Ohio science teacher had religious agenda, colleague says

Mount Vernon teacher John Freshwater is in hot water because he teaches religion a little bit too much in his eighth grade science classes. A former colleague says his superiors knew of Freshwater’s religious agenda, but have done little about it until recently. Freshwater first hit the news several days ago when school officials told him to remove his Bible from clear view of his students. The teacher refused, prompting both a student rally supporting him and an advisory notice from the American Civil Liberties Union supporting school administrators. The religious Right seized the controversy as another attack on religion. Then other details about Freshwater’s classroom behavior came to light. He keeps a stack of Bibles in his room to loan out to students. He passes out pro-creationist literature to counter scientific explanations of the Big Bang and evolution. He allegedly burned a cross on at least one student’s arm as part of a demonstration of electricity. He taught his classes the meaning of Good Friday and Easter. Freshwater has had a religious agenda for some time. Quoting a former colleague, Retired middle school science teacher Jeff George, the Mount Vernon News reported yesterday: George said there may be substance ...

When religion and teaching don’t mix 1

Central Ohio is the latest hotspot for lunatic religious types imposing their beliefs on hapless students. John Freshwater, an 8th grade science teacher in Mount Vernon, has allegedly used an electrostatic device to leave Christian crosses on students’ skin, passed out anti-evolution brochures, and taught his science classes about the meaning of Good Friday and Easter. When administrators told him he had to remove a Bible from his desktop, Freshwater refused, inspiring a student rally on his behalf and an opposing response from the American Civil Liberties Union. Mount Vernon school officials have arranged for an independent investigation into the allegations against Freshwater, according to the local newspaper. He will continue to teach, but with an administrator present to monitor his behavior. If the issue were just the presence of a single Bible on his desk, Freshwater would not be in such hot water. As it is, he has several Bibles in his classroom, which he loans out to students. Further, it is clear he uses his role as teacher to impose his religious beliefs on his students. Even if the majority of students share those beliefs, as a public school teacher (not to mention a science teacher) he is ...
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