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It was humorous to say the least listening to Mr. Paszkiewicz's right-wing attorney trying to defend his client's behavior at the Board meeting on Tuesday evening. One the arguments he made was that Matthew was educated in Mr. Paszkiewicz's class on the days Mr. Paszkiewicz was preaching religion. It was and is an education, but hardly the one Mr. Paszkiewicz seems to have intended.

The irony is that Mr. Paszkiewicz was the one who raised every one of the subjects that led to his infamous "you belong in hell" remark. The discussion began with Matthew pointing out (in response to Mr. Paszkiewicz's complaint that he cannot read from the Bible in class) that the purpose of public education is to teach objective truths, not the personal opinions of individual teachers. Matthew is entirely correct. Mr. Paszkiewicz dogmatically contradicted public policy statements by most if not all fifty state legislatures, and established law, in declaring definititely that the purpose of public education is to provide an education for people who cannot afford it, and nothing more. That statement is incorrect legally and in terms of public policy.

Matthew then challenged Mr. Paszkiewicz, asking "what if some students don't believe in the Bible." It was then that Mr. Paszkiewicz brought up evolution, and then the big bang, both of which he dismissed in favor of biblical creationism --- this time not only contrary to established science, of which he obviously knows very little, but in direct violation of law per the US Constitution.

That led to a discussion on the beginning of the world, during which Mr. Paszkiewicz yet again used the opportunity to proselytize his religious views --- yet another violation of the US Constitution and New Jersey law.

This eventually led to Matthew challenging Mr. Paszkiewicz with the question: why would a loving god ever allow anyone, under any circumstances, to be tormented forever. Perhaps Mr. Paszkiewicz is not accustomed to that question. Many of the students seem taken aback by it, too. I think it's an excellent question, one the student has every right to ask. The problem isn't whether Matthew liked or agreed with the answer; the problem is that the teacher had no right legally or ethically to be expressing his opinions in the first place --- not in a public school classroom in which he is the teacher. Like it or don't like it, but that is the law, and it is well settled.

Ironically, Mr. Paszkiewicz complained in class after Matthew complained about his conduct that a good education "takes you out of your comfort zone." He is correct. However, I suggest that it was Mr. Paszkiewicz who was taken out of his comfort zone by Matthew's questions. Whether he learned anything is another matter. To learn, one must have an open mind. So far, we see no evidence of that from Mr. Paszkiewicz or his supporters.

A question for Mr. Paszkiewicz and his supporters: Why is it that the only people who are supposed to have an open mind are the ones you don't agree with?

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It was humorous to say the least listening to Mr. Paszkiewicz's right-wing attorney trying to defend his client's behavior at the Board meeting on Tuesday evening. One the arguments he made was that Matthew was educated in Mr. Paszkiewicz's class on the days Mr. Paszkiewicz was preaching religion. It was and is an education, but hardly the one Mr. Paszkiewicz seems to have intended.

The irony is that Mr. Paszkiewicz was the one who raised every one of the subjects that led to his infamous "you belong in hell" remark. The discussion began with Matthew pointing out (in response to Mr. Paszkiewicz's complaint that he cannot read from the Bible in class) that the purpose of public education is to teach objective truths, not the personal opinions of individual teachers. Matthew is entirely correct. Mr. Paszkiewicz dogmatically contradicted public policy statements by most if not all fifty state legislatures, and established law, in declaring definititely that the purpose of public education is to provide an education for people who cannot afford it, and nothing more. That statement is incorrect legally and in terms of public policy.

Matthew then challenged Mr. Paszkiewicz, asking "what if some students don't believe in the Bible." It was then that Mr. Paszkiewicz brought up evolution, and then the big bang, both of which he dismissed in favor of biblical creationism --- this time not only contrary to established science, of which he obviously knows very little, but in direct violation of law per the US Constitution.

That led to a discussion on the beginning of the world, during which Mr. Paszkiewicz yet again used the opportunity to proselytize his religious views --- yet another violation of the US Constitution and New Jersey law.

This eventually led to Matthew challenging Mr. Paszkiewicz with the question: why would a loving god ever allow anyone, under any circumstances, to be tormented forever. Perhaps Mr. Paszkiewicz is not accustomed to that question. Many of the students seem taken aback by it, too. I think it's an excellent question, one the student has every right to ask. The problem isn't whether Matthew liked or agreed with the answer; the problem is that the teacher had no right legally or ethically to be expressing his opinions in the first place --- not in a public school classroom in which he is the teacher. Like it or don't like it, but that is the law, and it is well settled.

Ironically, Mr. Paszkiewicz complained in class after Matthew complained about his conduct that a good education "takes you out of your comfort zone." He is correct. However, I suggest that it was Mr. Paszkiewicz who was taken out of his comfort zone by Matthew's questions. Whether he learned anything is another matter. To learn, one must have an open mind. So far, we see no evidence of that from Mr. Paszkiewicz or his supporters.

A question for Mr. Paszkiewicz and his supporters: Why is it that the only people who are supposed to have an open mind are the ones you don't agree with?

Well said...now if only the majority of Christian "enablers" supporting Paszkiewicz would stop perceiving this issue as nothing more than some kid attacking their religion (which it isn't and never was)...the community is setting itself up to be ridiculed further by joining Paszkiewicz in blatantly (intentionally?) misunderstanding the issue, the law, and the Constitution.

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It was humorous to say the least listening to Mr. Paszkiewicz's right-wing attorney trying to defend his client's behavior at the Board meeting on Tuesday evening.

It's also humorous to see a presumably busy Paul LaClair spending his time spinning propaganda at KOTW.

The irony is that Mr. Paszkiewicz was the one who raised every one of the subjects that led to his infamous "you belong in hell" remark. The discussion began with Matthew pointing out (in response to Mr. Paszkiewicz's complaint that he cannot read from the Bible in class) that the purpose of public education is to teach objective

truths, not the personal opinions of individual teachers. Matthew is entirely correct.

The spin starts early.

Here's what Matthew actually said (according to the Dranger transcipt):

"Isn't the whole point of public school so that you can

separate personal beliefs from teachers and administrators from

non-religious teachings during school, like school prayer and all

that?"

Feed that into the Mikidkindoonorongatron and it become "objective truth."

In either case, Matthew was wrong. Some school time is spend on "objective truth" (which is a philosophical position in itself), but a great deal of time is spend teaching values and value systems including (as Paszkiewicz pointed out), tolerance.

Why is Paul LaClair here spinning the facts like this?

http://www.dranger.com/classtranscript.html

Mr. Paszkiewicz dogmatically contradicted public policy statements by most if not all fifty state legislatures, and established law, in declaring definititely that the purpose of public education is to provide an education for people who cannot afford it, and nothing more.

In fact, Paszkiewicz (in context) was contradicting young LaClair's notion of the purpose of public school, with Pasziewicz himself clarifying what he meant:

"No. The purpose of public school is to provide free education

to people that couldn't afford education. Period. That's the purpose

of public school. What it's become is social engineering. It's

supposed to reflect the values and belief systems of the parents;

that's why we have school boards elected from the population."

(bold emphasis added)

That statement is incorrect legally and in terms of public policy.

But Paul LaClair, lawyer that he is, cannot be bothered to explain how.

He'd have to charge everyone for his time if he were to do that, I suppose.

Matthew then challenged Mr. Paszkiewicz, asking "what if some students don't believe in the Bible." It was then that Mr. Paszkiewicz brought up evolution, and then the big bang, both of which he dismissed in favor of biblical creationism

Incorrect (you appear to be deliberately lying, Paul--we've been over this).

Paszkiewicz began teaching about epistemology, using science as an example. He showed (quite properly) that what people call science "fact" is inductive and probabilistic.

--- this time not only contrary to established science, of which he obviously knows very little, but in direct violation of law per the US Constitution.

Poppycock. Pasziewicz placed both creationism and evolution in the same category: faith-based beliefs ("But um, my assertion to you is that evolution is based faith and creation is based on faith"). The only respect in which he advocated "creationism" over "evolution" was in positing the necessity of an intelligent cause (which is actually compatible with evolution per se, minus the assumption of metaphysical naturalism).

That led to a discussion on the beginning of the world, during which Mr. Paszkiewicz yet again used the opportunity to proselytize his religious views --- yet another violation of the US Constitution and New Jersey law.

And though Mr. Laclair is supposedly a lawyer, he cannot be bothered to present evidence here, either.

Paul LaClair, in fact, seems to simply blindly follow the faulty conclusions of the younger LaClair.

Matthew LaClair builds a straw man:

"That, it wasn't observed and that, therefore, it's not true, or that it's a theory and can't be proven."

Neither position was advocated by Paszkiewicz, but the elder LaClair gives the kid a pass and seems to accuse Paszkiewicz of the same straw man views.

This eventually led to Matthew challenging Mr. Paszkiewicz with the question: why would a loving god ever allow anyone, under any circumstances, to be tormented forever.

(even though young LaClair might risk mental anguish if such a discussion were to take place in a public school?)

Perhaps Mr. Paszkiewicz is not accustomed to that question.

Psychologizing an opponent is one of the lowest forms of argument, IMHO. Perhaps the elder LaClair's professional experience has inured him to the technique.

Many of the students seem taken aback by it, too. I think it's an excellent question, one the student has every right to ask.

Does he have a right to an answer? Even if it might cause him mental anguish?

The problem isn't whether Matthew liked or agreed with the answer; the problem is that the teacher had no right legally or ethically to be expressing his opinions in the first place --- not in a public school classroom in which he is the teacher. Like it or don't like it, but that is the law, and it is well settled.

Why do so many teachers ignore that supposedly well-settled point of law by expressing personal opinions about everything from the weather right on through the president of the United States as well as religion?

I had an instructor once who informed the class that in his opinion Jesus spent most of his life in India. Maybe we should can that guy! How dare he express his opinion in class!

In fact, I think I'm feeling some mental anguish right now! Take my case, Mr. LaClair?

Ironically, Mr. Paszkiewicz complained in class after Matthew complained about his conduct that a good education "takes you out of your comfort zone."

Yet another conversational snippet offered without the surrounding context ...

He is correct. However, I suggest that it was Mr. Paszkiewicz who was taken out of his comfort zone by Matthew's questions. Whether he learned anything is another matter. To learn, one must have an open mind. So far, we see no evidence of that from Mr. Paszkiewicz or his supporters.

A question for Mr. Paszkiewicz and his supporters: Why is it that the only people who are supposed to have an open mind are the ones you don't agree with?

Why keep asking these questions when you apparently have no intention of following up? You're little more than a troll, Paul.

I'll answer another question. Let's see if you follow up this time or run away (like a troll) to start another thread tomorrow.

"Why is it that the only people who are supposed to have an open mind are the ones you don't agree with?"

It's pretty much against my policy to answer a question that contains a controversial premise, actually.

I'm not afraid to engage the other side in argument. I'll take most arguments seriously (open-minded; "arguments" that degenerate into repeated assertion + insults are properly ignored).

It is the secularists who are closed-minded on this topic. They have been trying to game the system for about a hundred years through the courts. The publics schools were long seen by secularists as a means of marginalizing religion. The movement lost its way somewhat when Logical Positivism was found to be philosophically bankrupt, but carry on it has, often assisted by Christians who do not understand how they are being played for suckers.

Values will be taught in public school, either explicitly or implicitly. There's no way around it, despite the apparent delusions of the LaClairs.

There is no neutrality.

The secularist is against opinions with which he disagrees, and he is for opinions with which he agrees.

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A question for Mr. Paszkiewicz and his supporters: Why is it that the only people who are supposed to have an open mind are the ones you don't agree with?

Paul - an excellent opening thread that is likely to incite some spirited responses. I hope the following is one.

I can sense your frustration in this matter, as your posts are growing more and more aggressive in their criticisms of Paszkiewicz. I am sorry that the resolution is taking longer than you would have hoped.

I certainly agree that Mr. P (sorry, I have hit my quota of spelling his name for the year) has no business suggesting that he was "set up" by Matthew, or that he was simply responding to questions prompted by Matthew. He is a grown man, and an educator, and he has a responsibility to know and understand the boundaries (or at least the administration has an obligation to advise him of same).

That being said, I think it is a little disingenuous for anyone to state that Matthew was NOT an intentional catalyst in this matter, and/or that his conduct is of little or no consequence. Matthew was neither a naive nor innocent student awkwardly stumbling into the topic of religion. On this day, Matthew flicked "record" and did everything that he could do to drive the conversation in that direction. As you further noted, Matthew asked pointed and insightful questions to Mr. P that likely drove Mr. P out of his comfort zone. Having been driven out of his comfort zone, his unguarded comments were likely more inflammatory than what they otherwise would have been. Now, does this excuse Mr. P's behavior? Absolutely not. Still, I think it is a mitigating factor in determining Mr. P's ultimate level of culpability.

An issue that has not really been discussed, but which - for me anyway - would be of significant probative value is to what extent did Mr. P discuss religion in the few days preceding the date of the recording? I think Matthew's honesty in this regard is of paramount importance. To the best of your knowledge, were statements made by Mr. P in respect of religion in the days preceding the recording date greater than, lesser than or equal to the statements that he made on the date at issue? Can Matthew cite any examples?

Of course, I know that you have a number of issues with Mr. P's behavior AFTER the recording date. I have my own thoughts on that - but that's for another post. I am just trying to grasp the appropriate context for the statements that Mr. P made.

Thank you.

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It was humorous to say the least listening to Mr. Paszkiewicz's right-wing attorney trying to defend his client's behavior at the Board meeting on Tuesday evening. One the arguments he made was that Matthew was educated in Mr. Paszkiewicz's class on the days Mr. Paszkiewicz was preaching religion. It was and is an education, but hardly the one Mr. Paszkiewicz seems to have intended.

The irony is that Mr. Paszkiewicz was the one who raised every one of the subjects that led to his infamous "you belong in hell" remark. The discussion began with Matthew pointing out (in response to Mr. Paszkiewicz's complaint that he cannot read from the Bible in class) that the purpose of public education is to teach objective truths, not the personal opinions of individual teachers. Matthew is entirely correct. Mr. Paszkiewicz dogmatically contradicted public policy statements by most if not all fifty state legislatures, and established law, in declaring definititely that the purpose of public education is to provide an education for people who cannot afford it, and nothing more. That statement is incorrect legally and in terms of public policy.

Matthew then challenged Mr. Paszkiewicz, asking "what if some students don't believe in the Bible." It was then that Mr. Paszkiewicz brought up evolution, and then the big bang, both of which he dismissed in favor of biblical creationism --- this time not only contrary to established science, of which he obviously knows very little, but in direct violation of law per the US Constitution.

That led to a discussion on the beginning of the world, during which Mr. Paszkiewicz yet again used the opportunity to proselytize his religious views --- yet another violation of the US Constitution and New Jersey law.

This eventually led to Matthew challenging Mr. Paszkiewicz with the question: why would a loving god ever allow anyone, under any circumstances, to be tormented forever. Perhaps Mr. Paszkiewicz is not accustomed to that question. Many of the students seem taken aback by it, too. I think it's an excellent question, one the student has every right to ask. The problem isn't whether Matthew liked or agreed with the answer; the problem is that the teacher had no right legally or ethically to be expressing his opinions in the first place --- not in a public school classroom in which he is the teacher. Like it or don't like it, but that is the law, and it is well settled.

Ironically, Mr. Paszkiewicz complained in class after Matthew complained about his conduct that a good education "takes you out of your comfort zone." He is correct. However, I suggest that it was Mr. Paszkiewicz who was taken out of his comfort zone by Matthew's questions. Whether he learned anything is another matter. To learn, one must have an open mind. So far, we see no evidence of that from Mr. Paszkiewicz or his supporters.

A question for Mr. Paszkiewicz and his supporters: Why is it that the only people who are supposed to have an open mind are the ones you don't agree with?

Hi Barney, o Jesus i meant Paul, Jesus and Baby Jesus i called you Barney because you are a look alike of the Flintstones cartoon, i just hit 432,000 in the pick 5 tonight, how much would it cost me , to get you off your never ending rollercoaster ride. We all know that you need the money , maybe you can buy a new suit and treat your son to a make over call me ok .

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Paul - an excellent opening thread that is likely to incite some spirited responses.  I hope the following is one.

I can sense your frustration in this matter, as your posts are growing more and more aggressive in their criticisms of Paszkiewicz.  I am sorry that the resolution is taking longer than you would have hoped.

I certainly agree that Mr. P (sorry, I have hit my quota of spelling his name for the year) has no business suggesting that he was "set up" by Matthew, or that he was simply responding to questions prompted by Matthew.  He is a grown man, and an educator, and he has a responsibility to know and understand the boundaries (or at least the administration has an obligation to advise him of same). 

That being said, I think it is a little disingenuous for anyone to state that Matthew was NOT an intentional catalyst in this matter, and/or that his conduct is of little or no consequence.  Matthew was neither a naive nor innocent student awkwardly stumbling into the topic of religion.  On this day, Matthew flicked "record" and did everything that he could do to drive the conversation in that direction.  As you further noted, Matthew asked pointed and insightful questions to Mr. P that likely drove Mr. P out of his comfort zone.  Having been driven out of his comfort zone, his unguarded comments were likely more inflammatory than what they otherwise would have been.  Now, does this excuse Mr. P's behavior?  Absolutely not.  Still, I think it is a mitigating factor in determining Mr. P's ultimate level of culpability.

An issue that has not really been discussed, but which - for me anyway - would be of significant probative value is to what extent did Mr. P discuss religion in the few days preceding the date of the recording?  I think Matthew's honesty in this regard is of paramount importance.  To the best of your knowledge, were statements made by Mr. P in respect of religion in the days preceding the recording date greater than, lesser than or equal to the statements that he made on the date at issue?  Can Matthew cite any examples?

Of course, I know that you have a number of issues with Mr. P's behavior AFTER the recording date.  I have my own thoughts on that - but that's for another post.  I am just trying to grasp the appropriate context for the statements that Mr. P made. 

Thank you.

You're welcome. Mainly I agree with you, but for this: knowing Matthew as I do, he asked the same questions and made the same comments he would have made with no recorder running. He wasn't provoking the discussion into anything more than it would have been without the recorder; even if some student did that, it wouldn't matter. As you correctly point out, the teacher is the one with the responsility to the students and to the public. That isn't merely an expression of values by an involved father; it is also the law.

I don't know how much Matthew recalls about specific statements made the first two days of class. I don't see how it matters. Matt felt that Mr. P's remarks were already out of line, and indeed on the next three days, they were.

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"I think it is a little disingenuous for anyone to state that Matthew was NOT an intentional catalyst in this matter, and/or that his conduct is of little or no consequence."

What's *wrong* with his being an intentional catalyst on this front? What this teacher did was *unconstitutional*. Overt opposition to this danger is more than appropriate -- it is necessary and patriotic. Separation of church and state is crucial for democracy. I'm not sure why people are so complacent about religious nationalism, especially given the urgency the founding fathers felt on this front.

And please, before you give me the Christian-nation business, read just a *little* bit about these men: Adams, Jefferson, Madison and then later Lincoln . . . They just were not Christians. Period. But more importantly, they wanted this issue out of the public sphere.

And so do I. My taxpayer money, funding proselytizing? Paying this benighted guy's salary? No way. So I applaud a heads-on, deliberate approach to maintaining the crucial wall of separation.

Separation of church and state. Separation of church and state. Separation of church and state. That's not bashing. It's well, separation.

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Why not?

Because he is stating his religious beliefs as fact.

Paszkiewicz is correct about it.  It's about an objective an observation as one could make.

What?! You've said some retarded things in the past, but this takes the cake. "Evolution is based on faith" is a correct and objective statement? Wow...you've outdone yourself in sheer ignorance, Bryan.

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Why not?

Paszkiewicz is correct about it.  It's about an objective an observation as one could make.

So why not?

Because Mr. P's attempt to downgrade the respected science of evolutionary theory to "faith-based" is clearly motivated by religious beliefs. And Mr. P's religious beliefs (once again) have no place in a classroom.

And Bryan, you might want to ease up on the complaints of how much time others spend on this forum... given your own apparent lack of an outside life as well.

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Because Mr. P's attempt to downgrade the respected science of evolutionary theory to "faith-based" is clearly motivated by religious beliefs.

So, the statement would be OK except for Mr. P's motives?

Wouldn't that be a law coercing the conscience (flatly contradicting the intent of the First Amendment)?

And Mr. P's religious beliefs (once again) have no place in a classroom.

I guess you missed what I wrote (or something).

"Paszkiewicz is correct about it. It's about an objective an observation as one could make."

It was an objective statement (as much so as it's possible to make).

Yet you classify it as "Mr. P's religious beliefs"?

Why? Because of his motive?

What other statements of apparent fact are "religious beliefs" depending on the motive?

Can I say "that crayon is red" while thinking that Tom Cruise's problems are caused by engrams?

And Bryan, you might want to ease up on the complaints of how much time others spend on this forum... given your own apparent lack of an outside life as well.

You missed the point, which shouldn't surprise me. Have another go at it.

"It's also humorous to see a presumably busy Paul LaClair spending his time spinning propaganda at KOTW."

If Mr. LaClair spent double the time minus 90% of the spin, I'd have no complaint.

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He's not correct about it, and read the Kitzmiller case.

He is correct about it. I notice that your tort claim is different from the one you're making at KOTW. Ever wonder why? :wub:

What bit of minutiae from the reams of testimony in Kitzmiller did you have in mind, Paul? Or is this another of your responses where you think dropping a name is as good as an argument?

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You're welcome. Mainly I agree with you, but for this: knowing Matthew as I do, he asked the same questions and made the same comments he would have made with no recorder running. He wasn't provoking the discussion into anything more than it would have been without the recorder; even if some student did that, it wouldn't matter. As you correctly point out, the teacher is the one with the responsility to the students and to the public. That isn't merely an expression of values by an involved father; it is also the law.

I don't know how much Matthew recalls about specific statements made the first two days of class. I don't see how it matters. Matt felt that Mr. P's remarks were already out of line, and indeed on the next three days, they were.

Actually, I think it matters greatly what Mr. P stated in the first couple of days. I'm trying to get a sense of how regularly Mr. P discussed religion - without Matthew's probing questions. Granted - it is still dangerous to have a teacher willing to preach in class when confronted with pointed questions. However, it would be far more dangerous if the teacher REGULARLY delved into religion in the class. Alternatively, if Mr. P did not discuss religion during the first several days of class, I'm trying to figure out what prompted Matthew to record? Was it comments from other students who complained to Matthew but made no formal complaints to the administration?

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"I think it is a little disingenuous for anyone to state that Matthew was NOT an intentional catalyst in this matter, and/or that his conduct is of little or no consequence."

What's *wrong* with his being an intentional catalyst on this front?  What this teacher did was *unconstitutional*.  Overt opposition to this danger is more than appropriate -- it is necessary and patriotic.  Separation of church and state is crucial for democracy.  I'm not sure why people are so complacent about religious nationalism, especially given the urgency the founding fathers felt on this front.

And please, before you give me the Christian-nation business, read just a *little* bit about these men:  Adams, Jefferson, Madison and then later Lincoln . . . They just were not Christians.  Period.  But more importantly, they wanted this issue out of the public sphere.

And so do I.  My taxpayer money, funding proselytizing?  Paying this benighted guy's salary? No way.  So I applaud a heads-on, deliberate approach to maintaining the crucial wall of separation.

Separation of church and state.  Separation of church and state.  Separation of church and state.  That's not bashing.  It's well, separation.

Jean - I am very well read on our founding fathers - and I have had editorial review of items published about Jefferson - so don't even go there. And if you actually spent the time to think about my post for 5 seconds after reading it, you would have realized that in no way did I condone, approve of, or adopt anything similar to a permissive stance in respect of, the teacher.

The point that I am seeking to clarify with Paul - which occurred partially with his reply (and I hope fully with the next reply to my response) - is that - without Matthew's prompting - to what extent did the teacher discuss religion. As I stated in a recent reply to Paul, it is certainly dangerous to have a teacher spout off on religious topics when prompted to do so. It is, in my estimation, far more dangerous to have a teacher regularly delving into religion.

I would still not be happy with the teacher's conduct if this was an isolated instance. However, I would see this as more of a "correctable" issue if the teacher did not habitually discuss religious beliefs.

So relax - take a deep breath - and please read more carefully in the future.

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Bryan said: "Paszkiewicz is correct about it. It's about an objective an observation as one could make."

apparently in response to "Pasziewicz placed both creationism and evolution in the same category: faith-based beliefs."

Okay, I checked back on this, because usually Bryan specializes in slicing and dicing some small point to death. Pettifogging is his forte.

We're on a whole 'nother level here. Bryan, surely you don't mean to say that the theory of evolution, buttressed by thousands of published academic articles and evidence from multiple scientific disicplines including biology, genetics, paleontology, geology, archeology (etc, etc), is FAITH-BASED?

And you call this observation, absurd on its face, "objective"?

As I pointed out in another thread, Bryan, words have meaning. Science is not faith. Faith is not science. They are two very different ways of apprehending reality. Full stop, end of story.

Claiming that they are the same is nonsense in the most literal sense of the word.

Leigh

(If this double-posts, my apologies. I appear to be having some technical difficulties.)

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Actually, I think it matters greatly what Mr. P stated in the first couple of days.  I'm trying to get a sense of how regularly Mr. P discussed religion - without Matthew's probing questions.  Granted - it is still dangerous to have a teacher willing to preach in class when confronted with pointed questions.  However, it would be far more dangerous if the teacher REGULARLY delved into religion in the class.  Alternatively, if Mr. P did not discuss religion during the first several days of class, I'm trying to figure out what prompted Matthew to record?  Was it comments from other students who complained to Matthew but made no formal complaints to the administration?

Guest, I too am curious about what prompted the tape. Per the tape from October 10th it appears that the student was out of school for about a week in the early part of the school year. I thought that was interesting since the original tape was made sometime in September. Did this mean that the teacher brought up religion so frequently in the first few days of class that the student taped the class? Or did this mean that the student was aware of the potential for the teacher to talk about religion prior to the school year so he was prepared to tape on day 1 of the school year? Honestly, either situation does not change the conversations on the tape, but I was curious to how the taping came about and how frequently religion was discussed.

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Actually, I think it matters greatly what Mr. P stated in the first couple of days.  I'm trying to get a sense of how regularly Mr. P discussed religion - without Matthew's probing questions.  Granted - it is still dangerous to have a teacher willing to preach in class when confronted with pointed questions.  However, it would be far more dangerous if the teacher REGULARLY delved into religion in the class.  Alternatively, if Mr. P did not discuss religion during the first several days of class, I'm trying to figure out what prompted Matthew to record?  Was it comments from other students who complained to Matthew but made no formal complaints to the administration?

All I can tell you about those first two days is that Matthew complained to me that Mr. Paszkiewicz was preaching his politics and his religion; that is what prompted him to record. I appreciate your point, but I don't know that I can add much to what I've written above, except to say that Matthew has never seen a teacher before Mr. P who was so far out of line that he felt it necessary to record him.

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Bryan, I know you've made up your mind long ago on this matter and are now impervious to facts, but this is a simple rule of logic.

The statement "Evolution is as faith-based as religion" is not objective; it's opinion. Moreover, it's a breathtakingly stupid opinion, since it's so easily refuted by facts.

Now, assuming that Mr. P is NOT blindingly stupid, why would he say something so clearly false? The answer, as shown in the numerous statements from the recordings, is that he puts preaching about his personal religion ahead of any other priority... like, oh, let's say, teaching. Or the truth.

Since his opinion is both factually wrong AND religion-based, it has no place in the classroom. Teachers are supposed to help students understand, not willfully blind them to reality. And nonsense about evolution being anything other than rock-solid science are a deliberate attempt to mislead.

Bottom line: Mr. Paskiewicz is a bad teacher.

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Jean - I am very well read on our founding fathers - and I have had editorial review of items published about Jefferson - so don't even go there.  And if you actually spent the time to think about my post for 5 seconds after reading it, you would have realized that in no way did I condone, approve of, or adopt anything similar to a permissive stance in respect of, the teacher.

The point that I am seeking to clarify with Paul - which occurred partially with his reply (and I hope fully with the next reply to my response) - is that - without Matthew's prompting - to what extent did the teacher discuss religion.  As I stated in a recent reply to Paul, it is certainly dangerous to have a teacher spout off on religious topics when prompted to do so.  It is, in my estimation, far more dangerous to have a teacher regularly delving into religion.

I would still not be happy with the teacher's conduct if this was an isolated instance.  However, I would see this as more of a "correctable" issue if the teacher did not habitually discuss religious beliefs.

So relax - take a deep breath - and please read more carefully in the future.

This teacher is known to espouse his religious views in class. When my daughter's friends heard Matthew had been assigned to this teacher, they laughed and said many of them refer to him as Pastor Paszkiewicz because he preaches in class. One of Katie's friends has told us that they would repeatedly get him off his religious rants by bringing up politics --- in either case they didn't have to do much work that day. Several students asked for transfers out of his class because of his preaching over the years. So they tell us.

As for what he did in class, Mr. P brought up religious subjects one after another on his own.

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Guest, I too am curious about what prompted the tape.  Per the tape from October 10th it appears that the student was out of school for about a week in the early part of the school year.  I thought that was interesting since the original tape was made sometime in September.  Did this mean that the teacher brought up religion so frequently in the first few days of class that the student taped the class?  Or did this mean that the student was aware of the potential for the teacher to talk about religion prior to the school year so he was prepared to tape on day 1 of the school year?  Honestly, either situation does not change the conversations on the tape, but I was curious to how the taping came about and how frequently religion was discussed.

The former. Matthew had heard that this teacher misused the classroom to preach, but only began recording after hearing it for himself for two days, and recognizing how far out of line it was. He began recording on the third day.

I thought it was rather cheap, by the way, and completely irrelevant, that Matthew missed a week of school. Paszkiewicz seemed to be trying to make him feel as though he was somehow to blame for being out ill a week. This was part of a larger attempt to bully and intimidate the student into backing down. I find that thoroughly disgusting.

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The point that I am seeking to clarify with Paul - which occurred partially with his reply (and I hope fully with the next reply to my response) - is that - without Matthew's prompting - to what extent did the teacher discuss religion.

For what it's worth, Paszkiewicz himself said in the meeting that he didn't speak/teach during those days with Matthew in class any differently than he had the past 15 years. I'd bet Paszkiewicz really wasn't planning on having irrefutable evidence of his words in Matthew's backpack as he said that--it comes off as really condemning to him.

Also, I have spoken to people who either had him in class, or had run-ins with him outside the classroom, and these people displayed _zero_ surprise when they first learned of the issue from me. That says a lot too, I think...it's a bad sign.

As I stated in a recent reply to Paul, it is certainly dangerous to have a teacher spout off on religious topics when prompted to do so.  It is, in my estimation, far more dangerous to have a teacher regularly delving into religion.

Matthew mentioned at the meeting Paszkiewicz's tendency to 'delve' into religion in just the way you described. If you missed it, maybe give the recording of the meeting a(nother?) listen.

I would still not be happy with the teacher's conduct if this was an isolated instance.  However, I would see this as more of a "correctable" issue if the teacher did not habitually discuss religious beliefs.

Unfortunately, the evidence seems to point to this not being a 'fluke' in the least. Apparently, the Christian majority in Kearny have given him the feeling over the years that he can spout off on his religion as much as he wants without consequences.

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Guest, I too am curious about what prompted the tape.  Per the tape from October 10th it appears that the student was out of school for about a week in the early part of the school year.  I thought that was interesting since the original tape was made sometime in September.  Did this mean that the teacher brought up religion so frequently in the first few days of class that the student taped the class?

That is how Matthew described it--just thought you'd want to know 'cause it seems like you didn't. He was apparently so taken aback at what he heard the first few days that he decided to start recording soon after.

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Bryan, I know you've made up your mind long ago on this matter and are now impervious to facts, but this is a simple rule of logic.

The statement "Evolution is as faith-based as religion" is not objective; it's opinion. Moreover, it's a breathtakingly stupid opinion, since it's so easily refuted by facts.

Now, assuming that Mr. P is NOT blindingly stupid, why would he say something so clearly false? The answer, as shown in the numerous statements from the recordings, is that he puts preaching about his personal religion ahead of any other priority... like, oh, let's say, teaching. Or the truth.

Since his opinion is both factually wrong AND religion-based, it has no place in the classroom. Teachers are supposed to help students understand, not willfully blind them to reality. And nonsense about evolution being anything other than rock-solid science are a deliberate attempt to mislead.

Bottom line: Mr. Paskiewicz is a bad teacher.

Exactly.

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