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Moulding Young Minds
Imagine if your kid's science teacher taught that the moon was made of Silly Putty, or if your kid's history teacher taught that America was founded by Scooby Doo and Shaggy.

Tiny Kelley writes in the New York Times of a teacher history teacher, David Paszkiewicz, spreading similarly outrageous fantasy statements as if they're fact:

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.

“If you reject his gift of salvation, then you know where you belong,” Mr. Paszkiewicz was recorded saying of Jesus. “He did everything in his power to make sure that you could go to heaven, so much so that he took your sins on his own body, suffered your pains for you, and he’s saying, ‘Please, accept me, believe.’ If you reject that, you belong in hell.”

The student, Matthew LaClair, said that he felt uncomfortable with Mr. Paszkiewicz’s statements in the first week, and taped eight classes starting Sept. 13 out of fear that officials would not believe the teacher had made the comments.

...In this tale of the teacher who preached in class and the pupil he offended, students and the larger community have mostly lined up with Mr. Paszkiewicz, not with Matthew, who has received a death threat handled by the police, as well as critical comments from classmates.

Greice Coelho, who took Mr. Paszkiewicz’s class and is a member of his youth group, said in a letter to The Observer, the local weekly newspaper, that Matthew was “ignoring the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gives every citizen the freedom of religion.” Some anonymous posters on the town’s electronic bulletin board, Kearnyontheweb.com, called for Matthew’s suspension.

Yeah? Just because you believe in Santa Claus doesn't mean there's an ounce of proof Santa Claus exists, or, in turn, that Santa should be taught in history class; i.e., "when Santa and George Washington crossed the Delaware..."

Posted by aalkon at December 18, 2006 9:31 AM

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