun.

71723[/snapback]

Amen. Thank you for taking the time to lay this out so precisely.

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Guest 2smart4u
Well, here we are, nearly a year after the story of one of the worst examples of malfeasance in the annals of educational history broke into the news, still arguing over it as though the conduct of this teacher could somehow be defended. I'm actually starting to think maybe there is a hell and we've all gone there, doomed to spend eternity watching fools try to defend the indefensible.

OK, if we're going to do it, let's at least do it right. Let's go over what Mr. Doofus actually said, line by line and point by point.

As an overview, any competent educator listening to what Mr. Doofus did in that classroom (and in the meeting in Somma's office, too) would say that this was an immature teacher who let his personal agenda completely obscure his job as a teacher, including most especially his obligations to his students (both intellectually and ethically). He completely forgot the lessons of his classes in education (or maybe never learned them in the first place), used a gentle tone of voice to disguise the fact that he was bullying his students intellectually, and allowed the students to make a few comments to give the impression that he was allowing an even-handed discussion; when what he was really doing was taking control of the class to give long-winded explanations promoting fundamentalist Christianity.

Any competent educator would immediately identify the following sins by this teacher, leaving the issue of church-state separation completely aside.

1. Competent teachers do not lose control of themselves. They do not allow, much less encourage, their classes to become vehicles for their own agendas.

2. Good, fair and honest teachers do not pretend to hold a free-form discussion, whether on or off the curriculum, and then take control of the discussion whenever they want to. If they're going to lecture, then lecture, but don't pretend you're doing something else; and if it's a lecture, it must be within the curriculum, which this was not. It's appropriate to field questions within the subject matter the teacher is being paid to teach, but don't go outside your field and presume to give long answers to students' questions, all the while pretending you're just having a open discussion with no right or wrong answers. If the discussion is outside the curriculum, which this certainly was, they can't have it both ways, pretending to conduct an open discussion, but then dominating the discussion with long-winded speeches promoting their own views.

3. Good teachers don't undermine what other teachers in the approved curriculum are doing. It's amazing that Mr. Doofus wasn't fired for what he said about science, the educational system and all his fellow educators, leaving the church-state problem completely aside. This guy is no educator. He's a jerk.

4. Good teachers set good examples intellectually and ethically. This jackass did enough things wrong in a single day to supply an education class an entire semester's worth of material of what not to do.

5. Ethical teachers do not lie about their own conduct in an attempt to get one of their students to back down from an accusation, especially when that accusation is true. This alone should have gotten Mr. Doofus fired.

So what the hey, let the games begin. We'll start with the class of September 14, 2006. I'm taking from the transcript, which I've read, and the recordngs, which I've heard.

The "discussion" begins with Mr. Doofus expounding on his views toward Halloween. While there's nothing in these first few minutes that explicitly crosses the church-state line, it's obvious that Mr. Doofus is itching to open up a discussion that will allow him to promote his religious views. Consider the following:

He was discussing the historical root of the "holiday" (an inaccurate term, not significant), then gratuitously interjects this: "I just don't want my kids dressing up as anything evil." Great. Let's open the discussion of evil.

And in just a few moments, we have this, again from Mr. Doofus. ". . . so we try to set up an alternative counterpoint of salvation . . ." So much for a student introducing the subject of religion or religious dogma. It began with the teacher, and there it is.

Then after a few minutes, he interjects his personal religious views again; and again, it's completely gratuitous, aimed toward the promotion of his own religious views: "Anyway, my kids are home schooled . . ." Great. Your public school students really needed to know that, Mr. Doofus. Why not just come right out and say that you don't believe in the system you're supposed to be a part of --- you know, the one that puts bread on your table, Mr. Hypocritical Doofus, who would really like to teach in a fundie school but can't because it doesn't pay enough. Great job of teaching students how to backstab their eventual employers, Mr. Hypocritical Doofus.

Then he starts talking about Kearny, how he doesn't lock his own doors because of what a great town Kearny is. And then we get the explicit introduction of fundamentalist Christian religious dogma with this statement by Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus: "The highest value in public education is tolerance. But tolerance of what? Deviant behavior? There are a lot of things I don't want my kids tolerating. Ethnic diversity? Yes. Deviant sexual behavior? No. Things like that, and that's all being taught right from kindergarten on up. I still believe in the concept of sin, man's fallen nature . . ."

And there you have it, the introduction of Christian dogma into the discussion by whom? Matthew? No. Another student? No. Who, then?

Why, none other than Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus himself. He was just itching to have that discussion opened, the class was going on for about five minutes, no student formally brought up religion, so Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus, having grown impatient after five minutes, decided to open it himself.

So what's wrong with what he said?

1. He's promoting religious dogma in a public school.

2. He's telling students in a public school that the entire educational system, of which he and they are parts, is corrupt. That's disloyalty, just for starters.

3. He's telling his students that the public schools are teaching deviant behavior, including deviant sexual behavior. There's no other way to interpret "that's all being taught right from kindergarten on up."

4. He's promoting a myth. "Man's fallen nature" is a myth. It is part of the creationist story, directly opposed to nature through evolution, and therefore a direct violation of the prohibition of promoting creationism instead of evolution. It's hardly subtle at this point, even though he's not explicitly using the terms "evolution" and "creation" yet. He'll get to that shortly. But don't let anyone tell you that he didn't introduce the subject. He did, it was entirely gratuitous, and Matthew had absolutely nothing to do with it.

This explanation of why he doesn't lock his doors then turns into a long, uninterrupted speech, in which Mr. Doofus goes on to say the following: ". . . you surrender your kid to the state from preschool on up through 12th grade, and Mom and Dad are trying to tell you that the Bible is God's word, and their lives are deeply rooten in faith. But yet the "smart" people --- and I say that in quotations becasue they're not all really that smart --- the teachers that you're exposed to from kindergarten through 12th grade, never once will you see them crack open a Bible, never once will you hear them quote it, never once hear a prayer uttered from their lips." So who brought up the Bible? Why, Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, of course. Not Matthew, not some other student. Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, and none other.

Now what else is wrong with those entirely gratuitous remarks?

1. Mr. Doofus is interjecting his personal views into what is supposed to be an open discussion. A good teacher would remember that he is the authority figure there. He can't have it both ways: an open discussion on the one hand, and a lecture on the other.

2. He's mocking and demeaning all the other teachers those students have ever had from kindergarten on up. That's the implication, and it's clear.

3. He's advocating for the Bible. It's not allowed.

And we've only gotten onto page 2. There are 18 pages of this drivel.

So why not? Let's have some fun.

71723[/snapback]

You must have some exciting life when this tired, worn-out, stale and over-

hashed non-story still compels you to type a tedius and long-winded load of

boring nonsense. You should try to get out more.

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Well, here we are, nearly a year after the story of one of the worst examples of malfeasance in the annals of educational history broke into the news, still arguing over it as though the conduct of this teacher could somehow be defended. I'm actually starting to think maybe there is a hell and we've all gone there, doomed to spend eternity watching fools try to defend the indefensible.

OK, if we're going to do it, let's at least do it right. Let's go over what Mr. Doofus actually said, line by line and point by point.

As an overview, any competent educator listening to what Mr. Doofus did in that classroom (and in the meeting in Somma's office, too) would say that this was an immature teacher who let his personal agenda completely obscure his job as a teacher, including most especially his obligations to his students (both intellectually and ethically). He completely forgot the lessons of his classes in education (or maybe never learned them in the first place), used a gentle tone of voice to disguise the fact that he was bullying his students intellectually, and allowed the students to make a few comments to give the impression that he was allowing an even-handed discussion; when what he was really doing was taking control of the class to give long-winded explanations promoting fundamentalist Christianity.

Any competent educator would immediately identify the following sins by this teacher, leaving the issue of church-state separation completely aside.

1. Competent teachers do not lose control of themselves. They do not allow, much less encourage, their classes to become vehicles for their own agendas.

2. Good, fair and honest teachers do not pretend to hold a free-form discussion, whether on or off the curriculum, and then take control of the discussion whenever they want to. If they're going to lecture, then lecture, but don't pretend you're doing something else; and if it's a lecture, it must be within the curriculum, which this was not. It's appropriate to field questions within the subject matter the teacher is being paid to teach, but don't go outside your field and presume to give long answers to students' questions, all the while pretending you're just having a open discussion with no right or wrong answers. If the discussion is outside the curriculum, which this certainly was, they can't have it both ways, pretending to conduct an open discussion, but then dominating the discussion with long-winded speeches promoting their own views.

3. Good teachers don't undermine what other teachers in the approved curriculum are doing. It's amazing that Mr. Doofus wasn't fired for what he said about science, the educational system and all his fellow educators, leaving the church-state problem completely aside. This guy is no educator. He's a jerk.

4. Good teachers set good examples intellectually and ethically. This jackass did enough things wrong in a single day to supply an education class an entire semester's worth of material of what not to do.

5. Ethical teachers do not lie about their own conduct in an attempt to get one of their students to back down from an accusation, especially when that accusation is true. This alone should have gotten Mr. Doofus fired.

So what the hey, let the games begin. We'll start with the class of September 14, 2006. I'm taking from the transcript, which I've read, and the recordngs, which I've heard.

The "discussion" begins with Mr. Doofus expounding on his views toward Halloween. While there's nothing in these first few minutes that explicitly crosses the church-state line, it's obvious that Mr. Doofus is itching to open up a discussion that will allow him to promote his religious views. Consider the following:

He was discussing the historical root of the "holiday" (an inaccurate term, not significant), then gratuitously interjects this: "I just don't want my kids dressing up as anything evil." Great. Let's open the discussion of evil.

And in just a few moments, we have this, again from Mr. Doofus. ". . . so we try to set up an alternative counterpoint of salvation . . ." So much for a student introducing the subject of religion or religious dogma. It began with the teacher, and there it is.

Then after a few minutes, he interjects his personal religious views again; and again, it's completely gratuitous, aimed toward the promotion of his own religious views: "Anyway, my kids are home schooled . . ." Great. Your public school students really needed to know that, Mr. Doofus. Why not just come right out and say that you don't believe in the system you're supposed to be a part of --- you know, the one that puts bread on your table, Mr. Hypocritical Doofus, who would really like to teach in a fundie school but can't because it doesn't pay enough. Great job of teaching students how to backstab their eventual employers, Mr. Hypocritical Doofus.

Then he starts talking about Kearny, how he doesn't lock his own doors because of what a great town Kearny is. And then we get the explicit introduction of fundamentalist Christian religious dogma with this statement by Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus: "The highest value in public education is tolerance. But tolerance of what? Deviant behavior? There are a lot of things I don't want my kids tolerating. Ethnic diversity? Yes. Deviant sexual behavior? No. Things like that, and that's all being taught right from kindergarten on up. I still believe in the concept of sin, man's fallen nature . . ."

And there you have it, the introduction of Christian dogma into the discussion by whom? Matthew? No. Another student? No. Who, then?

Why, none other than Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus himself. He was just itching to have that discussion opened, the class was going on for about five minutes, no student formally brought up religion, so Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus, having grown impatient after five minutes, decided to open it himself.

So what's wrong with what he said?

1. He's promoting religious dogma in a public school.

2. He's telling students in a public school that the entire educational system, of which he and they are parts, is corrupt. That's disloyalty, just for starters.

3. He's telling his students that the public schools are teaching deviant behavior, including deviant sexual behavior. There's no other way to interpret "that's all being taught right from kindergarten on up."

4. He's promoting a myth. "Man's fallen nature" is a myth. It is part of the creationist story, directly opposed to nature through evolution, and therefore a direct violation of the prohibition of promoting creationism instead of evolution. It's hardly subtle at this point, even though he's not explicitly using the terms "evolution" and "creation" yet. He'll get to that shortly. But don't let anyone tell you that he didn't introduce the subject. He did, it was entirely gratuitous, and Matthew had absolutely nothing to do with it.

This explanation of why he doesn't lock his doors then turns into a long, uninterrupted speech, in which Mr. Doofus goes on to say the following: ". . . you surrender your kid to the state from preschool on up through 12th grade, and Mom and Dad are trying to tell you that the Bible is God's word, and their lives are deeply rooten in faith. But yet the "smart" people --- and I say that in quotations becasue they're not all really that smart --- the teachers that you're exposed to from kindergarten through 12th grade, never once will you see them crack open a Bible, never once will you hear them quote it, never once hear a prayer uttered from their lips." So who brought up the Bible? Why, Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, of course. Not Matthew, not some other student. Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, and none other.

Now what else is wrong with those entirely gratuitous remarks?

1. Mr. Doofus is interjecting his personal views into what is supposed to be an open discussion. A good teacher would remember that he is the authority figure there. He can't have it both ways: an open discussion on the one hand, and a lecture on the other.

2. He's mocking and demeaning all the other teachers those students have ever had from kindergarten on up. That's the implication, and it's clear.

3. He's advocating for the Bible. It's not allowed.

And we've only gotten onto page 2. There are 18 pages of this drivel.

So why not? Let's have some fun.

71723[/snapback]

Couldn't agree more. Among the many ironies in this story, this comment from the teacher happened to catch my eye. "But tolerance of what?"

What an ironic question for him to ask. His behavior was intolerable. Seems that he convinced himself that all liberal kids and their parents don't have any values, that everything for them is just up for grabs. Unfortunately for him, this boy obviously has some strong values, and Mr. Doofus got caught up in the buzzsaw, through his own words no less.

It's called being hoisted on one's own petard. I've seen a lot of apologizing for him, but when one is convicted by his own words, there's only one person to blame. The one in his mirror.

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Guest Keith-Marshall,Mo
Your nickname is well-chosen.

What is the origin of this qualification?  Teachers insert their own agenda routinely, from stating preferred authors to advocating political positions.

I don't see how you can rule the discussion "outside the curriculum" when religions of all kinds unquestionably influence the flow of history.  If you're doing to "do it right" then shouldn't you explain your presuppositions?

Doing it right apparently encompasses name-calling.

If a science teacher teaches historical science in terms of the traditional scientific method, where repeatability of observations does, in fact, occur as part of the scientific method, then isn't the science curriculum at fault rather than the epistemology lesson given by Mr. Paszkiewicz?

Perhaps a "competent" teacher is one who accedes to any dogma of a colleague ...

I can hardly wait for your attempt to give concrete examples.

The evidence says that Paszkiewicz did not lie, though it's easy to see how a person whose objectivity had been thoroughly undermined by false reporting might see it otherwise.

Obviously very itchy.

Taken out of context, as is the tradition.  I detect no evidence in the audio that Paszkiewicz introduced salvation as a topic for discussion with that comment.  Perhaps once you provide the context for the statement we can discuss it the right way.

Again, the "right way" seems to amount to name-calling.

Is there supposed to be something wrong with a reference to belief in the concept of sin and/or man's fallen nature?

Talking about this the right way, one would note that the topic is the world view taught in schools, one that places "tolerance" as a high ideal.  The mention of sin is simply an illustration of the way the implicit world view of a public school conflicts with religious belief.

There's supposed to be something wrong with that?

Why, none other than Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus himself. He was just itching to have that discussion opened, the class was going on for about five minutes, no student formally brought up religion, so Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus, having grown impatient after five minutes, decided to open it himself.

Even if you were able to rule out students introducing religion (I don't see how you could do it based on the recording but maybe you'll explain it after calling me names), there seems no reason to regard the topic of sin as outside the history curriculum.

So what's wrong with what he said?

1. He's promoting religious dogma in a public school.

Really?  What did he do to promote it other than mentioning it?

2. He's telling students in a public school that the entire educational system, of which he and they are parts, is corrupt. That's disloyalty, just for starters.

Once those kids get to college they'll probably have teachers receiving government funds telling them that the entire U.S. form of government is corrupt.  The disloyalty charge is a red herring.

3. He's telling his students that the public schools are teaching deviant behavior, including deviant sexual behavior. There's no other way to interpret "that's all being taught right from kindergarten on up."

"The highest value in public education is tolerance. But tolerance - of what? Deviant behavior? There are a lot of things I don't want my kids tolerating. Ethnic diversity? Yes. Sexually deviant behavior? No. Things like that, and that's all being taught right from kindergarten and up."

A reasonable person does not ignore and omit the words "Things like that" and concludes that Paszkiewicz is talking about various things about which the school system might teach tolerance.  Some public schools do encourage social acceptance of deviant behavior.

4. He's promoting a myth. "Man's fallen nature" is a myth. It is part of the creationist story, directly opposed to nature through evolution, and therefore a direct violation of the prohibition of promoting creationism instead of evolution. It's hardly subtle at this point, even though he's not explicitly using the terms "evolution" and "creation" yet. He'll get to that shortly. But don't let anyone tell you that he didn't introduce the subject. He did, it was entirely gratuitous, and Matthew had absolutely nothing to do with it.

It is not promoting a myth to note the tension between the implicit values of the state -run school system ("tolerance") and a specific doctrine.

Your argument does much to demonstrate how unhinged your side is over this issue.

This explanation of why he doesn't lock his doors then turns into a long, uninterrupted speech, in which Mr. Doofus goes on to say the following: ". . . you surrender your kid to the state from preschool on up through 12th grade, and Mom and Dad are trying to tell you that the Bible is God's word, and their lives are deeply rooten in faith. But yet the "smart" people --- and I say that in quotations becasue they're not all really that smart --- the teachers that you're exposed to from kindergarten through 12th grade, never once will you see them crack open a Bible, never once will you hear them quote it, never once hear a prayer uttered from their lips." So who brought up the Bible? Why, Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, of course. Not Matthew, not some other student. Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, and none other.

Is there supposed to be something wrong with mentioning the Bible in class?

I guess if you're anti-religious you might not want it mentioned that the modern public school system is not neutral toward religion but anti-religious in character ... 

Isn't there some way to censor people like Paszkiewicz?

Now what else is wrong with those entirely gratuitous remarks?

1. Mr. Doofus is interjecting his personal views into what is supposed to be an open discussion. A good teacher would remember that he is the authority figure there. He can't have it both ways: an open discussion on the one hand, and a lecture on the other.

2. He's mocking and demeaning all the other teachers those students have ever had from kindergarten on up. That's the implication, and it's clear.

3. He's advocating for the Bible. It's not allowed.

And we've only gotten onto page 2. There are 18 pages of this drivel.

So why not? Let's have some fun.

71723[/snapback]

Don't forget to count your drivel.

71739[/snapback]

Bryan,

I applaud you on your consistentcy but unfortunately on this topic you are consistently wrong.

You talk about context ad nauseum but that doesn't change the content. You have an amazing capacity to parse things down to the inth degree yet still cannot see the obvious. I'm beginning to think that for you this all about simple debate and that you find great joy in the defense that which is indefensible.

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A reasonable person does not ignore and omit the words "Things like that" and concludes that Paszkiewicz is talking about various things about which the school system might teach tolerance.  Some public schools do encourage social acceptance of deviant behavior.

If schools didn't encourage social acceptance of individual deviant behavior, how would rationalists deal with religious people? It's hard for ethical people to sit idly by as children are dragged into church every Sunday, like lemmings over a cliff. But we learn to tolerate the madness, as sad as it may be.

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Your nickname is well-chosen.

What is the origin of this qualification?  Teachers insert their own agenda routinely, from stating preferred authors to advocating political positions.

I don't see how you can rule the discussion "outside the curriculum" when religions of all kinds unquestionably influence the flow of history.  If you're doing to "do it right" then shouldn't you explain your presuppositions?

Doing it right apparently encompasses name-calling.

If a science teacher teaches historical science in terms of the traditional scientific method, where repeatability of observations does, in fact, occur as part of the scientific method, then isn't the science curriculum at fault rather than the epistemology lesson given by Mr. Paszkiewicz?

Perhaps a "competent" teacher is one who accedes to any dogma of a colleague ...

I can hardly wait for your attempt to give concrete examples.

The evidence says that Paszkiewicz did not lie, though it's easy to see how a person whose objectivity had been thoroughly undermined by false reporting might see it otherwise.

Obviously very itchy.

Taken out of context, as is the tradition.  I detect no evidence in the audio that Paszkiewicz introduced salvation as a topic for discussion with that comment.  Perhaps once you provide the context for the statement we can discuss it the right way.

Again, the "right way" seems to amount to name-calling.

Is there supposed to be something wrong with a reference to belief in the concept of sin and/or man's fallen nature?

Talking about this the right way, one would note that the topic is the world view taught in schools, one that places "tolerance" as a high ideal.  The mention of sin is simply an illustration of the way the implicit world view of a public school conflicts with religious belief.

There's supposed to be something wrong with that?

Even if you were able to rule out students introducing religion (I don't see how you could do it based on the recording but maybe you'll explain it after calling me names), there seems no reason to regard the topic of sin as outside the history curriculum.

Once those kids get to college they'll probably have teachers receiving government funds telling them that the entire U.S. form of government is corrupt.  The disloyalty charge is a red herring.

A reasonable person does not ignore and omit the words "Things like that" and concludes that Paszkiewicz is talking about various things about which the school system might teach tolerance.  Some public schools do encourage social acceptance of deviant behavior.

It is not promoting a myth to note the tension between the implicit values of the state -run school system ("tolerance") and a specific doctrine.

Your argument does much to demonstrate how unhinged your side is over this issue.

Is there supposed to be something wrong with mentioning the Bible in class?

I guess if you're anti-religious you might not want it mentioned that the modern public school system is not neutral toward religion but anti-religious in character ... 

Isn't there some way to censor people like Paszkiewicz?

Don't forget to count your drivel.

71739[/snapback]

You forgot "Oh yeah?!"

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EDIT: Bah, no strikethrough tag.

Still, this is a great dissection. Great analysis.  :)

71755[/snapback]

(David Paszkiewicz writes a thank-you letter to Bryan in stream of consciousness, strikethroughs in orange):

Dear Bryan,

Thank you for your excellent powerful impassioned heroic pitiful pathetic

really trying-hard effort to

save salvage restore rescue rehabilitate apologize preserve protect defend

save my integrity honor virtue intelligence character sorry ass job.

I know I didn’t give you much to work with , but

(starting over):

Dear Bryan,

Thanks for trying. I know you did the absolute best you could.

Yours in ignorance,

David (“Packy”) Paszkiewicz

(Note: It’s just possible this wasn’t actually written by David Paszkiewicz.) <_<

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Well, here we are, nearly a year after the story of one of the worst examples of malfeasance in the annals of educational history broke into the news, still arguing over it as though the conduct of this teacher could somehow be defended. I'm actually starting to think maybe there is a hell and we've all gone there, doomed to spend eternity watching fools try to defend the indefensible.

OK, if we're going to do it, let's at least do it right. Let's go over what Mr. Doofus actually said, line by line and point by point.

As an overview, any competent educator listening to what Mr. Doofus did in that classroom (and in the meeting in Somma's office, too) would say that this was an immature teacher who let his personal agenda completely obscure his job as a teacher, including most especially his obligations to his students (both intellectually and ethically). He completely forgot the lessons of his classes in education (or maybe never learned them in the first place), used a gentle tone of voice to disguise the fact that he was bullying his students intellectually, and allowed the students to make a few comments to give the impression that he was allowing an even-handed discussion; when what he was really doing was taking control of the class to give long-winded explanations promoting fundamentalist Christianity.

Any competent educator would immediately identify the following sins by this teacher, leaving the issue of church-state separation completely aside.

1. Competent teachers do not lose control of themselves. They do not allow, much less encourage, their classes to become vehicles for their own agendas.

2. Good, fair and honest teachers do not pretend to hold a free-form discussion, whether on or off the curriculum, and then take control of the discussion whenever they want to. If they're going to lecture, then lecture, but don't pretend you're doing something else; and if it's a lecture, it must be within the curriculum, which this was not. It's appropriate to field questions within the subject matter the teacher is being paid to teach, but don't go outside your field and presume to give long answers to students' questions, all the while pretending you're just having a open discussion with no right or wrong answers. If the discussion is outside the curriculum, which this certainly was, they can't have it both ways, pretending to conduct an open discussion, but then dominating the discussion with long-winded speeches promoting their own views.

3. Good teachers don't undermine what other teachers in the approved curriculum are doing. It's amazing that Mr. Doofus wasn't fired for what he said about science, the educational system and all his fellow educators, leaving the church-state problem completely aside. This guy is no educator. He's a jerk.

4. Good teachers set good examples intellectually and ethically. This jackass did enough things wrong in a single day to supply an education class an entire semester's worth of material of what not to do.

5. Ethical teachers do not lie about their own conduct in an attempt to get one of their students to back down from an accusation, especially when that accusation is true. This alone should have gotten Mr. Doofus fired.

So what the hey, let the games begin. We'll start with the class of September 14, 2006. I'm taking from the transcript, which I've read, and the recordngs, which I've heard.

The "discussion" begins with Mr. Doofus expounding on his views toward Halloween. While there's nothing in these first few minutes that explicitly crosses the church-state line, it's obvious that Mr. Doofus is itching to open up a discussion that will allow him to promote his religious views. Consider the following:

He was discussing the historical root of the "holiday" (an inaccurate term, not significant), then gratuitously interjects this: "I just don't want my kids dressing up as anything evil." Great. Let's open the discussion of evil.

And in just a few moments, we have this, again from Mr. Doofus. ". . . so we try to set up an alternative counterpoint of salvation . . ." So much for a student introducing the subject of religion or religious dogma. It began with the teacher, and there it is.

Then after a few minutes, he interjects his personal religious views again; and again, it's completely gratuitous, aimed toward the promotion of his own religious views: "Anyway, my kids are home schooled . . ." Great. Your public school students really needed to know that, Mr. Doofus. Why not just come right out and say that you don't believe in the system you're supposed to be a part of --- you know, the one that puts bread on your table, Mr. Hypocritical Doofus, who would really like to teach in a fundie school but can't because it doesn't pay enough. Great job of teaching students how to backstab their eventual employers, Mr. Hypocritical Doofus.

Then he starts talking about Kearny, how he doesn't lock his own doors because of what a great town Kearny is. And then we get the explicit introduction of fundamentalist Christian religious dogma with this statement by Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus: "The highest value in public education is tolerance. But tolerance of what? Deviant behavior? There are a lot of things I don't want my kids tolerating. Ethnic diversity? Yes. Deviant sexual behavior? No. Things like that, and that's all being taught right from kindergarten on up. I still believe in the concept of sin, man's fallen nature . . ."

And there you have it, the introduction of Christian dogma into the discussion by whom? Matthew? No. Another student? No. Who, then?

Why, none other than Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus himself. He was just itching to have that discussion opened, the class was going on for about five minutes, no student formally brought up religion, so Mr. Proselytizing Fundie Doofus, having grown impatient after five minutes, decided to open it himself.

So what's wrong with what he said?

1. He's promoting religious dogma in a public school.

2. He's telling students in a public school that the entire educational system, of which he and they are parts, is corrupt. That's disloyalty, just for starters.

3. He's telling his students that the public schools are teaching deviant behavior, including deviant sexual behavior. There's no other way to interpret "that's all being taught right from kindergarten on up."

4. He's promoting a myth. "Man's fallen nature" is a myth. It is part of the creationist story, directly opposed to nature through evolution, and therefore a direct violation of the prohibition of promoting creationism instead of evolution. It's hardly subtle at this point, even though he's not explicitly using the terms "evolution" and "creation" yet. He'll get to that shortly. But don't let anyone tell you that he didn't introduce the subject. He did, it was entirely gratuitous, and Matthew had absolutely nothing to do with it.

This explanation of why he doesn't lock his doors then turns into a long, uninterrupted speech, in which Mr. Doofus goes on to say the following: ". . . you surrender your kid to the state from preschool on up through 12th grade, and Mom and Dad are trying to tell you that the Bible is God's word, and their lives are deeply rooten in faith. But yet the "smart" people --- and I say that in quotations becasue they're not all really that smart --- the teachers that you're exposed to from kindergarten through 12th grade, never once will you see them crack open a Bible, never once will you hear them quote it, never once hear a prayer uttered from their lips." So who brought up the Bible? Why, Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, of course. Not Matthew, not some other student. Mr. Proselytizing Doofus, and none other.

Now what else is wrong with those entirely gratuitous remarks?

1. Mr. Doofus is interjecting his personal views into what is supposed to be an open discussion. A good teacher would remember that he is the authority figure there. He can't have it both ways: an open discussion on the one hand, and a lecture on the other.

2. He's mocking and demeaning all the other teachers those students have ever had from kindergarten on up. That's the implication, and it's clear.

3. He's advocating for the Bible. It's not allowed.

And we've only gotten onto page 2. There are 18 pages of this drivel.

So why not? Let's have some fun.

71723[/snapback]

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If schools didn't encourage social acceptance of individual deviant behavior, how would rationalists deal with religious people?

Don't rationalists consider themselves the enlightened minority? They have their own deviant behavior to think about.

It's hard for ethical people to sit idly by as children are dragged into church every Sunday, like lemmings over a cliff.

Indeed? Can we expect you to assist in spearheading the attempt to repeal the First Amendment?

But we learn to tolerate the madness, as sad as it may be.

71826[/snapback]

Yet given the opportunity, perhaps you'd try aggressive steps to stem the madness ... as was done in the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.

No?

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The "discussion" begins with Mr. Doofus expounding on his views toward Halloween. While there's nothing in these first few minutes that explicitly crosses the church-state line, it's obvious that Mr. Doofus is itching to open up a discussion that will allow him to promote his religious views. Consider the following:

He was discussing the historical root of the "holiday" (an inaccurate term, not significant), then gratuitously interjects this: "I just don't want my kids dressing up as anything evil." Great. Let's open the discussion of evil.

Sorry Ad Infinitum,

Actual Context: (Classroom Recording Sept 14th 2007)

(Recording starts with the teacher apparently answering a question.  It is obvious that the recording did not start at the exact beginning of the class.  The teacheer's tone and inflection are obviously those of someone giving an answer.  From the teacher's word's on the recording, the question was most likely, "Do you allow your children to celebrate halloween?")

Teacher:  "I know the roots of Halloween, but you know what, almost nobody nowadays does.  I just don't want my kids dressing as anything evil or seductive."

And in just a few moments, we have this, again from Mr. Doofus. ". . . so we try to set up an alternative counterpoint of salvation . . ." So much for a student introducing the subject of religion or religious dogma. It began with the teacher, and there it is.

Sorry again,

(This is an inaccuracy which can be traced to the Dranger Transcript of the 14th.  The actual words of the teacher follow)

Dranger Transcript"...so we try to set up an alternative counterpoint of salvation..."

Actual Classroom Recording sept. 14th 2006:  "...so we try to set up an alternative or counter celebration..."

And there you have it, the introduction of Christian dogma into the discussion by whom? Matthew? No. Another student? No. Who, then?

onto page 2. There are 18 pages of this drivel.

It actually doesn't appear that way.  In fact, it sounds like the kids are actually enjoying the class..

71723[/snapback]

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71855[/snapback]

Dear Nimnode,

As has been pointed out repeatedly, it doesn't matter that the teacher says any of this in response to a student's question. It also doesn't matter that the class was enjoying it.

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