Matthew LaClair is the student at the center of attention over the issue of church and state in public schools.
LaClair accuses his history teacher, David Paszkiewicz, of going overboard when it comes to teaching religion in class at Kearny High School.
"He seemed to get nastier and nastier," LaClair said. "So on the third day, I just started recording."
LaClair used a tape recorder in class to listen to the instruction discuss matters like the Big Bang Theory.
Paszkiewicz: The Big Bang Theory is, there was nothing out there, there was no matter. But yet, nothing exploded and created something. Let me give you a clue, guys. If there's nothing there, it can't explode.
Students say that LaClair and others engaged the teacher on religious topics. At the time, Paszkiewicz asked everyone if they were comfortable with the subject matter.
But the instructor did express his views on Noah's Ark.
Paszkiewicz: Moses wrote in 1440 B.C., not that the Earth was created then. You know where I'm going with this?
Student: Were there dinosaurs on Noah's Ark?
Paszkiewicz: Short answer, yes, and it was a problem.
LaClair seemed to lead the debate over heaven and hell.
Paszkiewicz: He did everything in his power to make sure that you could go to heaven, so much so that he put your sin in his own body, suffered your pains for you, and he's saying "Please accept me, believe!" You reject that, you belong in hell.
"I knew there was a line that you don't cross in a public school," Matthew's mother, Debra LaClair said. "And one of them is giving your personal view on religion and politics."
Now 16-year-old Matthew LaClair has reportedly received death threats, and the police are dealing with that. The board of education says that teachers are not allowed to express their personal views on religion in the classroom.
Listen for yourself, Here is the 45 minute MP3 of teacher David Paszkiewicz misusing his position to proselytize biblical fundamentalism (he is a Baptist) in a public school. Thanks to David Kowalski for posting the MP3.
Here is an ABC video of the Febuary Kearny School Board meeting.
Here is video of Paul LaClair speaking on behalf of his son Matthew LaClaire, he's the second speaker:
The BLUE JERSEY folks have been blogging on this issue as far back as "njdem" on Feb 19th, Nick Lento did a follow up on Feb 21st, and the father of the 17 yr old student, Paul LaClair's diary of Feb 26th, Nick Lento then posted some video on Feb 27th.
KEARNY, N.J. — Before David Paszkiewicz got to teach his accelerated 11th-grade history class about the United States Constitution this fall, he was accused of violating it.
Shortly after school began in September, the teacher told his sixth-period students at Kearny High School that evolution and the Big Bang were not scientific, that dinosaurs were aboard Noah’s ark, and that only Christians had a place in heaven, according to audio recordings made by a student whose family is now considering a lawsuit claiming Mr. Paszkiewicz broke the church-state boundary.
I call upon the Kearny School Board to sever their relationship with the teacher, Mr. Paszkiewicz. As a Youth Pastor Mr. Paszkiewicz may have spent over a decade ingratiating himself with the communities youth, while indoctrinating the same youth with Creationism, and very likely Dominionism. Is the next step a class on how the Universe rotates around the Earth, or a class on how humans can bring on the Rapture?
Frankly I see Mr. Paszkiewicz as an unstable man who should have no contact with any youth in public school. But thats just my opinion. Mr. Paszkiewicz is apparently fine with all of this, because, as John Belushi said in the Blues Brothers movie, he is "on a mission from God".
What was funny at the movies is dead serious stuff in real life. Afterall didn't God tell George Bush to invade Iraq....
Please take the time to attend the Kearny BOE meeting on March 19th in support of the Constitution and the LaClair Family. Bring your friend and family, with poster board signs.
NO INTELLIGENT DESIGN IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
SAVE THE CONSTITUTION
DAVID PASZKIEWICZ BROKE THE LAW
100 Davis Avenue (The Franklin School)
When: 07:00 PM - 10:15 PM
If you are from Essex County please RSVP here:.
If I can make the arrangements, Paul LaClaire will speaking at the Hudson DFA meeting that was rescheduled to wednesday March 14th due to the snow. More TBA.