“At a contentious public meeting in Mount Vernon, Ohio, the district school board scheduled a hearing on whether to fire teacher John Freshwater. Freshwater has been accused of teaching intelligent design in his biology classes, and of using a piece of lab equipment to brand a cross on a student’s arm.”

…. from an NCSE press release. More:

The Columbus Dispatch reports (July 7, 2008) “The Mount Vernon eighth-grade science teacher who has been under scrutiny for focusing on creationism and intelligent design in his classes will contest his planned firing at an Aug. 26 hearing. The date was announced tonight during a school board meeting in which several supporters for John Freshwater publicly chastised the school board for its plans to fire him. Darcy Miller, whose son was taught by Freshwater, derided school administrators for singling out Freshwater when she said other teachers freely offer their opinions in the classroom. ‘They (the administration) dug up any dirt they could that would put John Freshwater in the light of being a zealot shoving Christianity down the throats of his students,’ Miller said.”

The Associated Press finds (July 9, 2008) that “Mr. Freshwater, who has filed an appeal with the school board over his firing, said Monday he is disappointed with the way the investigation [which resulted in his firing] was conducted. … ‘They used half-truths. They didn’t interview people who had been in my classroom,” he said. “Science teachers at the high school Why would you interview them?'”

The Dispatch explains: “An investigator for the district found that
Freshwater’s teachings undermined science education in the public school district and that his students had to be re-taught science principles when they got into higher grades. The family of one of Freshwater’s former students who had a cross burned onto his arm by the teacher sued the school district and Freshwater last month. The suit says the boy’s civil rights were violated.”

For more information visit the NCSE web site.

Comments

  1. #1 Dorid
    July 12, 2008

    It’s bad enough that he was teaching religion in a science class, and there’s a bit of difference between “voicing an opinion” in class and teaching something… I’d say that since he went beyond “voicing an opinion” there shouldn’t be much trouble with his ousting.

    Why is everyone up in arms over the teaching of creationism, when this guy physically abused the students by burning religious symbols into their arms? It seems to me that THAT is the case that should be looked at here!

  2. #2 WTFWJD
    July 12, 2008

    Actual justice? Brand the guy on the forehead with “I BRANDED A CHILD”.