Friday, February 02, 2007

Student Tapes Teacher's Sermon saying "you belong in hell" if you "reject" Christianity; School Says 'No More Taping'

Huffington Post
John R. Bohrer
Student Tapes Teacher's Sermon, School Says 'No More Taping'

Over at Blue Jersey, we revisit the story of a Kearny high school teacher, David Paszkiewicz, who told his students that 'that evolution and the Big Bang were not scientific, that dinosaurs were aboard Noah's ark,' and "you belong in hell" if you "reject" Christianity. He also singled out a Muslim student to tell her that she is definitely going to hell.

Kearny school officials have certainly taken their time in handling the incident, which occurred at the start of the school year and became public in November.

In December, the Kearny school board continued to obfuscate who was at fault, silently implicating the young student who had secretly taped Paszkiewicz's classroom sermons for fear officials wouldn't believe him. In January, the teacher published a rambling letter in the local paper, explaining why the Constitution allows him to tell his students they are going to hell. He even insinuated the student who taped him was a part of a broader conspiracy:

It is my firm conviction that there is an effort afoot to undermine the very underpinnings of our freedoms.

This morning, the New York Times tells of Kearny's official reaction:

Student's Recording of Teacher's Views Leads to a Ban on Taping

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.

In response, the student's father said it the best, "Adoption of this rule at this time sends all the wrong messages."

And while the school board says they've taken some undefined "corrective action" against the teacher, Paszkiewicz still seems intent on berating anyone who disagrees with him.

Meanwhile, [the student] 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.