David Paszkiewicz, the history teacher recorded while proselytizing to his students, has made the NY Times. Here’s the familiar part:
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 story also documents some of the reactions in the community. It’s mostly negative…against the student who dared to document the flagrantly illegal actions of the teacher.
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. Paszkiewiczs 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 towns electronic bulletin board, Kearnyontheweb.com, called for Matthews suspension.
Despite the fact that even conservative legal organizations are saying that Paszkiewicz is basically indefensible, no action has been taken against him.
(via The Island of Doubt)