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.