it’s like if, in the wake of the rodney king beating, california lawmakers outlawed video cameras

About a month or so ago, I posted something here about a teacher in New Jersey who had been caught on tape proselytizing in class. Well, the “New York Times” published an update a few days ago. It seems as though, while apparently very little, if anything, has happened to the teacher, the school district has taken the very important step of banning in-class taping… So, I guess it’s safe to assume that their problem wasn’t with the teacher, who was telling kids that they’d burn in hell if they didn’t jump on the Jesus train. No, the problem was clearly that a student had presented evidence to the press which forced them to get off their asses and deal with it… Here’s a clip from the article, in case you missed it:

After a public school teacher was recorded telling students they belonged in hell if they did not accept Jesus as their savior, the school board has banned taping in class without an instructor’s permission, and has added training for teachers on the legal requirements for separating church and state.

A junior at Kearny High School in New Jersey, Matthew LaClair, 16, complained to his principal after the teacher in his American history class, David Paszkiewicz, told students 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. He started recording the comments in September because, he said, he was afraid school officials would not otherwise believe that the teacher had made them. Matthew said he was ridiculed and threatened after his criticism became public…

School officials said they took “corrective action” against Mr. Paszkiewicz, but would not elaborate.

Meanwhile, Matthew said that Mr. Paszkiewicz recently told the class that scientists who spoke about the danger of global warming were using tactics like those Hitler used, by repeating a lie often enough that people come to believe it…

Of course, there won’t be tape of that, because that would be illegal.

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3 Comments

  1. Dr. Cherry
    Posted February 4, 2007 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I’d like to open a charter school and teach the kids that the earth is flat and the moon is made of cheese.

  2. egn-b
    Posted February 20, 2007 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Another update on the case is available at New York Times as of 2/20/07. In relevant part, the family filed a tort claim notice (precursor to a lawsuit) against the school board, “demanding an apology to Matthew and public correction of some of Mr. Paszkiewicz’s statements in class.”

    Specific actions taken against Mr. Paszkiewicz remain undisclosed, but he is still “teaching the same course to a different group of students” albeit not Matthew’s class. The ACLU has indicated their support should the family file a suit in court.

  3. mark
    Posted February 20, 2007 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the update.

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