Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ohio Admits Wrong Against Christian Teacher

The Ohio Department of Education is rescinding a "letter of admonishment" from the record of a Christian teacher who was fired for integrating his beliefs in the classroom, according to a report.

For background, read Teacher, with Bible in Desk, Fired

UPDATE 11/20/13:  Ohio Supreme Court rules 4 to 3 school right to fire teacher for insubordination, but OK to keep Bible visible on desk

-- From "ODE removes letter from Freshwater file" by Pamela Schehl, Mount Vernon News 7/20/11

The letter was placed in [John] Freshwater’s file in March. It stated Freshwater used poor judgment in allowing students to touch a live Tesla coil and therefore engaging in “conduct unbecoming to the teaching profession.”

In April 2008, the Mount Vernon school board launched an independent investigation into complaints about Freshwater’s actions in his eighth-grade science classroom. The charges alleged Freshwater used an electrostatic device [Tesla coil] to burn crosses on students’ arms, used his classroom to advance religion and taught his own beliefs from the Bible instead of the approved science curriculum.

Following the investigation, the board, in June 2008, passed a resolution of intent to terminate Freshwater’s contract and subsequently suspended the contract pending an appeal.

Freshwater has appealed his firing and the matter is in the Knox County Common Pleas Court.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "State pulls negative letter from Freshwater's file" By Dean Narciso, Columbus Dispatch 7/20/11

The Virginia-based Rutherford Institute told the department this month that John Freshwater was denied his due-process rights when the state rebuked him for using an electrical device to burn students' arms.

The institute said Freshwater was not given the opportunity to defend himself before the admonishment was issued.

"Religious freedom is considered the first freedom," said Rita Dunaway, staff attorney for the institute. "A big factor in the reason we got involved in this case ... is that it looks like a lot of what happened to Mr. Freshwater dealt with him expressing his beliefs."

The department also renewed Freshwater's five-year high-school teaching license on April 8, meaning he is eligible to teach again in Ohio.

"I want to go back to teaching and to put my Bible back in the corner of my desk," [Freshwater said.]

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Ohio educators take back scolding of Christian teacher" by Taylor Hudson, World Net Daily 7/21/11

. . . Dave Daubenmire, who served as a spokesman for the teacher, said the "cross branding" was nothing of the sort. He characterized it as a science experiment Freshwater had been conducting for 21 years in which he made X marks, not crosses, on the students' skin in the demonstration.

Daubenmire pointed out experts have affirmed the experiment causes no injury to students.

Freshwater ultimately was fired by the Mount Vernon board in January on allegations he injected religion into the classroom by giving students "reason to doubt the accuracy and or veracity of scientists, science textbooks and/or science in general."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.