Catching up on the news Stateside

JISHOU, HUNAN — Last spring, I was following the case of one John Freshwater, an Ohio science teacher accused of proselytizing his seventh-graders a little too zealously. Freshwater was relieved of his duties when an unnamed student and his parents filed suit, charging Freshwater with civil rights violations.

Freshwater allegedly burned a cross on the student’s arm with a Tesla coil, a common science lab demo device that generally should be kept far from human flesh. (I speak from personal experience.)

Anyway, this teacher, who subscribes to some kind of wacko right-wing Christianity, wants the names of the student and his parents made public. In a town where folks are already polarized over Freshwater’s “I will keep a Bible in the classroom no matter what” crusade, revealing the names of the family would be tantamount to inviting people to burn crosses in their front yard.

Yeah, it’s that bad in mid-Ohio. Land of the free, and all that.

Ed Brayton at Scienceblogs has the gory details.

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