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What the Kids Are Saying


oneellama
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My guess from reading this blog over time is that most of the posts are from adults (the behavior of a few notwithstanding). So...what are some of the KIDS --current and recent Kearny grads -- saying?

Visit facebook.com or myspace (you need to register for both), and with a little searching in very public places you will find what they are saying about this controversy. Here's a sampling of some comments taken from kids who are closer to the goings-on than we can be. There's a lot there, so I tried to put in a representative range. I have intentionally not identified any of the commenters, because they probably weren't thinking about how public the Internet really is. I hope you'll take the time to read through to the end -- below the quotes I've written a few of my thoughts on what this implies for the focus and choices of the adults in this situation.

_____________________

Paskiewicz does have the ability to offend. On one occasion, with no knowledge of whether or not anybody in the class room had ever had an abortion, he refered to such practice as "baby killing." If you claim that his preachings can't effect somebody, then you're mistaken.
hell yeah man, its only the second week of school, and i was almost suspended, this occured on monday, but im writing about it today, i was called into Mr. Ragnoni's office, and he asked me why i thought i was here and i was like idk, and he was like wat did u do to mat leclair on friday, and i was like o yeah, i threw him into the wall for not standing up for the flag salute, and he was like do u think that was the right thing to do and i was like hell yeah, so he said that if he didnt think i was a good kid, he was gonna suspend me for five days due to assault, and i was like o well, and now i realize, i probly shouldnt have pushed mat into the wall, i shoulda tossed him down the stairs, well ne way, from now on if ne one sees him in the hall, push him into a wall and tell him to start standing, eventually he'll get the point, and start standing, and if he doesnt, we'll go to the next level, now every one hop to it
ok so none of us went forth with reporting the so called "preacher"...why?

were scared? doubt that..whats there to be scared of?

most arguements would say that we just didnt care enough to...why? cuz it didnt affect us...

that kid should get beat up, if not for recording Paszkiewicz, but for generally being really dorky looking.
excuse me but i am thinking in a college way, because if i was still in higschool mentality then I'd be saying i would kick this kid's ass, but clearly I'm taking the more adult approach by looking at the facts.
Mr. P clearly in the tape said somewhere along the lines of "is everyone comfortable in continueing with this topic?" noone said anything...they were all interested and didnt care...what about matt? he cared right? didnt say a word...why? cuz he was recording and it was his chance. he could of said "actually i do feel uncomfortable." BAM i have no doubt in my mind Mr. P would def stop right there and then. cuz then he will be blatantly informed that these are now dangerous lines... a student has stated that he is uncomfortable and still continued...thats a bad idea and he knows it. he fully aware of the fine line between CCD and public schools and he would NOT risk that at all.
everyone that has had mr p has had heard him preach to us. matt did tell mr p that he was uncomfortable, he even told the principle and mr p said "you took it out of context." Well, how do you take those statements out of context? mr p should have the intelligence to know that it is inappropriate...mr p was abusing his power, his opinion in every class discussion was always supported by his biblical references. the truth of the matter is, if matt didnt record this, nobody wouldve believed that it went on. the article even proves that.
...if it bothers him so much, switch teachers. It's not a big deal. He's not only making himself hated in school, but he may cost a man his job, which in my eyes is messed up.
I believe that this kid needs serious attention and help. Hey Mat if you really felt threatened or harassed by Mr.P's comments why didnt you just leave the class and change your schedule?
and, why should a person have to switch out of a class? the solution is to ignore the problem? there are lots of problems in the world and this is one of them. if not now, when? when another generation of kearny teens have the religious teacher? why do we all hate matt leclair?college angst? matt leclair has nothing to do with issue. we dont have to keep it a secret that mr p preaches to us.
If you don't accept this you belong in hell?

- This is ludicrous. It doesn't matter if the person this is being said to believes in hell...Basically, with this statement, you are telling someone they are a bad person because they don't follow along with your beliefs. Thats pathetic.

i also recall some rather racist and even anti-semetic statements throughout his class. but as high schoolers, u laugh and make fun of him behind his back like normal kids should!
All i got to say is if was still in high school i would kick his ass
matt didnt go to the press at first, he was forced to. the apathy that was present from khs forced his hand. dont attack matt, attack khs who couldve prevented this s**t.
just because nobody has done anything until now doesnt give mr p any support since we all admit that these discussions have been going on for a long time. in the discussion, just because matt initiated does not mean anything. teachers have to be mature. Lots of teachers never reveal their politicals affiliation, even after we ask. Ive actaully asked teachers repetitively and annoyingly and they have refused. mr p is lacking something that those teachers have.
matt is a retard.
Im not gonna sit here and lie and say hes never preached in class because he has and that is wrong, but i dont see anything wrong with the manor he approached it in this situation. Obviously he needs to be careful what he says in class from now on but I think what leclair did was pathetic and hypocritical and that although mr p should limit his religious ramblings theres just no excuse for what this kid did.
...there have been many complaints written and presented to faculty at KHS and im aware that he has been spoken to on several occasions about his classroom discussions(some are quite interesting!) the fact of the matter is that this is nothing new.. if ya dont like what year hear turn on the ipod u got stashed in ur hoodie and put ur head down and take a friggin nap. if he says somethin simply say that you dont want to be involved in the conversation in class because you dont feel comfortable
all of us have heard how mr p gives his opinions out, its not like this is a one time thing.
anyone of us couldve went to the principal and said mr p is saying this stuff in class, (and the article reads that..)he would deny it and since none of us recorded it nothing would happen. but since matt anticpated that and recorded, something (hopefully) will change and his complaints will be heard.
i hate all you people who think you're cool defending that boy. There's this beautiful thing called freedom of speech, idk if you guys have ever heard of it :lol:...but mr. paszkiewicz is entitled to say whatever he wants. he was just expressing his beliefs. He is the most inspirational person i know, and he is like a father figure to me
i believe to most of the thing you have just said..."Matt Leclair is a faggot", "i hate all you people who think you're cool defending that boy"... I am just wondering why there's a lot of atheist here in america who mostly deny the word of god and very attractive to excessive knowledge of sciences and humanity huh? Becuause God is boring, huh? (i still consider him an atheist even though he's a catholic) That's why there are some people who are becoming assholes because of being too smart to themselves and ignoring God a lot, you know. Just like supporting abortion, gay marriage, banning prayers in class, banning religious topics in class, including what Matt has done to Mr. P, etc...all of these are shameful as hell! I think there's too much liberalism here and should be limited.
Personally, I enjoyed Mr. P's discussions. I think Mr. P is a tad crazy but not as crazy as those quotes in the paper make it seem. If i met him and had those "class discussions" in a park, there would be nothing wrong. In our schools there is.
this is just based on gut feeling and instinct but i think Matt has 5% to do with this...his family's background/job/beleifs/personalities whatever it is; is what is pushing this kid to do something like this....sooooooo

lay of matt...hes just a highschool kid following orders.

Paskzkiewicz tells his students they can raise their hands if they're uncomfortable discussing God. Why didn't that tool Matt Lefaggot do that?
Mr. P isnt doing anything wrong and to lose his job cuz of something like this is ridiculous. I do believe people need to speak out at times, but this is not an issue that people should be speaking out about. Honestly, there are far worse things in the world than talking about God in class.
I believe that Matt has a right to make it known that Mr. Paszkiewicz has been teaching this way for quite some time. I think that it's amazing because we all know upwards of 80% of the people in his class make jokes about him such as; if you touch his desk you are going to hell. I'm quite sure that, even though people have chosen one side or another there is still a large number of people who remain in the middle on this situation.

_________________

I was struck by several things when reflecting on these quotes.

• It sure doesn't look like the situation Matthew LaClair encountered was an exception. Far from it. If anything, and as Mr. LaClair surmised, this and worse had been going on for a long time, under the radar or ignored by the administration. Their vulnerability here may go a long way towards explaining the paralysis when Matthew came forward. Ultimately, though, it seems inevitable that someone would have the courage to do so.

• Anyone who thinks Matthew is doing this for self-gratification needs to take a close look at some of these quotes and try to put yourself in his shoes...and then watch your back.

• Aside from the student insider's view and the absence of a direct contribution by the LaClairs, the breadth and nature of these comments is remarkably similar to what I've seen in the KOTW blog. That's both scary and encouraging -- to see the children reflected in the mirror of the adults. The difference is that the students don't have the power, responsibility, or perhaps the skills, to work the controversy to resoution. It remains to be seen whether the adults who DO have the power and responsibility will demonstrate the skills...and resolve.

I think it's important to remind ourselves that just like Mr. Paszkiewicz, our actions as adults model a set of behaviors and approaches that send strong messages to our children. There's the obvious issue of determining what's the "right" choice in this case by decisionmakers. We can also turn it into an opportunity to teach some valuable skills, knowledge about how our public institutions work, what the boundaries are for responsible public behavior, how to have mature dialogue about a touchy issue, and how to work towards some kind of resolution. Not to mention how to be a good teacher. This controversy started in an American Government class. The classroom environment just got a bit larger. We're all the teachers now. We can still make it a valuable lesson for the students...or not.

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hell yeah man, its only the second week of school, and i was almost suspended, this occured on monday, but im writing about it today, i was called into Mr. Ragnoni's office, and he asked me why i thought i was here and i was like idk, and he was like wat did u do to mat leclair on friday, and i was like o yeah, i threw him into the wall for not standing up for the flag salute, and he was like do u think that was the right thing to do and i was like hell yeah, so he said that if he didnt think i was a good kid, he was gonna suspend me for five days due to assault, and i was like o well, and now i realize, i probly shouldnt have pushed mat into the wall, i shoulda tossed him down the stairs, well ne way, from now on if ne one sees him in the hall, push him into a wall and tell him to start standing, eventually he'll get the point, and start standing, and if he doesnt, we'll go to the next level, now every one hop to it

This is completely disgusting. I'm ashamed to share a country with whoever posted this.

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Guest Wok2Moons

I never would have believed at first that such a thing was possible, that a student could be so courageous and show so much determination, and in return be blasted and humiliated for it. The standard for what I can expect out of adults these days has been taking quite a few hits lately, but this cascaded it to an all time low.

I'm a sophomore in high school. My first hour intro. to journalism class keeps my peers and I updated on a lot of the happenings of the world, as the teacher gives us the daily news each and every morning. Normally I don't give the stories too much thought, but this one caught my immediate attention. A story of a young man rising against opposition and fighting for what was and is right. And one of the first things he gets in return from an adult is the nickname, 'the little twit . . .' Really makes you want to be a hero, doesn't it fellow high schoolers?

This student has been given nothing but flak ever since he recorded his teacher making some outlandish comments that have so far been regarded as merely 'exercising his right to free speech.' Let me back up for a minute. People keep pointing out that he refused to stand up during the pledge to the flag. The teacher's disgusting comments, which include blasting a student in a far from legal way, fall under the apologists' idea of free speech, but Matt's OUTRAGEOUS decision to remain seated doesn't? Wow, kids, I'm not liking the way adults are treating our so called 'rights.'

The fact that some of Matt's classmates are standing up for the teacher really confuses me. Kids should be walking up and down with picket signs shouting their unwavering support for their fellow student. This child . . . no, Matt is not a child. In my eyes at least, he is an adult. This Adult stands up for what he believes in, shows the same kind of courage that has been renowned for centuries by the citizens of the United States, and is rewarded with death threats? Kinda shows you what we have waiting for us when we take this world over from our parents, doesn't it my youthful friends?

So, Matt, if you happen to be reading this, know that one person out there, one fellow student, commends you with all of his heart. If I had a hat on at the moment, I would take it off to you. May you get through this ordeal with as brave a heart as you had going into it, and come out the other end knowing that you did the right thing. And maybe, just maybe, if a few more emerge like you soon, maybe this world won't be so bad once our generation, yours and mine, take over.

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Guest A concerned student

Thank you, Wok2Moons for showing me that not all high school students are idiots. Sometimes I lose faith in my age group. Actually, I've still lost faith in my age group, and America in general, but you've given me a little of it back.

I have to side with Matt LaClair. While I have a teacher who will talk about his beliefs with us, it's always after a student initiates the conversation, and he is never preachy about it. If some one has a different belief, he doesn't condemn that person to hell. I've even mentioned that I'm an atheist, does he care? No, because he's not preaching, he's just answering a question put to him by a student that turned into a discussion.

What bothers me aren't the people saying it didn't bother them or that they agree with the teacher. Fine, you have your opinions. But the ones claiming that Matt is wrong because of the teacher's right to free speech?! What about separation of church and state? What about the right to not have to put up with some one prosetylizing? If you're going to bring up rights, don't forget that they apply to both sides. This country was founded on the right to practice whatever you want and not having anything forced on you. Every single person standing up for the teacher while seriously putting down Matt is stomping that principle into the ground. (again, I'm not talking to the people who just agree with the teacher, I'm talking about the ones who agree with the teacher and think Matt LaClair is a *insert derogative name*)

On the guy who wants kids to push Matt LaClair down stairs, yeah, so good to see how accepting the kids in America are these days *oh so much sarcasm* That boy should be charged with assault, and so should any one else who is stupid and hateful enough to follow his example.

So, to reiterate Wok2Moons, Matt, if you're reading this, make that two fellow students who support you. Keep fighting the good fight!

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Kindof makes you wonder how well the principal's tuned in:

“I think he’s an excellent teacher,” said the school principal, Al Somma. “As far as I know, there have never been any problems in the past.”

NY Times 12/20/06

You have to remember one thing.......Mr. Somma was Paszkiewicz's Crew Coach when he was in High School so there is going to be a little extra loyalty when speaking of him.

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I'm not at all surprised by the reaction of Matt's classmates. Back in 1998, my daughter Jamie, had the same reaction, when her Other parent Unit (as she calls her father.) went to the Baltimore Sun, when she was suspended for being a Witch".

Jamie had just come back from that years Y.E.S. conference that weekend, to learn that another student had accused her of casting a hex on her. When the Vice Principal asked if Jamie was a Witch, Jamie said yes as she had recently with her father started to follow Wicca.

I spent months afterwards, dealing with the school to try and deal with the constant harassment Jamie faced each day. By April the school even ofter to have a School Police Officer follow Jamie in the Halls. Jamie found the stress of going to school too much and dropped out of High School. She is now has her own business. She is in tutoring, for help with the essay portion of the G.E.D, which she would have passed last time, but for the fact of her being dyslexic. What happen back in 1998, just made her a stronger person, who will speak her mind when she sees the Rights of others being abused.

I'm happy to say that my oldest daughter takes my two grand children to the B.E.S Sunday School now and passing on the values she learned from the Society.

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You have to remember one thing.......Mr. Somma was Paszkiewicz's Crew Coach when he was in High School so there is going to be a little extra loyalty when speaking of him.

What is intersting about all of these "quoted" conversations of the studets mentioned above is that most of the negative comments were made by the same student...So, we have ONE or two students defending Matthew. The rest of the students are against him! I can't stand this boy, not because of what he did to Mr. P, he is just so nasty, he thinks he is better than his classmates. Everything that happens in school he runs to the principal...he needs to grow up.

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I can't stand this boy, not because of what he did to Mr. P, he is just so nasty, he thinks he is better than his classmates. Everything that happens in school he runs to the principal...he needs to grow up.

Got any examples of the apparently alleged "running to the principal?" I mean, since he allegedly does that whenever anything happens.

Well?

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Guest A. V. Blom
What is intersting about all of these "quoted" conversations of the studets mentioned above is that most of the negative comments were made by the same student...So, we have ONE or two students defending Matthew. The rest of the students are against him!

And yet, he did what is right...that's why his deed was heroic.

I can't stand this boy, not because of what he did to Mr. P, he is just so nasty, he thinks he is better than his classmates.

With a school like the one he is on, I can imagine it would be difficult to resist the temptation. Your post has only strengthened that opinion. In many ways, he IS better than the likes of you, because he had the guts to report illegal activity...you, on the other hand, don't even have the moral integrity to support him after the fact.

Everything that happens in school he runs to the principal...he needs to grow up.

Yes. He's so evil for actually standing for his rights!

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And yet, he did what is right...that's why his deed was heroic.

With a school like the one he is on, I can imagine it would be difficult to resist the temptation. Your post has only strengthened that opinion. In many ways, he IS better than the likes of you, because he had the guts to report illegal activity...you, on the other hand, don't even have the moral integrity to support him after the fact.

Yes. He's so evil for actually standing for his rights!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Was you in the classroom when this all happened? If so tell us what was said and not said.

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And yet, he did what is right...that's why his deed was heroic.

With a school like the one he is on, I can imagine it would be difficult to resist the temptation. Your post has only strengthened that opinion. In many ways, he IS better than the likes of you, because he had the guts to report illegal activity...you, on the other hand, don't even have the moral integrity to support him after the fact.

Yes. He's so evil for actually standing for his rights!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Was you in the classroom when this all happened? If so tell us what was said and not said.

This guy has no idea what he is talking about. Of course he wasn't in the classroom. You can tell from his "smart" comments.

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And yet, he did what is right...that's why his deed was heroic.

With a school like the one he is on, I can imagine it would be difficult to resist the temptation. Your post has only strengthened that opinion. In many ways, he IS better than the likes of you, because he had the guts to report illegal activity...you, on the other hand, don't even have the moral integrity to support him after the fact.

Yes. He's so evil for actually standing for his rights!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Was you in the classroom when this all happened? If so tell us what was said and not said.

Recordings are publicly available online, moron. Instead of saying something that amazingly stupid, how about actually listening to them?

http://home.comcast.net/~observereditorial...strecording.m4a

http://home.comcast.net/~observereditorial...ndrecording.m4a

http://idisk.mac.com/kevincanessa-Public/0...rdrecording.m4a

P.S. "Was you?" I have never made that mistake once in my entire life, in any grade. Who educated you?

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Guest A. V. Blom

And yet, he did what is right...that's why his deed was heroic.

With a school like the one he is on, I can imagine it would be difficult to resist the temptation. Your post has only strengthened that opinion. In many ways, he IS better than the likes of you, because he had the guts to report illegal activity...you, on the other hand, don't even have the moral integrity to support him after the fact.

Yes. He's so evil for actually standing for his rights!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Was you in the classroom when this all happened?

I was not. I am, however, capable of reading transcripts. You should try it sometime.

If so tell us what was said and not said.

I've read it...and though at least some students appear to side with Leclair on some situations, NONE of them had the guts to do what he did.

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Guest A. V. Blom
This guy has no idea what he is talking about. Of course he wasn't in the classroom. You can tell from his "smart" comments.

Of course my comments are "Smart". Unlike you, I actually finished high school. You, on the other hand, seem trapped in the mentality of a prepubescent child incapable of actually saying something worthwhile and deciding to take potshots instead.

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Of course my comments are "Smart". Unlike you, I actually finished high school. You, on the other hand, seem trapped in the mentality of a prepubescent child incapable of actually saying something worthwhile and deciding to take potshots instead.

This thread was started to give kids a chance to comment on this issue. It was not intended as a battle ground for emotional adults. Please take your war somewhere else.

he needs to grow up.

You, Mr. Guest, are a fool. If you think that Matthew acted like a child in this situation then something upstairs isn't turning on. He acted more like an adult than most twice his age would have. Now maybe you know him personally, in which case your other comments might very well be justified. But do not call him childish for what he did in this situation, because all that does is show your own level of immaturity.

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