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Castelli breaks ranks, makes statements

By Kevin Canessa Jr.

Observer Editor

KEARNY — Board of Education member Paul Castelli has broken ranks with the rest of the Board and has gone on record with statements that harshly criticize Matthew LaClair and his parents.

In a phone interview with The Observer May 15, Castelli says he was the lone dissenter last week when the Board adopted a settlement with the LaClairs for numerous reasons, most notably, however, because the LaClairs are opportunists.

“Matthew LaClair is absolutely not a hero,” Castelli said, referring to a statement the Board made last week that praised Matthew for standing up for his rights. “His parents are opportunists and it’s a combination of both Matthew and his parents. Though I leave it up to the people to decide for themselves, it’s pretty obvious that he (Matt’s father, Paul) did just as much speaking as his son did.”

In addition to seeing Matt as far from a hero, Castelli also said he was not convinced the Anti-Defamation League’s curriculum was what was needed. The ADL will soon be instructing students and teachers on the parameters involved in the separation of church and state.

“I would have been more comfortable if there had been more specifics as to what they would be teaching the students and teachers,” Castelli said. “It was really unclear what they were actually going to do.”

He also says the Board was never given a clear resolution to a Board-directed investigation into suspected harassment against Matthew.

Matthew claimed to have been harassed numerous times by classmates, including a death threat on his Myspace Web page — an incident that was investigated by the Kearny Police Department.

Finally, Castelli says that despite suspected closure in the matter with the agreement, he still feels the Board is susceptible to being named in a lawsuit, should someone (he didn’t mention anyone or entity specifically) decide to sue the LaClairs.

“The Board is supposedly off the hook, but I worry that’s not really the case,” Castelli said. “Say there’s some kind of third-party suit. We could be sued. So we’re still not really out of this, despite the agreement.”

Commending the administration, but not Matthew

Castelli also says he continues to be impressed with the manner by which Kearny High School Assistant Principal Patrick Ragnoni handled the discipline-related matters throughout this ordeal.

“I am confident the administration handled everything wonderfully,” Castelli said. “There is no one who did a finer job than Pat Ragnoni did, maybe ever, than he did in handling this. He’s done it in the past and he continued to do so this time, too.”

In addition to his praise for Ragnoni, Castelli says he feels for the administration of Kearny High School for what they experienced with the LaClair/Paszkiewicz matter.

“I feel bad the administration had to go through what they went through,” Castelli said.

But when he was asked if he felt the same for LaClair, who was often the object of verbal taunts and threats from classmates, Castelli paused — then gave a firm and direct answer.

“No, I don’t,” he said. “Throughout the ordeal, he was asked to identify the kids who had done these things to him, and not once did he identify anyone. How could anyone be expected to take action if they didn’t know whom they were taking action against? It wasn’t possible. And it wasn’t possible to feel sorry for someone unless they were willing to give up the information we needed to ensure a proper investigation took place.”

In previous stories, Matthew has said it was impossible to identify possible threat makers because often, taunts would be hurled from within a large group of kids. Additionally, Matthew did identify, for police the student made the Myspace death threat against him several months ago.

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Castelli breaks ranks, makes statements

By Kevin Canessa Jr.

Observer Editor

KEARNY — Board of Education member Paul Castelli has broken ranks with the rest of the Board and has gone on record with statements that harshly criticize Matthew LaClair and his parents.

In a phone interview with The Observer May 15, Castelli says he was the lone dissenter last week when the Board adopted a settlement with the LaClairs for numerous reasons, most notably, however, because the LaClairs are opportunists.

“Matthew LaClair is absolutely not a hero,” Castelli said, referring to a statement the Board made last week that praised Matthew for standing up for his rights. “His parents are opportunists and it’s a combination of both Matthew and his parents. Though I leave it up to the people to decide for themselves, it’s pretty obvious that he (Matt’s father, Paul) did just as much speaking as his son did.”

In addition to seeing Matt as far from a hero, Castelli also said he was not convinced the Anti-Defamation League’s curriculum was what was needed. The ADL will soon be instructing students and teachers on the parameters involved in the separation of church and state.

“I would have been more comfortable if there had been more specifics as to what they would be teaching the students and teachers,” Castelli said. “It was really unclear what they were actually going to do.”

He also says the Board was never given a clear resolution to a Board-directed investigation into suspected harassment against Matthew.

Matthew claimed to have been harassed numerous times by classmates, including a death threat on his Myspace Web page — an incident that was investigated by the Kearny Police Department.

Finally, Castelli says that despite suspected closure in the matter with the agreement, he still feels the Board is susceptible to being named in a lawsuit, should someone (he didn’t mention anyone or entity specifically) decide to sue the LaClairs.

“The Board is supposedly off the hook, but I worry that’s not really the case,” Castelli said. “Say there’s some kind of third-party suit. We could be sued. So we’re still not really out of this, despite the agreement.”

Commending the administration, but not Matthew

Castelli also says he continues to be impressed with the manner by which Kearny High School Assistant Principal Patrick Ragnoni handled the discipline-related matters throughout this ordeal.

“I am confident the administration handled everything wonderfully,” Castelli said. “There is no one who did a finer job than Pat Ragnoni did, maybe ever, than he did in handling this. He’s done it in the past and he continued to do so this time, too.”

In addition to his praise for Ragnoni, Castelli says he feels for the administration of Kearny High School for what they experienced with the LaClair/Paszkiewicz matter.

“I feel bad the administration had to go through what they went through,” Castelli said.

But when he was asked if he felt the same for LaClair, who was often the object of verbal taunts and threats from classmates, Castelli paused — then gave a firm and direct answer.

“No, I don’t,” he said. “Throughout the ordeal, he was asked to identify the kids who had done these things to him, and not once did he identify anyone. How could anyone be expected to take action if they didn’t know whom they were taking action against? It wasn’t possible. And it wasn’t possible to feel sorry for someone unless they were willing to give up the information we needed to ensure a proper investigation took place.”

In previous stories, Matthew has said it was impossible to identify possible threat makers because often, taunts would be hurled from within a large group of kids. Additionally, Matthew did identify, for police the student made the Myspace death threat against him several months ago.

I am so very impressed that someone had the courage to stand up and tell how it really is in this town. As being a Kearny taxpayer, I believed that this whole thing was a scam from the very beginning. Thank you for your honesty. Also, I do greatly respect Mr. Ragnoni for his hard work and dedication that he has given to Kearny High School and his time in the grammer school as well. He is a credit to this community and if anyone should get commended it's him and not LaClair.

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I am so very impressed that someone had the courage to stand up and tell how it really is in this town. As being a Kearny taxpayer, I believed that this whole thing was a scam from the very beginning.  Thank you for your honesty. Also, I do greatly respect Mr. Ragnoni for his hard work and dedication that he has given to Kearny High School and his time in the grammer school as well.  He is a credit to this community and if anyone should get commended it's him and not LaClair.

Yeah, screw the LaClairs, who needs people exposing preaching teachers anyway, who cares about separation of church and state, Christians are the majority, so they make the rules!

<_<;):oB):rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

You know what, I wish so badly that you had a kid in high school who was preached to in the same way by a Muslim teacher or a Satanist or a Wiccan, and then when you get outraged about your kid's freedom being violated, for people to scoff and say that it's just a scam, that your kid is a troublemaker, and that you're just looking for handouts.

And I would laugh in your pathetic face, hypocrite.

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Castelli breaks ranks, makes statements

What does Paul Castelli know of Matthew LaClair's motives? Nothing.

The young man says he is committed to principles like the Constitution and the quality of education. I have no basis in fact to doubt him. If Mr. Castelli does, then he is obligated to say what that basis is. He is obligated to state facts, not just his biases. For one adult to make a charge like this against another adult is inappropriate. For a school board member to level these unsubstantiated charges against a minor is shameful and inexcusable.

This matter was about to be put to rest with a settlement that satisfied all parties. I find it interesting that the Board maintained a unified silence all the while this student was being pilloried within his own school, but the minute the silence is no longer on behalf of one of the Board's own, all public comment becomes fair game. Mr. Castelli attempted to point the finger at young Mr. LaClair, but as if often the case, his own finger is pointed back at him.

In addition, if Mr. Castelli finds the media coverage distasteful, this was hardly a way to end it. It was about to end until he did this. Mr. Castelli's conduct reflects bad manners, an ill temper and extremely poor judgment.

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What does Paul Castelli know of Matthew LaClair's motives? Nothing.

What did Castelli say about LaClair's motives?

Nothing, AFAICT.

Perhaps you should point out specifically what you're talking about.

The young man says he is committed to principles like the Constitution and the quality of education. I have no basis in fact to doubt him.

LaClair deliberately asked questions which, if answered, would produce what LaClair felt would be a "dangerous" environment for his classmates.

How dangerous could it have been if LaClair was willing to contribute to the danger in order to achieve his goal?

Is this not a case of the ends justifying the means? You find that admirable? Or should you write off LaClair's comments about Paszkiewicz's "dangerous" teachings as hyperbole (even though he emphasized the statement to school administrators as though it were completely in earnest)?

If Mr. Castelli does, then he is obligated to say what that basis is.

The closest he came was saying that the LaClairs were opportunists. He then said that it should be pretty obvious, which is the type of argument that the LaClair side has used with regularity on these boards.

Do you think that argument is insufficient? Is it insufficient for one side, or for both sides?

He is obligated to state facts, not just his biases. For one adult to make a charge like this against another adult is inappropriate.

Is that a fact, or your bias?

Are you obligated to provide facts instead of merely biases?

For a school board member to level these unsubstantiated charges against a minor is shameful and inexcusable.

Is that a fact, or is it your bias?

This matter was about to be put to rest with a settlement that satisfied all parties. I find it interesting that the Board maintained a unified silence all the while this student was being pilloried within his own school, but the minute the silence is no longer on behalf of one of the Board's own, all public comment becomes fair game. Mr. Castelli attempted to point the finger at young Mr. LaClair, but as if often the case, his own finger is pointed back at him.

And you'd know a thing or two about that. <_<

In addition, if Mr. Castelli finds the media coverage distasteful, this was hardly a way to end it. It was about to end until he did this. Mr. Castelli's conduct reflects bad manners, an ill temper and extremely poor judgment.

And "Guest" isn't biased at all. Trust him on that.

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What does Paul Castelli know of Matthew LaClair's motives? Nothing.

The young man says he is committed to principles like the Constitution and the quality of education. I have no basis in fact to doubt him. If Mr. Castelli does, then he is obligated to say what that basis is. He is obligated to state facts, not just his biases. For one adult to make a charge like this against another adult is inappropriate. For a school board member to level these unsubstantiated charges against a minor is shameful and inexcusable.

This matter was about to be put to rest with a settlement that satisfied all parties. I find it interesting that the Board maintained a unified silence all the while this student was being pilloried within his own school, but the minute the silence is no longer on behalf of one of the Board's own, all public comment becomes fair game. Mr. Castelli attempted to point the finger at young Mr. LaClair, but as if often the case, his own finger is pointed back at him.

In addition, if Mr. Castelli finds the media coverage distasteful, this was hardly a way to end it. It was about to end until he did this. Mr. Castelli's conduct reflects bad manners, an ill temper and extremely poor judgment.

Try to mind your own business and let people believe what they want. See it's very simple, live and let live. This teacher is off the wall and should have stuck to the subject matter of the class. Matt in future try to turn the other cheek. Because clowns like this never learn. Good luck and all the best.

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Yeah, screw the LaClairs, who needs people exposing preaching teachers anyway, who cares about separation of church and state, Christians are the majority, so they make the rules!

:rolleyes:  :P  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:

You know what, I wish so badly that you had a kid in high school who was preached to in the same way by a Muslim teacher or a Satanist or a Wiccan, and then when you get outraged about your kid's freedom being violated, for people to scoff and say that it's just a scam, that your kid is a troublemaker, and that you're just looking for handouts.

And I would laugh in your pathetic face, hypocrite.

Little happy faces always make you look so grown up. Now if we can only get you out of diapers. Need we forget it was the LaClairs that started this. If just once Matthew would have gone the correct route instead of trying to gain fame by going to the newspapers this would have been handled differently. His speculation that the nothing would have been done is just that, speculation. But it is the opportunistic path that he chose.

What is wrong with having a Muslim teacher ? Trying to hear you explain about having a Muslim teacher just makes your and the LaClairs despise toward them oozing out more. :ninja: And you try to come across as good American people. More than once you have used the Muslim reference. I am not offended by it if that is the society we live in.

Most of all the truth does hurt and you just cannot accept it. Repeating what you said : "That kid (Matthew LaClair) is a troublemaker, and that family is just looking for handouts."

There is no more truth than need be said. They got their Money so according you them everything is now ok.

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What does Paul Castelli know of Matthew LaClair's motives? Nothing.

The young man says he is committed to principles like the Constitution and the quality of education. I have no basis in fact to doubt him. If Mr. Castelli does, then he is obligated to say what that basis is. He is obligated to state facts, not just his biases. For one adult to make a charge like this against another adult is inappropriate. For a school board member to level these unsubstantiated charges against a minor is shameful and inexcusable.

This matter was about to be put to rest with a settlement that satisfied all parties. I find it interesting that the Board maintained a unified silence all the while this student was being pilloried within his own school, but the minute the silence is no longer on behalf of one of the Board's own, all public comment becomes fair game. Mr. Castelli attempted to point the finger at young Mr. LaClair, but as if often the case, his own finger is pointed back at him.

In addition, if Mr. Castelli finds the media coverage distasteful, this was hardly a way to end it. It was about to end until he did this. Mr. Castelli's conduct reflects bad manners, an ill temper and extremely poor judgment.

You obviously do not know Matthew then. The young man as you call him went about this in an underhanded way to generate profit that the people of Kearny now have to indirectly pay for it. I guess people being allowed to comment on it is part of my right as an American and the Constitution.

Please check your facts.

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The BOE says the kid is a hero so that is that. Who are we to argue with such a fine group of citizens who always have everyone elses best interests at heart?

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Matt is absolutely a hero. Don't all heros use the same methods that Matt did and then strong arm the BOE and Administration into a commendation.

Great work, I hope the scholarships and job offers work out.

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What does Paul Castelli know of Matthew LaClair's motives? Nothing.

The young man says he is committed to principles like the Constitution and the quality of education. I have no basis in fact to doubt him. If Mr. Castelli does, then he is obligated to say what that basis is. He is obligated to state facts, not just his biases. For one adult to make a charge like this against another adult is inappropriate. For a school board member to level these unsubstantiated charges against a minor is shameful and inexcusable.

This matter was about to be put to rest with a settlement that satisfied all parties. I find it interesting that the Board maintained a unified silence all the while this student was being pilloried within his own school, but the minute the silence is no longer on behalf of one of the Board's own, all public comment becomes fair game. Mr. Castelli attempted to point the finger at young Mr. LaClair, but as if often the case, his own finger is pointed back at him.

In addition, if Mr. Castelli finds the media coverage distasteful, this was hardly a way to end it. It was about to end until he did this. Mr. Castelli's conduct reflects bad manners, an ill temper and extremely poor judgment.

Doesn't the Board of education have an Attorney, who is contracted to the Board, to give legally sound advice and suggestions to the Board Members regarding their personal input in such situations? These feelings or opinions can very simply be aired in the private setting of the Caucus away from the Public where the Attorney can listen and decide whether going Public with such statements reflects the sediment of the Board or the comments of a resident who holds a seat on the Board!

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I am so very impressed that someone had the courage to stand up and tell how it really is in this town. As being a Kearny taxpayer, I believed that this whole thing was a scam from the very beginning.  Thank you for your honesty. Also, I do greatly respect Mr. Ragnoni for his hard work and dedication that he has given to Kearny High School and his time in the grammer school as well.  He is a credit to this community and if anyone should get commended it's him and not LaClair.

Amen, brother. Dad and Lad had their 20 minutes of "fame", now they can fade back into obscurity.

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Try to mind your own business and let people believe what they want. See it's very simple, live and let live. This teacher is off the wall and should have stuck to the subject matter of the class. Matt in future try to turn the other cheek. Because clowns like this never learn. Good luck and all the best.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

You can't turn the other cheek. Not if you're principled.

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You obviously do not know Matthew then. The young man as you call him went about this in an underhanded way to generate profit that the people of Kearny now have to indirectly pay for it.  I guess people being allowed to comment on it is part of my right as an American and the Constitution. 

Please check your facts.

If the Board had done last October what they have agreed to do now, as Mr. LaClair asked them to do, the people of Kearny wouldn't have had to pay a thing. That is the fact.

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If the Board had done last October what they have agreed to do now, as Mr. LaClair asked them to do, the people of Kearny wouldn't have had to pay a thing. That is the fact.

It is?

How do you know?

That isn't the way legal settlements typically work. LaClair probably wanted more than he eventually received.

And here's another way to look at it.

Suppose Matthew LaClair thinks he hears Paszkiewicz saying objectionable stuff in class. Why not talk to Paszkiewicz about it privately and tape that conversation (still sneaky, but it doesn't put the students at risk for Paszkiewicz's most "dangerous" speech)? All it takes is a couple of students in the class to back up the report of what Paszkiewicz was supposedly doing. That way, LaClair has witnesses to what is said in class, a recording of the meeting with Paszkiewicz, and the possibility of resolving the issue without unnecessary division.

The route taken by the LaClairs was about as divisive as it could have been.

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It is?

How do you know?

That isn't the way legal settlements typically work.  LaClair probably wanted more than he eventually received.

And here's another way to look at it.

Suppose Matthew LaClair thinks he hears Paszkiewicz saying objectionable stuff in class.  Why not talk to Paszkiewicz about it privately and tape that conversation (still sneaky, but it doesn't put the students at risk for Paszkiewicz's most "dangerous" speech)?  All it takes is a couple of students in the class to back up the report of what Paszkiewicz was supposedly doing.  That way, LaClair has witnesses to what is said in class, a recording of the meeting with Paszkiewicz, and the possibility of resolving the issue without unnecessary division.

The route taken by the LaClairs was about as divisive as it could have been.

One thing I know is that you don't know. The LaClairs said they wanted corrections of improper remarks and quality control. When they got them, they dropped their claims, so they've been consistent with their original position, even though Matthew suffered compensable damages in the intervening months while the school board picked its collective nose hoping it would all just go away. And no I'm not guessing about that, because the Board said it just wanted to move on. It didn't want to make corrections, saying that would only re-open the issue, which was in the New York Times and on Anderson Cooper the day the board issued that statement through its lawyer. They knew it was on Anderson Cooper, because Cooper was the one who called and asked them to be on the show with Matthew. So the Board isn't at all credible.

By contrast, in the absence of any duplicity from the LaClairs, and I don't see any, and especially considering that they did what they said they would do even after they had good reason to seek damages for themselves, I it's fair to call it a fact.

If you want to nit-pick, and of course you do, then at the very least the Board missed its best opportunity to resolve the matter quickly and without a Notice of Claim. The Board screwed this up from day one. They are not entitled to the benefit of the doubt.

The LaClairs have been consistent. They could have jacked up their final demands after Matthew took months of abuse, but they didn't. They are entitled to be believed unless there are facts to belie that they would have done what they in fact did when given the chance.

Of course, none of this will matter to Bryan in the least, so please forgive me when I don't answer his next round of verbal tripe.

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Suppose Matthew LaClair thinks he hears Paszkiewicz saying objectionable stuff in class.  Why not talk to Paszkiewicz about it privately and tape that conversation (still sneaky, but it doesn't put the students at risk for Paszkiewicz's most "dangerous" speech)?  All it takes is a couple of students in the class to back up the report of what Paszkiewicz was supposedly doing.  That way, LaClair has witnesses to what is said in class, a recording of the meeting with Paszkiewicz, and the possibility of resolving the issue without unnecessary division.

The route taken by the LaClairs was about as divisive as it could have been.

Bonehead, the other students didn't have the guts to come forward. They proved it by their actions later. Not one of them has had the character to speak out for their classmate. The closest anyone has come to that is Andrew Lewchuk, who graduated last year.

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Little happy faces always make you look so grown up. Now if we can only get you out of diapers.

Touché. That was extremely mature, far more mature than me expressing rolling my eyes at an absurdity.

Need we forget it was the LaClairs that started this.

Apparently you do need to forget that it was Paszkiewicz who overstepped his bounds. So the guy who calls the cops to tell them about the convenience store hold-up is the one who "started" it, by your logic. Outstanding.

If just once Matthew would have gone the correct route instead of trying to gain fame by going to the newspapers this would have been handled differently.

Wow, seems like every time I think you guys are done trying the same failed arguments again, one of the old ones surfaces.

The LaClairs went to the newspapers AFTER Matthew spoke to Paszkiewicz/Somma/etc., AFTER he made his requests, and AFTER the Board sat on its ass and did NOTHING FOR OVER A MONTH! The LaClairs went to the media because the Board gave them no other choice! The LaClairs' totally justified requests were COMPLETELY ignored, the Board hoped everyone would just forget all about everything if they kept quiet long enough. Explain to me again why Matthew is the bad guy for NOT letting the Board get away with that, would you?

His speculation that the nothing would have been done is just that, speculation.

A month plus of inaction is not speculation, it's proof.

But it is the opportunistic path that he chose.

What is wrong with having a Muslim teacher  ?

Nothing. Apparently even the simplest analogies elude you. Oh well, can't say i didn't try.

Trying to hear you explain about having a Muslim teacher just makes your and the LaClairs despise toward them oozing out more.  :ninja:

Uh, no, it was just an example. Funny how you focus on the Muslim part and ignore the other two random non-Christian examples I jotted down in the same sentence. Sounds like you're projecting, buddy.

And you try to come across as good American people.

How pathetic is it for a person to think that it makes one a bad person to defend the Constitution of their country?

More than once you have used the Muslim reference.  I am not offended by it if that is the society we live in.

Okay, make it an atheist, then. What if an atheist teacher told a class including your kid that believing in God was retarded, and that the Bible is a joke? I'd bet my life people like you would have a hissy fit about your rights being violated, and cry persecution. And that makes you hypocrite trash, as far as I'm concerned.

Most of all the truth does hurt and you just cannot accept it. Repeating what you said : "That kid (Matthew LaClair) is a troublemaker, and that family is just looking for handouts."

There is no more truth than need be said.  They got their Money so according you them everything is now ok.

lol, it really is sad to see someone agreeing with a parody of their argument.

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It is?

How do you know?

That isn't the way legal settlements typically work.  LaClair probably wanted more than he eventually received.

And here's another way to look at it.

Suppose Matthew LaClair thinks he hears Paszkiewicz saying objectionable stuff in class.  Why not talk to Paszkiewicz about it privately and tape that conversation (still sneaky, but it doesn't put the students at risk for Paszkiewicz's most "dangerous" speech)?  All it takes is a couple of students in the class to back up the report of what Paszkiewicz was supposedly doing.  That way, LaClair has witnesses to what is said in class, a recording of the meeting with Paszkiewicz, and the possibility of resolving the issue without unnecessary division.

The route taken by the LaClairs was about as divisive as it could have been.

So, what would you like to see Bryan? Teachers of any faith preaching in class?

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One thing I know is that you don't know.

Really? How do you know (are we on our way to an infinite regress?)?

The LaClairs said they wanted corrections of improper remarks and quality control. When they got them, they dropped their claims, so they've been consistent with their original position, even though Matthew suffered compensable damages in the intervening months while the school board picked its collective nose hoping it would all just go away.

They didn't get any corrections of improper remarks (even assuming improper remarks). But I guess you can tell yourself that if it makes you feel better about your position.

And no I'm not guessing about that, because the Board said it just wanted to move on.  It didn't want to make corrections, saying that would only re-open the issue, which was in the New York Times and on Anderson Cooper the day the board issued that statement through its lawyer. They knew it was on Anderson Cooper, because Cooper was the one who called and asked them to be on the show with Matthew. So the Board isn't at all credible.

The Board isn't at all credible about what?

They said they didn't want to make corrections, and they didn't, AFAICT. Instead, you got a statement affirming that the board stood behind teaching evolution and the Big Bang as science (hopefully without the LaClair's misperceptions about the theory).

By contrast, in the absence of any duplicity from the LaClairs, and I don't see any, and especially considering that they did what they said they would do even after they had good reason to seek damages for themselves, I [think] it's fair to call it a fact.

Matthew deceived the administration during his meeting with them (said he recorded Paszkiewicz because he didn't feel safe, said he felt safe with those in the meeting).

LaClair has offered numerous inaccurate reports about Paszkiewicz, adding words to Paszkiewicz's statements to make them seem other than they were.

If you haven't noticed any of that, then perhaps you're led by your bias.

If you want to nit-pick, and of course you do, then at the very least the Board missed its best opportunity to resolve the matter quickly and without a Notice of Claim. The Board screwed this up from day one. They are not entitled to the benefit of the doubt.

The Board is obligated to act to avoid a Notice of Claim?

The LaClairs have been consistent.

How do you know that? Have you been present at the negotiations?

They could have jacked up their final demands after Matthew took months of abuse, but they didn't.

They would have been stupid to do so, AFAICT.

They are entitled to be believed unless there are facts to belie that they would have done what they in fact did when given the chance.

And the Board is not entitled to benefit of the doubt.

You're sure you're not at all biased?

Of course, none of this will matter to Bryan in the least, so please forgive me when I don't answer his next round of verbal tripe.

Heh. What would you say? That you were consistent in not giving the Board benefit of the doubt while maintaining the benefit of the doubt for the LaClairs?

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It is?

How do you know?

That isn't the way legal settlements typically work.  LaClair probably wanted more than he eventually received.

And here's another way to look at it.

Suppose Matthew LaClair thinks he hears Paszkiewicz saying objectionable stuff in class.  Why not talk to Paszkiewicz about it privately and tape that conversation (still sneaky, but it doesn't put the students at risk for Paszkiewicz's most "dangerous" speech)?

Uh, first of all, in a private conversation not done during his 'paid time' as a teacher, he'd have the freedom to say whatever he wanted about religion without violating anything, so that would be kind of pointless, akin to video taping someone and then reporting, "Aha! I caught this man buying Twinkies!" The answer would be the same: "So?"

All it takes is a couple of students in the class to back up the report of what Paszkiewicz was supposedly doing.

Yes, we know how well that plan would have worked, considering the rabid defense of Paszkiewicz even in light of the evidence that plainly shows what he said.

That way, LaClair has witnesses to what is said in class,

Witnesses who were shown to be completely unwilling to back Matthew up, even to the point of lying about the events in class. Great strategy, Bryan...or is that what you would have wanted to happen.

a recording of the meeting with Paszkiewicz,

Which would have been worthless because you're allowed to say whatever about religion when you're not 'on the clock' as a government employee.

and the possibility of resolving the issue without unnecessary division.

If by "resolving" you mean no one would take him seriously, and in turn nothing would be done, then yes. But that's not quite what they were going for, unfortunately for you, apparently.

The route taken by the LaClairs was about as divisive as it could have been.

Nonsense.

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