Jump to content

Help for New Visitors to KHS Teacher topics


oneellama
 Share

Recommended Posts

Dear Folks:

I opened this topic to help those visiting this blog for the first time because of the controversy regarding David Paszkiewicz, an American Government teacher at Kearny High School in New Jersey, and his student, Matthew LaClair. New visitors will quickly discover that there is a HUGE response on this issue (15 topics, over 1300 responses, about 40,000 views, and growing rapidly as I write this). It can be pretty overwhelming.

These are just some suggestions and answers to questions I ran into as I was first approaching the blog. My goal is for it to be useful, whether you are simply viewing the blog or you intend to make postings, and no matter what your position might be on the issue. If you actually think I've been successful in that purpose, please post a quick response, as it will keep the topic listing near the top of the index so people will notice it and potentially benefit from it. If not, it will simply fall to the bottom and disappear, though that's okay too.

Obviously you should feel welcome to make your own suggestions. Please note, though, it's not my intention to carry on substantive debate of the issue here; please use the other topics for that. See also "Disclosure" comments below.

Why register? I recommend that if you have any intention of posting, even just once, that you register. You can do so with a username that keeps you entirely anonymous. Email addresses or personal information are not required.

It is fairly easy to get drawn into these discussions (after all, isn't that the point?). There is great value to everyone, including you, in being able to easily see the progression of someone's comments. So many existing posts simply show as "Guest" that it's much harder to keep a flow and move the conversation forward. Registering also increases the functionality available to you on the blog.

Where can I get some background on the issue?

The Jersey Journal carried a front-page story by staff writer Ken Thorbourne on the controversy in its November 15th edition. I believe this was the first paper media coverage; someone please correct me if you something earlier with any substance to it. The paper ran a follow-on story the next day. Both stories are available on the Web, but they have been archived and are now only available for a fee. If you are still interested, you can go to the the Journal's homepage and select the Search Our Paid, Long-Term Archives link just below the "Today's News" banner.

A Nov. 21st story appeared in The Observer, a weekly newspaper serving Kearny and neighboring communities.

Following the article, Matthew's father, Paul LaClair, wrote a lengthy letter to the editor of The Observer giving the LaClair family's side of the story and responding to arguments made by some critics. The letter was not printed in the paper edition, but appears here on a blog associated with the paper (not KOTW).

The New York Times picked up the story on 12/18. Both The Observer (here) and The Jersey Journal's blog (here) ran short pieces noting this fact as evidence of the national spread of the story.

The administrators of this KOTW blog have also summarized the situation, with commentary, over time on the blog's homepage. If you're like me, though, you may have initially missed those items because you linked directly into the blog threads from outside.

Where's the beginning of things? The first posting was on 11/15, the same day as the article in The Jersey Journal, by a user simply labeled "Unknown" in a new topic called KHS Teacher Controversy. Paul LaClair registered on 11/30 and began to post to the topic soon after. The KHS Teacher Controversy. has had, by far, the greatest number of views and responses of any topic. There is a very broad range of issues raised there, and spinoff topics were soon created. Mr. LaClair created his own first topic, Science and religion, on 12/6.

Where can I access the conversations reported on in the newspaper? The Observer posted Quicktime files for three of the recordings on their blog.

The link to the written transcripts that I originally read at The Jersey Journal is now inactive. If someone has a reasonably complete alternative, please post it.

Are any of the primary players (the LaClairs, Mr. Paszkiewicz, members of the Kearny administration) participating directly in the blog? At this writing, only Matthew's father, Paul, is an identified presence on the blog, having created two topics, made numerous initiating posts, and responded to a large number of posts by others. To my knowledge, if any of the other primary players has participated, he has done so anonymously.

Are there any topics addressed directly to the key players? The only one at this time is a topic titled A message of support for Matthew LaClair ; however, Paul LaClair seems to be monitoring the major topics regularly and responding, as noted above.

Can I look at all the posts by one person at one time? Yes, if that person is registered. Simply select the username in any of the posts or in the KOTW forum index for Kearny, where all of the related topics are also listed by default in reverse order by the date and time of the last post to the topic.

Disclosure]

Are you connected in any official way to the KOTW blog, such as being a moderator? No.

Are you connected in any way to parties in the controversy? No. As I write this, I have never met, spoken to, or even corresponded with any of them.

Do you live in Kearny? No.

Why are you doing this? I found myself wishing that someone had done something like this, even at an earlier stage when the blog was much smaller. For health reasons, I have some time on my hands to blog. I think the topic is important. Regardless of how you feel about how the issue has unfolded up to this point, we can't stuff the genie back in the bottle. Therefore moving conversation forward on it is important. The vitality of blogs as a way to foster that kind of conversation, rather than simply as an avenue for ranting, is important.

Do you admit to any upfront bias? Yes. I have a strong bias that "moving conversation forward" requires us as citizens to debate issues on their merits, using our powers of listening, persuasion, and above all, reason or rational thinking. At the moment, I think Paul Laclair is doing a much better overall job of this than his detractors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Folks:

I opened this topic to help those visiting this blog for the first time because of the controversy regarding David Paszkiewicz, an American Government teacher at Kearny High School in New Jersey, and his student, Matthew LaClair.  New visitors will quickly discover that there is a HUGE response on this issue (15 topics, over 1300 responses, about 40,000 views, and growing rapidly as I write this). It can be pretty overwhelming.

These are just some suggestions and answers to questions I ran into as I was first approaching the blog.  My goal is for it to be useful, whether you are simply viewing the blog or you intend to make postings, and no matter what your position might be on the issue.  If you actually think I've been successful in that purpose, please post a quick response, as it will keep the topic listing near the top of the index so people will notice it and potentially benefit from it.  If not, it will simply fall to the bottom and disappear, though that's okay too.

Obviously you should feel welcome to make your own suggestions.  Please note, though, it's not my intention to carry on substantive debate of the issue here; please use the other topics for that.  See also "Disclosure" comments below.

Why register?  I recommend that if you have any intention of posting, even just once, that you register.  You can do so with a username that keeps you entirely anonymous. Email addresses or personal information are not required.

It is fairly easy to get drawn into these discussions (after all, isn't that the point?).  There is great value to everyone, including you, in being able to easily see the progression of someone's comments.  So many existing posts simply show as "Guest" that it's much harder to keep a flow and move the conversation forward. Registering also increases the functionality available to you on the blog.

Where can I get some background on the issue?

The Jersey Journal carried a front-page story by staff writer Ken Thorbourne on the controversy in its November 15th edition.  I believe this was the first paper media coverage; someone please correct me if you something earlier with any substance to it.  The paper ran a follow-on story the next day.  Both stories are available on the Web, but they have been archived and are now only available for a fee.  If you are still interested, you can go to the the Journal's homepage and select the Search Our Paid, Long-Term Archives link just below the "Today's News" banner.

A Nov. 21st story appeared in The Observer, a weekly newspaper serving Kearny and neighboring communities.

Following the article, Matthew's father, Paul LaClair, wrote a lengthy letter to the editor of The Observer giving the LaClair family's side of the story and responding to arguments made by some critics.  The letter was not printed in the paper edition, but appears here on a blog  associated with the paper (not KOTW).

The New York Times picked up the story on 12/18.  Both The Observer (here) and The Jersey Journal's blog (here) ran short pieces noting this fact as evidence of the national spread of the story.

The administrators of this KOTW blog have also summarized the situation, with commentary, over time on the blog's homepage.  If you're like me, though, you may have initially missed those items because you linked directly into the blog threads from outside.

Where's the beginning of things?  The first posting was on 11/15, the same day as the article in The Jersey Journal, by a user simply labeled "Unknown" in a new topic called KHS Teacher Controversy.  Paul LaClair registered on 11/30 and began to post to the topic soon after.  The KHS Teacher Controversy. has had, by far, the greatest number of views and responses of any topic.  There is a very broad range of issues raised there, and spinoff topics were soon created.  Mr. LaClair created his own first topic, Science and religion, on 12/6.

Where can I access the conversations reported on in the newspaper? The Observer posted Quicktime files for three of the recordings on their blog.

The link to the written transcripts that I originally read at The Jersey Journal is now inactive.  If someone has a reasonably complete alternative, please post it.

Are any of the primary players (the LaClairs, Mr. Paszkiewicz, members of the Kearny administration) participating directly in the blog?  At this writing, only Matthew's father, Paul, is an identified presence on the blog, having created two topics, made numerous initiating posts, and responded to a large number of posts by others.  To my knowledge, if any of the other primary players has participated, he has done so anonymously.

Are there any topics addressed directly to the key players?  The only one at this time is a topic titled A message of support for Matthew LaClair ; however, Paul LaClair seems to be monitoring the major topics regularly and responding, as noted above.

Can I look at all the posts by one person at one time?  Yes, if that person is registered.  Simply select the username in any of the posts or in the KOTW forum index for Kearny, where all of the related topics are also listed by default in reverse order by the date and time of the last post to the topic.

Disclosure]

Are you connected in any official way to the KOTW blog, such as being a moderator?  No.

Are you connected in any way to parties in the controversy?  No.  As I write this, I have never met, spoken to, or even corresponded with any of them.

Do you live in Kearny? No.

Why are you doing this? I found myself wishing that someone had done something like this, even at an earlier stage when the blog was much smaller.  For health reasons, I have some time on my hands to blog.  I think the topic is important.  Regardless of how you feel about how the issue has unfolded up to this point, we can't stuff the genie back in the bottle.  Therefore moving conversation forward on it is important.  The vitality of blogs as a way to foster that kind of conversation, rather than simply as an avenue for ranting, is important.

Do you admit to any upfront bias? Yes. I have a strong bias that "moving conversation forward" requires us as citizens to debate issues on their merits, using our powers of listening, persuasion, and above all, reason or rational thinking.  At the moment, I think Paul Laclair is doing a much better overall job of this than his detractors.

Well done!

I recommend that people pick up a copy of today's New York Times (Dec. 21), and read the letters to the editor. There are three scathing letters, including one from the astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who is director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Natural History Museum in New York.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest sidewinder
The New York Times picked up the story on 12/18.  Both The Observer (here) and The Jersey Journal's blog (here) ran short pieces noting this fact as evidence of the national spread of the story.

Looks like the "here" links for the Observer and the Journal articles in your last sentence got accidentally swapped.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...