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Guest L DiEpp
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Guest L DiEpp

This is an open letter to Matthew LaClair and the citizens of Kearny...

Dear Matthew,

I was so taken by the article in the New York Times that described your bravery and integrity in the face of the inappropriate behavior of your teacher, I was compelled to write. Courage to stand up to an adult who has authority over you, when that person is abusing his position deserves recognition. Your clear understanding of our Constitution and your willingness to defend it confirms my faith in the youth of America.

My ancestors were French Huguenots, whom along with the Dutch Calvinists left Holland to escaped religious persecution and settled Staten Island in 1661.. They came here with hope, they came seeking freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom of religion... People like my ancestors who suffered the religious bigotry of religious extremists made sure the founders of our country incorporated into our Constitution a strong prohibition against state sponsored religion.. They knew with certainty that separation of church and state was vital to a healthy Democracy and the only sure way to protect the right of all citizens to worship, or not worship, according to their own beliefs.

There is no doubt that Freedom of Speech is also a crucial right in a free society.. But you can not falsely shout "fire" in a crowded theater, nor can a teacher proselytize in a "State" public school classroom. Your teacher took advantage of a captive audience and stepped way over the line forcing his personal religious views on his students. I do not believe this is the first time he has done so; This is just the first time an intelligent young man found heart and took a stand... This teacher displayed his monumental ignorance of the subject he was entrusted to teach. He violated a sacred tenant of our Bill of Rights. He violated his responsibilities as a teacher.. You were smart to record his statements... even with proof of exactly what was said, those who would distort reality to support hypocrisy will attack you, blame you, persecute you. It is the nature of extremism.

I am sorry you have lost friends over this. It may not feel like it now, but trust me when I tell you, you have gained far more than you have lost... BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO!

Sincerely,

A New York City Public School Teacher ....a Christian

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Guest Peter Styvesant
This is an open letter to Matthew LaClair and the citizens of Kearny...

Dear Matthew,

I was so taken by the article in the New York Times that described your bravery and integrity in the face of the inappropriate behavior of your teacher, I was compelled to write.  Courage to stand up to an adult who has authority over you, when that person is abusing his position deserves recognition.  Your clear understanding of our Constitution and your willingness to defend it confirms my faith in the youth of America.

My ancestors were French Huguenots, whom along with the Dutch Calvinists left Holland to escaped religious persecution and settled Staten Island in 1661.. They came here with hope, they came seeking freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom of religion... People like my ancestors who suffered the religious bigotry of religious extremists made sure the founders of our country incorporated into our Constitution a strong prohibition against state sponsored religion.. They knew with certainty that separation of church and state was vital to a healthy Democracy and the only sure way to protect the right of all citizens to worship, or not worship, according to their own beliefs.

There is no doubt that Freedom of Speech is also a crucial right in a free society.. But you can not falsely shout "fire" in a crowded theater, nor can a teacher proselytize in a "State" public school classroom. Your teacher took advantage of a captive audience and stepped way over the line forcing his personal religious views on his students.  I do not believe this is the first time he has done so; This is just the first time an intelligent young man found heart and took a stand... This teacher displayed his monumental ignorance of the subject he was entrusted to teach. He violated a sacred tenant of our Bill of Rights. He violated his responsibilities as a teacher.. You were smart to record his statements... even with proof of exactly what was said, those who would distort reality to support hypocrisy will attack you, blame you, persecute you. It is the nature of extremism.

I am sorry you have lost friends over this. It may not feel like it now, but trust me when I tell you, you have gained far more than you have lost... BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO!

Sincerely,

A New York City Public School Teacher ....a Christian

What religious persecution took place in that classroom? I love how a lot of this s*** just keeps flowing on this topic. Before we start throwing these great reactionary phrases around let's actually unrestand what they mean--and the implications of mis-using them also.

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Guest Calybos
What religious persecution took place in that classroom? I love how a lot of this s*** just keeps flowing on this topic. Before we start throwing these great reactionary phrases around let's  actually unrestand what they mean--and the implications of mis-using them also.

Telling a Muslim student they're going to hell doesn't count as "religious persecution" in your eyes, eh? So what was it--constructive feedback?

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Telling a Muslim student they're going to hell doesn't count as "religious persecution" in your eyes, eh? So what was it--constructive feedback?

jeez... Can you imagine what kind of MARTYR SIREN we'd be hearing if it were a christian kid being marginalized in the public classroom after being told his faith will send him to hell?

good grief.

You'd think that someone let a lion loose in church for all the shrill crocodile tears we would have heard if the roles were opposite!

typical pharisee christians.

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Telling a Muslim student they're going to hell doesn't count as "religious persecution" in your eyes, eh? So what was it--constructive feedback?

You see how things get blown out of proportion, He did not tell a Muslim student that they were going to hell.

Paul- in another post I replied to you that I agreed with separation of church and state, I am absolutly appaled at you now for your manipulation of the press. How far are you going to let this go?

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What religious persecution took place in that classroom? I love how a lot of this s*** just keeps flowing on this topic. Before we start throwing these great reactionary phrases around let's  actually unrestand what they mean--and the implications of mis-using them also.

First of all, telling non-Christians who do not accept his version of Christianity will be going to hell is religious persecution to those who are non-christian and a captive audience by virtue of mandated high school attendance.

Secondly, it is a travesty that the teacher has wasted valuable class time neglecting to teach the AP American History material he was supposed to teach to ramble on about his religion (violation of Establishment Clause in Constitution) and on matters he knows nothing about (evolution/scientific method). Since the class was supposed to be AP US History, he should have been teaching that subject and nothing else. As it is, there is not enough time in a semester to cover that curriculum. Wasting time discussing topics outside the scope of his class shows the teacher's complete lack of professionalism to his duties.

Moreover, the poor reasoning and writing evident in many of the letters and postings supporting the teacher on this board and other publications makes me concerned about the education KHS is providing to their students and community. After reviewing the academic performance report for KHS, parents should be more concerned about strengthening the reading, writing, and logical reasoning and analysis abilities of many KHS students.

NJDOE Report Card for KHS:

http://education.state.nj.us/rc/rc05/datas...datasection=all

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