Mount Vernon Hosts ‘Expelled’ II

An Ohio school board decides to fire Mount Vernon Middle School teacher on charges of refusing to stop teaching creationism and intelligent design.


Never mind his alleged cross branding on students’ arms, 8th-grade teacher John Freshwater is on the cutting block for preaching his Christian beliefs about how the world began, discrediting evolution and not teaching the required science curriculum, the Mount Vernon school board said Friday.

In a manner similar to what was portrayed in Ben Stein’s documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Freshwater was on watch for at least 11 years for as high school teachers said, “undermining science instruction in the district.” High school teachers also claimed that they had “to re-teach scientific concepts to students who took Freshwater’s class,” The Columbus Dispatch reports.

However, unlike the movie, the Freshwater case appears to have an added twist. As the Dispatch reports:

In April, the school board hired HR On Call Inc. to investigate Freshwater, four months after the parents of a child in his class said he had burned a cross into the child’s arm, causing swelling and blistering.

Hamilton called the complaints “fabrications created by a couple of students. … Not a single child has ever been harmed,” he said.

The family of the boy filed a lawsuit last week against Freshwater and district officials, claiming the boy’s civil rights were violated.

The branding was done with a machine used to show characteristics of gases.

It appears from early reports that the school board’s main issue was Freshwater’s alleged obtrusive manner of teaching which included sharing his Christian beliefs. The cross branding was mentioned in the final report after the firing was announced, but only briefly.

More from the Dispatch:

Freshwater’s actions became public in April after he refused to remove a Bible from his desk. Yesterday, his attorney, R. Kelly Hamilton, focused on the Bible in characterizing Freshwater as a victim who’s being denied his Constitutional right to practice his beliefs.

“They have to tear him up, beat him up, to distract from the issue of the Bible on the desk,” Hamilton said.

Tear him up and beat him up indeed! The full alleged cross branding story has yet to be told, but the Bible-toting teacher’s problems seem to have really began when he started keeping a Bible on his desk.

The cross branding, if true is definitely over the line. But, that the bible-on-desk accusation was the cornerstone of the school district’s attack on Freshwater is an American tragedy.

‘Cross Burning’ Into Arm Update

DIGG story

6 thoughts on “Mount Vernon Hosts ‘Expelled’ II

  1. Wooooooooooooooooow. This is one wacky story. Forcing a guy to remove a Bible from his desk? Branding a kid with a cross? What the hell is in the water down there?

  2. Whoa, little wacky down there. I don’t think the issue of the Bible on his desk should really be a big deal. However, the fact that he wasn’t teaching according to the required curriculum needs to be addressed, and should be all they needed to take any disciplinary action against him. I understand there is a major movement to include ID/Creationism in science class (which i personally am vehemently against), however we need to realize if these kids are going to be moving on to high levels of science curriculum they -NEED- a foundation in evolution as that is a corner stone of the entire field of biology. It takes much needed class time to then reteach these kids the basics once they get to that higher level in a different class or school.

    Its amazing, my town is pretty religious, but it seems to be expressed in a different way than it is on the mainland. Maybe its because there were so many initial problems with missionaries I don’t know. Evolution would never, -ever-, be taken out of science class, nor would anyone really take notice of a Bible sitting on a teachers desk. In fact, I can remember quite a few teachers actually having statues or placards or other little symbols on their desk representing their religion. But we are also a big site of marine biology research centers so I think maybe that gives us a little more respect for that field of study in general and a good respect for both sides of the coin.

  3. Freshwater is having lie after lie told about him.
    The machine he used to demonstrate electricity does not leave a mark.
    He never deviated from the science curriculum.
    The Columbus Dispatch is complicit with the school board in these lies and leaked the report before even showing it to Freshwater.
    He has had that Bible sitting on his desk for 21 years.
    Last year he was chosen by the school as teacher of the year.
    The parents of the student claiming to be burned obviously hope to make some $$$$$.
    The head of the school board is using Freshwater to deflect bad press about herself.
    I am from Columbus Ohio and WRFD has been keeping close tabs on this situation from the beginning.
    Bob Burneys grandson is in Freshwater’s classroom.
    Nearly the whole student body showed their support for Freshwater by wearing home made T-shirts and carrying their family Bibles to school and keeping them on their desks.
    This man is being railroaded out by wicked behavior and instead of investigating for the Truth you just print the same garbage. The town came out to support him in the town square and the press did not cover it.

  4. Get a grip Joyce. The parents don’t want money, they want something to be done about Freshwater. Have you read the report? Freshwater made this about the Bible on his desk and no one else. And the head of the school board is a male, not a female. Also, not the whole town supports him, a very select few, with questionable backgrounds. There are more than 50 people in this town. Of everyone I have spoken to I haven’t met one that supports him. Actually they say they had no problem with his Bible on his desk, it’s everything else. Please be sure to read the report.

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