Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Last week the New York Times reported that the Kearny Board of Education voted to 6 to 1 to settle their dispute. The settlement requires that Kearny teachers undergo Separation of Church & State training, and the Board of Education will issue a statement praising student Matt LaClair for raising the issue, while Matt LaClair will issue a statement commending the School Board.

On the right:Matt LaClair at a recent Hudson County DFA meeting.

In September of 2006 Matt LaClair recorded his teacher David Paszkiewicz proselytizing during class. Later in October, a meeting was held with the Principal, the teacher David Paszkiewicz, Matt and his father Paul LaClair in attendance. During the meeting Matt cited dozens of quotes from the teacher, Paszkiewicz then denied everything. Matt then produced Audio CD's he had burned of the "Sermonizing".

Later David Paszkiewicz publicly falsely portrayed the meeting with the Principal. If you get into trouble because you were recorded one time, what are the odds you would be recorded again ? Right, Matt had recorded the meeting with the Principal and the teacher. This second recording was publicly released proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Paszkiewicz lied. Twice.

In February, Matthew?s parents, Paul and Debra LaClair, filed court papers on their son?s behalf saying that they intended to sue the district for violating his First Amendment and civil rights. They faulted the district for not protecting Matthew from harassment by other students and sought public corrections to some of the statements the teacher made in class.

New York Times

I encourage folks to attend the Monday May 21st Meeting of the Kearny School Board at 7pm. The Board will announce the settlement. At past BOE meetings the LaClairs have not seen much support, I know they would appreciate seeing some friendly faces. You can find the address and directions here.


Atom Weaver said...

Anything interesting happen at the 5/21 meeting?

Roger said...

I hate to admit, I was not able to attend, and I have yet to hear about the meeting.

X. Dell said...

You should hear some of the talk around Kearny, Bellville and N. Arlington on this subject. Seems a lot of people have trouble identifying the issue at stake, and believe that the mainstream press is villifying this teacher because of his religious beliefs.