ian takes on religion

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keep fightin' the good fight, bro!

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/02/20/nyregion/20teacher.190.jpg

February 20, 2007
Student, 16, Finds Allies in His Fight Over Religion
By PATRICK McGEEHAN

NEWARK, Feb. 19 — A Kearny High School junior on Monday drew some legal heavyweights into his battle with school officials over a teacher’s proselytizing in class.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the People for the American Way Foundation and a partner from a large Manhattan law firm stood beside the student, Matthew LaClair, as he and his family threatened to sue the Kearny Board of Education if their complaints are not resolved. Last fall, Matthew, 16, taped the teacher, David Paszkiewicz, telling students in a history class that if they do not believe that Jesus died for their sins, they “belong in hell.”

On the recordings, which Matthew made surreptitiously starting in September, Mr. Paszkiewicz is heard telling the class that there were dinosaurs aboard Noah’s ark and that there is no scientific basis for evolution or the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe.

Since Matthew turned over the tapes to school officials, his family and supporters said, he has been the target of harassment and a death threat from fellow students and “retaliation” by school officials who have treated him, not the teacher, as the problem. The retaliation, they say, includes the district’s policy banning students from recording what is said in class without a teacher’s permission and officials’ refusal to punish students who have harassed Matthew.

Matthew and his parents, Paul and Debra LaClair, are demanding an apology to Matthew and public correction of some of Mr. Paszkiewicz’s statements in class.

The LaClairs filed a torts claim notice on Feb. 13 against the school board, Mr. Paszkiewicz and other school officials. Such a claim is required before a lawsuit can be filed in New Jersey. “The school created a climate in which the students in the school community held resentment for Matthew,” said Deborah Jacobs, executive director of the A.C.L.U. in New Jersey. She said Kearny High School had “violated the spirit and the letter of freedom of religion and the First Amendment.”

Ms. Jacobs added that the A.C.L.U. would support the LaClairs if they sue the school board and might join the action.

Richard Mancino, a partner with Willkie Farr & Gallagher, which is representing the family, said he did not understand why school officials would not “stand up for this student, who had the guts to raise this constitutional issue.” Instead, Mr. Mancino said, they appear “to have adopted a shoot-the-messenger policy.”

Angelo J. Genova, a lawyer in Livingston, N.J., who is representing the school board, said Kearny school officials had addressed Matthew’s complaints and had reaffirmed their commitment to the separation of church and state in the classroom.

Bernadette McDonald, president of the school board, said in a statement: “We took his concerns very seriously. The result was that we have received no further complaints about such religious proselytization in our schools.”

Mr. Genova said the school board had hired Edwin H. Stier, who was director of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice from 1977 to 1982, to independently investigate Matthew’s harassment allegations.

For his part, Matthew said he recognized that “there are going to be a lot of consequences” at school from the Monday news conference. He said he had already felt hostility from students after the school switched his history class from Mr. Paszkiewicz to another teacher.

The district would not disclose what action it had taken against Mr. Paszkiewicz, who is teaching the same course to a different group of students. He has taught in the district for 14 years.

Tyrone Slothrop (Tyrone Slothrop), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 16:21 (thirteen years ago) link

more power to him - thats straight-up creepy when teachers pull that shit. i remember when people in my high school were into young life, and some of the teachers were way over-supportive. so slimy

69 (pete), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 16:29 (thirteen years ago) link

Mr. Paszkiewicz is heard telling the class that there were dinosaurs aboard Noah’s ark

Mr. Paszkiewicz is heard telling the class that there were dinosaurs aboard Noah’s ark

Mr. Paszkiewicz is heard telling the class that there were dinosaurs aboard Noah’s ark

????

Mr. Que (Party with me Punker), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 16:30 (thirteen years ago) link

Since Matthew turned over the tapes to school officials, his family and supporters said, he has been the target of harassment and a death threat from fellow students and “retaliation” by school officials who have treated him, not the teacher, as the problem. The retaliation, they say, includes the district’s policy banning students from recording what is said in class without a teacher’s permission and officials’ refusal to punish students who have harassed Matthew.

i h8 this country

amon (amon), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 16:32 (thirteen years ago) link

student: if god created humans in the garden of eden, where did dinosaurs come from?

teacher: dinosaurs were around, they were on even on noah's ark

this is cutty (mcutt), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 16:33 (thirteen years ago) link

dude, no way there were dinosaurs on the Ark; they were trying to destroy it

http://www.technoccult.com/wp-content/Dino2.jpg

elmo albatross (allocryptic), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 16:33 (thirteen years ago) link

i think that panel is ripped from a Super Sentai show

jw (ex machina), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 16:37 (thirteen years ago) link

http://img75.imageshack.us/img75/7589/arkdinosizedv2.jpg

false cat (sleep), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 16:39 (thirteen years ago) link

there were dinosaurs aboard Noah’s ark and that there is no scientific basis for evolution or the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe.

and your parents didn't fuck they found you in the cabbage patch

m coleman (lovebug ), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 16:44 (thirteen years ago) link

I grew up across da Passaic River from Kearny. not surprised.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 16:44 (thirteen years ago) link

jon is wrong, sorry champ

elmo albatross (allocryptic), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 16:49 (thirteen years ago) link

http://www.theferrett.com/pictures/Dino1.jpg

elmo albatross (allocryptic), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 16:51 (thirteen years ago) link

where is gay-dinosaur.gif?

and what (ooo), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 16:52 (thirteen years ago) link

No andrew, just sayin it looks like a shot from power rangers

jw (ex machina), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 16:52 (thirteen years ago) link

Jesus, this shit is still happening to that kid?

Apparently, the Creationist Museum will have dioramas/murals of dinosaurs w/ saddles

they be stealin' kingfish's bucket (kingfish), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 16:53 (thirteen years ago) link

i had a language teacher in high school who taught scientology engram stuff to us for two months. no one complained because it was a senior seminar and he had promised us all As.

trainwrecked (sanskrit), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 17:02 (thirteen years ago) link

where i live, the teachers get away with this bullshit all the time

http://www.pureproductsusa.com/pix2/beltSilo.gif

scary german latebloomer (clonefeed), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 21:11 (thirteen years ago) link


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