David Paszkiewicz, who also serves as a minister in a conservative Baptist church, denied the allegations made by student Matthew LaClair -- flat-out denied them during a meeting he and LaClair had with the principal. That's when LaClair revealed that he had recorded the remarks.
Paszkiewicz, the teacher, reportedly replied: "You got the big fish ... you got the big Christian guy who is a teacher!" Then he said he wouldn't say anything else until he'd talked to his union representative.
Despite proof that Paszkiewicz has violated the Establishment Clause, he's still teaching -- and his defenders seem determined to blame the student for the teacher's mistake.
The Arlington Observer, a weekly New Jersey newspaper, has published excerpts from the Paszkiewicz recording. Priceless gems, these.
Asked what should happen to a kid who doesn't have faith in Jesus Christ, Paszkiewicz replied:
"Until you're 18 years old, you have to. At 18, I'll still love you, but I won't agree with you. If a kid is 12 and says 'Dad, I don't want to go to church with you,' after I break his backside, we'll look to have a little attitude adjustment, you know?"
During a discussion of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and comments made about the mainstream media being Nazi supporters, Paszkiewicz said:
"I agree with him. Members of the media are (Nazi supporters). I mean, just look at Geraldo Rivera, and Alan Colmes."
"It’s not about teaching my point of view. It's not about teaching religion. These issues will come up when we get to the 1920s (in class). The public schools shouldn't teach a religion, but the scriptures aren't a religion. (Instead), the scriptures are the foundation of the world’s religions. And yes, the Bible. We should be able to bring the Bible into the classroom and read it."
Blogger Jim Lippard has aggressively reported the story from the get-go, and in doing so has riled up many Paszkiewicz defenders, including some Kearny High School students. Most disturbing is the method of defense being used by these alleged Christians; they condemn LaClair, the student, for making a big deal out of what they insist is nothing (as one put it, "f--k the little bitch ass who recorded this s--t").
The teacher's supporters also show off an appalling, almost-complete ignorance of why it's wrong for a high-school history teacher to be spouting religious fundamentalism in school. He may be a minister, a righteous man, a decent fella, but when he's at Kearny High School, he's an employee and representative of the school district.
Tip of the pinhead to Lippard and his blog. Check out the mayhem yourself, and remember -- this is happening in the 21st century.