Creationism dispute

Science teacher's hearing to be August 26

When a film came out earlier this year on creationist scientists and teachers being cast out of Academia, the film was brushed aside as fictitious rightwing nonsense. And yet here we have one of hundreds of real life examples of exactly what that film depicted so well.

Tuesday,  July 8, 2008 3:14 AM

By Alayna DeMartini

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio -- 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 last night 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. (But not a Christian teacher, or a conservative pro US teacher.)

"They (the administration) dug up any dirt they could (Find) that would put John Freshwater in the light of being a zealot shoving Christianity down the throats of his students," Miller said.

Sam Barone was the only speaker last night to publicly praise the school board for taking measures to remove Freshwater from the classroom.

"You have done it fairly," he said. "You have done it courageously."

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 (Had to be de-programmed and re-taught evolutionary) 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 (In the original article the child thought it was cool, it was a temporary mark with a electric wand, and His parents decided to sue, these marks are gone generally in three days to a week) and Freshwater last month. The suit says the boy's civil rights were violated. (The boy volunteered along with other students male and female after the teacher demonstrated on himself.)

Freshwater was notified last week that the board plans to suspend, then fire him which would keep him from returning to the classroom this fall, even if his appeals process has not been completed.

Freshwater remains on the payroll for now.

 

The parents lawsuit should have been rejected by a judge as no harm and no foul was committed. The board should have seen it that way also, but the bias of both stand out in plain sight before us.