Monday, December 18, 2006

Not Even in Jersey

New Jersey teacher David Paszkiewicz has an absolute right to believe his non-Christian high school students are bound for the eternal fires of hell. But he's got no right whatsoever to threaten them with such things.

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.”

I don't know if teachers who speak to children like that belong in hell. But they don't belong in public school classrooms either.

The student who recorded this teacher has been the subject of death threats, and the administration says they've taken "corrective action" against the teacher, whatever that means.

But this teacher needs to be removed from the classroom. No kid should hear such things from an authority figure in a public school, ever.

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