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Attempted intimidation


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To get a full flavor of the attempt to intimidate the student, which ran throughout the October 10 meeting, you have to listen to the entire recording so that you get everything in context. This isn't just my impression, by the way: everyone I've spoken to about it heard the same thing, and heard it clearly. Much of it consisted of trying to make the student feel guilty for exposing the teacher's improper behavior, and much of it was accomplished by tone of voice and placement of the statements: interruptions, for example. Most of it is passive-aggressive, which is a standard technique used to manipulate others. Here are some of the more egregious examples of Mr. Paszkiewicz's attempt to intimidate Matthew, in response to a request on another topic. You also have to remember that there is a power relationship between the teacher --- who is sitting right next to the student in the meeting and physically larger than the student --- and the student.

a. [October 10, 2006, 2:25-2:33 - Paszkiewicz] “I’m thinkin’ I created a safe environment for a kid that loves history. All the while what were you doin’? You were writing this letter.”

b. [October 10, 2006, 2:38-2:47 - Paszkiewicz] “I almost feel like I was set up. I feel like there was deception. If you want to talk about trust, I was devastated by it.”

c. [October 10, 2006, 9:38-9:52 - Paszkiewicz] “Do I cut out Social Darwinism because you don’t like it? Do I cut out the social gospel because you don’t like it? Do I cut out Josiah Strong because the book holds him out as a prominent figure, but he was a preacher, so you don’t like it? What do I do, cut holes in my textbook?”

d. [October 10, 2006, 12:19-12:28] “A letter like this, Matt, I’m talking to you as a man. This paints me out to be a Nazi. I’ve got four kids, one has a kidney disease.”

e. [October 10, 2006, 13:08-13:13] “I want you to understand how damaging something like this could be. Now maybe you don’t care . . .”

f. [October 10, 2006, 13:24-13:53] “But this letter’s gonna be in somebody’s file forever. Now what you’re saying here contradicts all of those people that I mentioned, some of which have gone on to become teachers, and have written me notes that I am the reason why. But all of that could be ended. I’m the only income-earner in my household and I’ve got four kids, why, I gotta tell you, because you just don’t like some of these issues. . .”

g. [October 10, 2006, 21:38-22:08] “Students in the past have loved the class . . . One of their favorite things were debates that we would do. There’s no possible way I’m doing a debate in that class now, because a political issue is going to be mentioned, and somebody is going to ask me ‘what is your opinion, Mr. Paszkiewicz,’ and I’m going to get crucified.”

In other words, "I have to change my behavior now, the students don't like it, and it's your fault." But the fact is, he has to change his behavior because his bosses reminded him that his behavior was improper. Shame on him, and shame on Mr. Somma for allowing it to happen like this.

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To get a full flavor of the attempt to intimidate the student, which ran throughout the October 10 meeting, you have to listen to the entire recording so that you get everything in context. This isn't just my impression, by the way: everyone I've spoken to about it heard the same thing, and heard it clearly. Much of it consisted of trying to make the student feel guilty for exposing the teacher's improper behavior, and much of it was accomplished by tone of voice and placement of the statements: interruptions, for example. Most of it is passive-aggressive, which is a standard technique used to manipulate others. Here are some of the more egregious examples of Mr. Paszkiewicz's attempt to intimidate Matthew, in response to a request on another topic. You also have to remember that there is a power relationship between the teacher --- who is sitting right next to the student in the meeting and physically larger than the student --- and the student.

a. [October 10, 2006, 2:25-2:33 - Paszkiewicz] “I’m thinkin’ I created a safe environment for a kid that loves history. All the while what were you doin’? You were writing this letter.”

b. [October 10, 2006, 2:38-2:47 - Paszkiewicz] “I almost feel like I was set up. I feel like there was deception. If you want to talk about trust, I was devastated by it.”

c. [October 10, 2006, 9:38-9:52 - Paszkiewicz] “Do I cut out Social Darwinism because you don’t like it? Do I cut out the social gospel because you don’t like it? Do I cut out Josiah Strong because the book holds him out as a prominent figure, but he was a preacher, so you don’t like it? What do I do, cut holes in my textbook?”

d. [October 10, 2006, 12:19-12:28] “A letter like this, Matt, I’m talking to you as a man. This paints me out to be a Nazi. I’ve got four kids, one has a kidney disease.”

e. [October 10, 2006, 13:08-13:13] “I want you to understand how damaging something like this could be. Now maybe you don’t care . . .”

f. [October 10, 2006, 13:24-13:53] “But this letter’s gonna be in somebody’s file forever. Now what you’re saying here contradicts all of those people that I mentioned, some of which have gone on to become teachers, and have written me notes that I am the reason why.  But all of that could be ended. I’m the only income-earner in my household and I’ve got four kids, why, I gotta tell you, because you just don’t like some of these issues. . .”

g. [October 10, 2006, 21:38-22:08] “Students in the past have loved the class . . . One of their favorite things were debates that we would do. There’s no possible way I’m doing a debate in that class now, because a political issue is going to be mentioned, and somebody is going to ask me ‘what is your opinion, Mr. Paszkiewicz,’ and I’m going to get crucified.”

In other words, "I have to change my behavior now, the students don't like it, and it's your fault." But the fact is, he has to change his behavior because his bosses reminded him that his behavior was improper. Shame on him, and shame on Mr. Somma for allowing it to happen like this.

I agree with you wholeheartedly. If Matt wasn't so level-headed it would have been like leading a lamb to the slaughter. Most kids couldn't have handled the pressure. Shame on Mr. Somma to forbid a parent to be present at such a meeting and it's criminal that they haven't adequately addressed the threats and bullying Matt has been subject to.

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To get a full flavor of the attempt to intimidate the student, which ran throughout the October 10 meeting, you have to listen to the entire recording so that you get everything in context. This isn't just my impression, by the way: everyone I've spoken to about it heard the same thing, and heard it clearly.

What percentage were lawyers, where courtroom protocol was likely to color their views?

Much of it consisted of trying to make the student feel guilty for exposing the teacher's improper behavior, and much of it was accomplished by tone of voice and placement of the statements: interruptions, for example. Most of it is passive-aggressive, which is a standard technique used to manipulate others.

Surely you must realize that it is completely normal for people to try to manipulate others in conversation where disagreements exist?

Matthew demonstrated quite a few manipulations of his own, among them his excuse for recording: Didn't feel "safe."

The key issue at the meeting, however, was the inaccuracy of Matthew's original letter. The nature of the letter largely established the tone of the meeting.

Here are some of the more egregious examples of Mr. Paszkiewicz's attempt to intimidate Matthew, in response to a request on another topic. You also have to remember that there is a power relationship between the teacher --- who is sitting right next to the student in the meeting and physically larger than the student --- and the student.

Here we go again. One minute Matthew is the puppet master making fools of the adults. Next minute he's the poor innocent victim of adult intimidation.

The use of these extremes in Mr. LaClair's rhetoric is ridiculous. Matthew's mature enough to take care of himself in a meeting with adults (he's not in court, where proximity and size of the adversarial attorney is particularly relevant), and he made significant errors of fact from his letter onward.

My sense is that Matthew was honest in presenting his view of the facts (not counting what I think was some deliberate deceit regarding his purposes in the meeting), but his view simply diverged from reality at too many junctures.

a. [October 10, 2006, 2:25-2:33 - Paszkiewicz] “I’m thinkin’ I created a safe environment for a kid that loves history. All the while what were you doin’? You were writing this letter.”

b. [October 10, 2006, 2:38-2:47 - Paszkiewicz] “I almost feel like I was set up. I feel like there was deception. If you want to talk about trust, I was devastated by it.”

c. [October 10, 2006, 9:38-9:52 - Paszkiewicz] “Do I cut out Social Darwinism because you don’t like it? Do I cut out the social gospel because you don’t like it? Do I cut out Josiah Strong because the book holds him out as a prominent figure, but he was a preacher, so you don’t like it? What do I do, cut holes in my textbook?”

d. [October 10, 2006, 12:19-12:28] “A letter like this, Matt, I’m talking to you as a man. This paints me out to be a Nazi. I’ve got four kids, one has a kidney disease.”

e. [October 10, 2006, 13:08-13:13] “I want you to understand how damaging something like this could be. Now maybe you don’t care . . .”

f. [October 10, 2006, 13:24-13:53] “But this letter’s gonna be in somebody’s file forever. Now what you’re saying here contradicts all of those people that I mentioned, some of which have gone on to become teachers, and have written me notes that I am the reason why.  But all of that could be ended. I’m the only income-earner in my household and I’ve got four kids, why, I gotta tell you, because you just don’t like some of these issues. . .”

g. [October 10, 2006, 21:38-22:08] “Students in the past have loved the class . . . One of their favorite things were debates that we would do. There’s no possible way I’m doing a debate in that class now, because a political issue is going to be mentioned, and somebody is going to ask me ‘what is your opinion, Mr. Paszkiewicz,’ and I’m going to get crucified.”

In other words, "I have to change my behavior now, the students don't like it, and it's your fault."

Well, there's more to it than that. Yes, Paszkiewicz levied a share of guilt on Matthew during the meeting. On the other hand, Paszkiewicz had a case to make regarding his past performance. Matthew did, after all, paint Paszkiewicz as dangerous with his letter.

And yet the meeting is supposed to be conducted to protect Matthew from all guilt?

I'd be surprised if any seating arrangement would have escaped from Mr. LaClair's ability to criticize. Having a table in between them established a power dynamic intended to make Matthew feel small and insignificant!

Good grief! I've been in on a handful of these types of meetings as a student, and the authority figures uniformly used intimidation and guilt. It never occurred to me to whine about it (or have Dad whine about it for me).

But the fact is, he has to change his behavior because his bosses reminded him that his behavior was improper. Shame on him, and shame on Mr. Somma for allowing it to happen like this.

Shame on the thousands upon thousands of other principals and teachers who dare to use their size to intimidate students. And the guilt! The guilt!

Good night. If Matthew's half as great as you make him out to be, this isn't worth complaining about. Especially in a public forum.

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To get a full flavor of the attempt to intimidate the student, which ran throughout the October 10 meeting, you have to listen to the entire recording so that you get everything in context. This isn't just my impression, by the way: everyone I've spoken to about it heard the same thing, and heard it clearly. Much of it consisted of trying to make the student feel guilty for exposing the teacher's improper behavior, and much of it was accomplished by tone of voice and placement of the statements: interruptions, for example. Most of it is passive-aggressive, which is a standard technique used to manipulate others. Here are some of the more egregious examples of Mr. Paszkiewicz's attempt to intimidate Matthew, in response to a request on another topic. You also have to remember that there is a power relationship between the teacher --- who is sitting right next to the student in the meeting and physically larger than the student --- and the student.

a. [October 10, 2006, 2:25-2:33 - Paszkiewicz] “I’m thinkin’ I created a safe environment for a kid that loves history. All the while what were you doin’? You were writing this letter.”

b. [October 10, 2006, 2:38-2:47 - Paszkiewicz] “I almost feel like I was set up. I feel like there was deception. If you want to talk about trust, I was devastated by it.”

c. [October 10, 2006, 9:38-9:52 - Paszkiewicz] “Do I cut out Social Darwinism because you don’t like it? Do I cut out the social gospel because you don’t like it? Do I cut out Josiah Strong because the book holds him out as a prominent figure, but he was a preacher, so you don’t like it? What do I do, cut holes in my textbook?”

d. [October 10, 2006, 12:19-12:28] “A letter like this, Matt, I’m talking to you as a man. This paints me out to be a Nazi. I’ve got four kids, one has a kidney disease.”

e. [October 10, 2006, 13:08-13:13] “I want you to understand how damaging something like this could be. Now maybe you don’t care . . .”

f. [October 10, 2006, 13:24-13:53] “But this letter’s gonna be in somebody’s file forever. Now what you’re saying here contradicts all of those people that I mentioned, some of which have gone on to become teachers, and have written me notes that I am the reason why.  But all of that could be ended. I’m the only income-earner in my household and I’ve got four kids, why, I gotta tell you, because you just don’t like some of these issues. . .”

g. [October 10, 2006, 21:38-22:08] “Students in the past have loved the class . . . One of their favorite things were debates that we would do. There’s no possible way I’m doing a debate in that class now, because a political issue is going to be mentioned, and somebody is going to ask me ‘what is your opinion, Mr. Paszkiewicz,’ and I’m going to get crucified.”

In other words, "I have to change my behavior now, the students don't like it, and it's your fault." But the fact is, he has to change his behavior because his bosses reminded him that his behavior was improper. Shame on him, and shame on Mr. Somma for allowing it to happen like this.

No, no, no.

For were it not for Mr. P making the statements that he made, in respect of a subject as polarizing as religion, then you and your son would not have had such a grand stand to push this issue which is so close to your heart. Furthermore, if Mr. P had apologized immediately, and had there been an appropriate correction, you and your son would not have had the opportunity to demonstrate the commitment to your cause - which has lead to a very high profile (and apparently future scholarship dollars) for Matthew.

Sometimes our enemies are our greatest allies.

Quick question - hypothetically speaking, of course, if Mr. P apologized now, would you allow the issue to die, or have matters gone too far?

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Quick question - hypothetically speaking, of course, if Mr. P apologized now, would you allow the issue to die, or have matters gone too far?

From the deepest depths is the possibility of the highest high. We would invite him into a public display of brotherhood that would set the world on notice. I already told him that.

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To get a full flavor of the attempt to intimidate the student, which ran throughout the October 10 meeting, you have to listen to the entire recording so that you get everything in context. This isn't just my impression, by the way: everyone I've spoken to about it heard the same thing, and heard it clearly. Much of it consisted of trying to make the student feel guilty for exposing the teacher's improper behavior, and much of it was accomplished by tone of voice and placement of the statements: interruptions, for example. Most of it is passive-aggressive, which is a standard technique used to manipulate others. Here are some of the more egregious examples of Mr. Paszkiewicz's attempt to intimidate Matthew, in response to a request on another topic. You also have to remember that there is a power relationship between the teacher --- who is sitting right next to the student in the meeting and physically larger than the student --- and the student.

a. [October 10, 2006, 2:25-2:33 - Paszkiewicz] “I’m thinkin’ I created a safe environment for a kid that loves history. All the while what were you doin’? You were writing this letter.”

b. [October 10, 2006, 2:38-2:47 - Paszkiewicz] “I almost feel like I was set up. I feel like there was deception. If you want to talk about trust, I was devastated by it.”

c. [October 10, 2006, 9:38-9:52 - Paszkiewicz] “Do I cut out Social Darwinism because you don’t like it? Do I cut out the social gospel because you don’t like it? Do I cut out Josiah Strong because the book holds him out as a prominent figure, but he was a preacher, so you don’t like it? What do I do, cut holes in my textbook?”

d. [October 10, 2006, 12:19-12:28] “A letter like this, Matt, I’m talking to you as a man. This paints me out to be a Nazi. I’ve got four kids, one has a kidney disease.”

e. [October 10, 2006, 13:08-13:13] “I want you to understand how damaging something like this could be. Now maybe you don’t care . . .”

f. [October 10, 2006, 13:24-13:53] “But this letter’s gonna be in somebody’s file forever. Now what you’re saying here contradicts all of those people that I mentioned, some of which have gone on to become teachers, and have written me notes that I am the reason why.  But all of that could be ended. I’m the only income-earner in my household and I’ve got four kids, why, I gotta tell you, because you just don’t like some of these issues. . .”

g. [October 10, 2006, 21:38-22:08] “Students in the past have loved the class . . . One of their favorite things were debates that we would do. There’s no possible way I’m doing a debate in that class now, because a political issue is going to be mentioned, and somebody is going to ask me ‘what is your opinion, Mr. Paszkiewicz,’ and I’m going to get crucified.”

In other words, "I have to change my behavior now, the students don't like it, and it's your fault." But the fact is, he has to change his behavior because his bosses reminded him that his behavior was improper. Shame on him, and shame on Mr. Somma for allowing it to happen like this.

If someone gave you a transcript of a deposition that was formatted this way - would you say that it was reliable and/or responsible of the party to do so?

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QUOTE
Guest+Mar 4 2007, 11:20 PM-->
QUOTE(
QUOTE
Guest @ Mar 4 2007, 11:20 PM)
No, no, no. 

For were it not for Mr. P making the statements that he made, in respect of a subject as polarizing as religion, then you and your son would not have had such a grand stand to push this issue which is so close to your heart.  Furthermore, if Mr. P had apologized immediately, and had there been an appropriate correction, you and your son would not have had the opportunity to demonstrate the commitment to your cause - which has lead to a very high profile (and apparently future scholarship dollars) for Matthew.

Sometimes our enemies are our greatest allies.

Quick question - hypothetically speaking, of course, if Mr. P apologized now, would you allow the issue to die, or have matters gone too far?

The point is that Mr. P did act inappropriately. He did not apologize; instead, he lied about it. And yes, 3 adult authority figures against a 16-year-old boy is abuse of power and is intimidating. Further, said authority figures have allowed the cult leader's minions continue to harrass the LaClairs.

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Guest Lazarus

To be honest, Paul, I'm having difficulty understanding your seeming obsession with this forum. I've supported you in the past, but the sheer abundance of things you've posted here make me wonder if such information couldn't be committed elsewhere. As a major player in this important (albeit hopeless convolted by this point) issue, I was under the impression that you'd have less time to spend on the internet.

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Why does junior live here if he wont stand for the pledge?????

How anal, questioning patriotism or loyalty just because someone won't stand for the pledge. This type of questioning was also used in Hilter's Germany and Stalin's Russia. Still used in China.

I guess by your resoning we should also ask the Quakers and Anabapstists (Mennonites and Amish) why they are living here.

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If someone gave you a transcript of a deposition that was formatted this way - would you say that it was reliable and/or responsible of the party to do so?

I certainly would, provided the quotations were accurate, which they are; and not unfairly taken out of context, which they are not. What do you think a closing argument in a court case is?

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To be honest, Paul, I'm having difficulty understanding your seeming obsession with this forum. I've supported you in the past, but the sheer abundance of things you've posted here make me wonder if such information couldn't be committed elsewhere. As a major player in this important (albeit hopeless convolted by this point) issue, I was under the impression that you'd have less time to spend on the internet.

I write fast, and I have my reasons. One thing you may notice about the mind-set supporting Mr P: they think they can make things true by repeating them. That means they must be met with a consistent and unflinching response, which I realize most people don't require. If I wasn't doing this, this forum would have taken on a different look. There is the disadvantage of what happens when one is engaged in a pissing match with a skunk, but given the alternative, I chose to respond to a lot of nonsense lest some people think it wasn't nonsense. Please don't think I insist that you read everything I write.

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From the deepest depths is the possibility of the highest high. We would invite him into a public display of brotherhood that would set the world on notice. I already told him that.

awwwwwwwwwww...what a good boy you are!

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To be honest, Paul, I'm having difficulty understanding your seeming obsession with this forum. I've supported you in the past, but the sheer abundance of things you've posted here make me wonder if such information couldn't be committed elsewhere. As a major player in this important (albeit hopeless convolted by this point) issue, I was under the impression that you'd have less time to spend on the internet.

Lazarus, well said. At least some people notice these things!

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Lazarus, well said. At least some people notice these things!

Don't get the impression that I somehow support Mr. P and his army of fundamentalist supporters. I think what he did was wrong, and that his incessant lack of, for lack of better term, rationality is infuriating.

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Guest Dingo Dave
How anal, questioning patriotism or loyalty just because someone won't stand for the pledge. This type of questioning was also used in Hilter's Germany and Stalin's Russia. Still used in China.

I guess by your reasoning we should also ask the Quakers and Anabapstists (Mennonites and Amish) why they are living here.

For some good background information and pictures about the history of the American 'Pledge of Allegiance' take a look at this website. (the link is below).

http://rexcurry.net/pledge2.html

The pledge of allegiance was originally chanted while performing the Nazi salute, known as the Bellamy salute. Francis Bellamy was the socialist who originally wrote the 'Pledge of Allegiance'. Perhaps the fanatical American nationalists who insist that it is 'VERBOTEN' not to stand and mindlessly recite it, should go back to performing the original salute which Francis Bellamy instructed was to accompany it. It would be a fitting gesture.

On second thoughts, perhaps they would feel they feel more comfortable reciting something like; "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer!“ One people, one empire, one leader!

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Guest Patriot
For some good background information and pictures about the history of the American 'Pledge of Allegiance' take a look at this website. (the link is below).

http://rexcurry.net/pledge2.html

The pledge of allegiance was originally chanted while performing the Nazi salute, known as the Bellamy salute. Francis Bellamy was the socialist who originally wrote the 'Pledge of Allegiance'. Perhaps the fanatical American nationalists who insist that it is 'VERBOTEN' not to stand and mindlessly recite it, should go back to performing the original salute which Francis Bellamy instructed was to accompany it. It would be a fitting gesture.

On second thoughts, perhaps they would feel they feel more comfortable reciting something like; "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer!“ One people, one empire, one leader!

You're losing it, Dingo. You may have rabies, hanging around with all those dogs.

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Why does junior live here if he wont stand for the pledge?????

He has answered that question many times, and so have he. He is making the point that citizenship requires action, not merely reciting something because everyone else does.

If you look honestly at history, you will see that he is absolutely right to do it. A nation that confuses reciting a pledge with the real work of citizenship --- reading a newspaper, being aware of the issues, voting, conserving energy when we're at war for oil --- is in deep trouble, and in danger of losing its democracy. The reason is that democracy cannot survive the loss of personal freedom, and cannot operate properly if its citizens are ignorant --- it never has, and it never will, and all the rah-rah pseudo-patriots who don't understand that are doing more damage to our country than all the protesters combined. So my questions for you: what newspaper do you read, how well do you know the issues, etc.

That doesn't mean that those who stand for the pledge are wrong --- they're expressing patriotism as they see fit --- or maybe they're just going along. The point is, you can't tell who the real patriots are by who stands for the pledge. Any phony can do that. We can only judge patriotism by how citizens act to support and honor their country and its people.

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