Fundie teacher preaches in class.
I’ve said it before and will say it again: fundamentalist Christians love captive audiences who have no choice but to listen to them preach even when they don’t want to listen, even when they are violating the rights of others to do so.
Once again a fundamentalist has proven himself unfit to teach children. In this case the teacher was David Paskiewicz, who is also a youth minister at a fundamentalist Baptist church. The minister was supposed to teach about the Constitution but he didn’t. He violated it.
One student in the class tape recorded the “history” listens of the teacher to prove that the class was being used by him to recruit impressionable youths into the fundamentalist sect. In one recording the teacher told students that they would go to hell if they didn’t get converted and become fundamentalists themselves. If that wasn’t bad enough he also came up with the claim that evolution and the Big Bang are false, that Noah’s ark really existed and contained dinosaurs and only born-again Christians will go to heaven.
The student who recorded the lectures and filed the complaint has received death threats and been harassed by other students. One student in the class, who also is in the minister’s religious youth group, attacked the complaining student, Matthew LeClair. He claimed that Matthew was denying the teacher his “First Amendment” rights. If this is the kind of Constitutional theory this fundamentalist minister was teaching he ought to be fired for that reason alone. The First Amendment gives anyone the right to preach anything they want with their own property or that which is made freely available to them by the owners. In the case of a state school financed with taxpayer funds the teacher does not have the right to preach. To do so he uses the funds of taxpayers who don’t agree with his religion and he uses the power of the state to compel an audience to sit and listen whether they wish to do so or not.
Fundamentalists in the town and the school are supporting the teacher, of course.
Matthew says the teacher started preaching the very first day of class. He said the teacher was not just expressing an opinion but telling students they were damned if they failed to accept his teachings. Matthew began teaching on the second day of class.
The teacher initiated the discussions on religion in his class and Matthew, who is a humanist, questioned the teacher about what he was saying. Fundamentalist in the town are now claiming the boy “set up” the teacher. Considering the boy was tape recording the conversation it is unlikely that was what he was doing. Fundamentalist accused the boy of just wanting to get a settlement from the school. The problem with that is that when he wrote the school he requested that the preaching stop, that he apologize for doing so and that he correct any misinformation he gave in class. No request for a financial pay out was asked.
Expect the rabid Right to come to the defense of the preacher using the school to impose fundamentalist Christianity on the students.