Sunday, July 13, 2008


Catching Up

Here is a nice story by Bronislaus B. Kush in the Worcester (Massachusetts) Telegram & Gazette giving an update on Matt LaClair

Matthew LaClair looked forward to taking his accelerated 11th-grade American history class, hoping to learn how the founding fathers, among other things, framed the U.S. Constitution to guarantee that the government would be free of religious influences.

The 16-year-old got more than he had hoped for — becoming the focus of a lingering separation of church and state controversy that some feel will be discussed for years to come in constitutional law classes.

You'll remember Matt as the brave young man who took on a popular teacher in his high school who was improperly proselytizing in class.

He was surprised that most people in Kearny ended up supporting Mr. Paszkiewicz, a well-liked 16-year veteran of the school system.

Mr. LaClair said that even many longtime friends turned against him. One student sent him a death threat. ...

Frustrated with a lack of response, Mr. LaClair told his story to the local newspaper. He said he was surprised with the response, with many charging that he had set up the teacher and that he had an "agenda" that he wanted to pursue.

It wasn't until The New York Times reported the issue a month later that Mr. LaClair said he finally started to get some support.

The case was eventually settled by an agreement whereby the school would instruct teachers and students in proper separation of church and state, as well as in the difference between the science of evolution and the religious belief in creationism, and the school board agreed to commend Matt for his "courage and integrity."

Matt will be attending the New School in New York City this fall, aiming to become a broadcast journalist. If he does, he will likely become a considerable asset to that profession. But whatever path he takes, he has already done greater service to his country than most people and I wish him well.

Picture adapted from the article.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

. . . . .


How to Support Science Education