TeacherPreacher Update May 10, 2007

TeacherPreacher Update

Remember the story of the atheist student who taped his history teacher raving about Creationism? Then remember how the school board solved the problem by banning tape recorders in the classroom?

Here’s the case in a nutshell:

Matthew [LaClair] recorded his history teacher, David Paszkiewicz, making comments in class in September, including remarks that only Christians had a place in heaven, that the Big Bang and evolution theories were not scientific and that dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark. After the tapes became public, Matthew received a death threat and was shunned and bullied by some of his classmates, he has said.

Finally, the school board has come to its senses. While neither side admits wrongdoing (which is might big of the school board…), the case seems to be settled for the time being. Here’s what the settlement includes:

… the New Jersey regional office of the Anti-Defamation League will start training teachers and students in September about keeping church and state separate in public schools, and about “the distinction between the scientific theory of evolution and the religious doctrine of creationism.”

Another part of the deal says the board will make a public statement commending Matthew for his “courage and integrity,” and the LaClairs will issue a statement commending the board.

It’s still uncertain what will happen to Paszkiewicz.

Matthew, who has consistently sounded more mature than most of the adults involved in this case, said this about the outcome:

After the settlement passed on Tuesday night — by a vote of 6-1, with two board members absent — Matthew said in a phone interview, “I sincerely hope the board and everybody involved possibly learned something from this whole thing.”

He said that he had learned plenty, “like how hard it can be sometimes to go against the grain, and that a lot of times, even though things may be tough, you still have to go through with it and finish it.”

The NY Times article about this outcome can be read here.

(via Pooflingers Anonymous)

[tags]atheist, atheism, Creationism, Matthew LaClair, David Paszkiewicz, Christian, heaven, Big Bang, evolution, dinosaurs, Noah’s Ark, Anti-Defamation League, NY Times, Pooflingers Anonymous[/tags]

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  • Robin


    Except for the student. Very wise and intelligent young man.

  • Tina

    Dinosaurs on Noah’s ark? Just picture that will you….I applaud this student for standing up and staying on his feet through all of this nonsense!

  • Logos

    Dinosaurs on Noah’s ark? Just picture that will you

    What would they have done with all the poop?

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