Monday, December 18, 2006

Teacher talks christianity in class; tells kids they're goin to hell.

This kid is brave. Matthew LaClair recorded his teacher's inappropriate teachings. Read about it at the NY-times, and do check out the audio as well.

While Matthew does seem like a bit of a "trouble maker" (previously he caused some stir because he wouldn't stand for the pledge), he has a valid point and shouldn't be threatened by other students & teachers for voicing it.

I don't know how anyone could defend this teacher. From the sound-clips of the teacher, it's obvious to me that the teacher is crossing a line. Even if he is being a bit "baited" he should know better than to continue to talk about his personal faith in scripture in class. It's just not the proper setting.

The question about teachers voicing their political/religious opinions was put to the person-on-the-street in the local paper. And I honestly think that a teacher could get away with voicing their opinion of they said "It is my opinion that... blah blah blah ... but there are cases against this. If you want to know more, ask me outside of school. Lets get back to the topic at hand." Some more opinions previously posted on the Observer are archived at Google.

There is also a letter from Matthew's father posted on the Observer's editor's blog. His parents aren't suing; they just want acknowledgment. I have to respect that. If some teacher began discussing his sex life in class, and it was recorded, parents would definitely sue.

It's also interesting to note that the teacher in question, Paszkiewicz, has a poor opinion of public schools and home schools his own children. Why is he a public-school teacher then?


Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

This should be simpler than it is. A teacher's personal opinion on math, english, science, physical education, politics or any of the other subjects taught in schools is not required.

What is required is that they teach the subject matter as required by whatever curriculm they are supposed to be following.

This is what they are employed to do and they are required to do it without favour.

Their personal opinion that 1+1 = 2 but only because god alows it, is not required. Their personal opinion that condi rice looks hot in a mini skirt (or not) is not required either.

7:07 PM  
Blogger The Alpha said...

This is ridiculous. What about the little Muslim girl that was told she was going to hell? I think she should sue.

4:39 PM  
Blogger new.atheist said...

I remember getting teacher's personal opinions now and then in class. It's kinda hard to avoid some opinion, even the text-books are some opinion (we're the U.S.A., and we're a great country.... etc.). But even in my world-religions class in high-school, my teacher never said anything like what this teacher is recorded to have said. We were all encouraged to talk about our faiths, and I don't think even any of the students said "I believe you're going to hell."

I don't doubt a student could sue a teacher for saying something like "I believe you'll wind up in prison one day," so I don't see why telling a student they're going to hell is any more kosher.

And I really can't believe how much backing there is for this teacher in NJ. I'm very familiar with the state, and it's the last state where I'd think so many would back a teacher like this.

9:59 AM  

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