It’s hard to believe, but the case of John Freshwater is still going on. Freshwater was an 8th-grade science teacher in Ohio who was accused of burning a cross on a student with a Tesla coil, teaching religion in his science class, and failing to follow the school district’s orders. Freshwater claimed that the district wanted to fire him only because he refused to remove a bible from his desk.
He was fired from his teaching job four years ago, and he’s been litigating the situation ever since. Our last post on this topic was John Freshwater Update (05 Oct ‘11).
In the Columbus Dispatch we read Ohio Supreme Court agrees to hear creationism appeal. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
The Ohio Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal filed by a Mount Vernon teacher fired for teaching creationism and religious doctrine in his middle-school science classroom. The announcement was released today.
Freshwater lost at every step along the way, but he keeps on plugging away. The news story continues:
John Freshwater claims his rights to free speech and academic freedom were violated when he was fired by the Mount Vernon school board in January 2011 following allegations that he failed to remove religious materials from his classroom and burned crosses on students’ arms during science experiments.
Free speech. Academic freedom. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Let’s read on:
“This Court must intervene if students and teachers in America’s public schools are to remain free to engage in open, respectful dialogue about competing academic theories and their respective merits. Nowhere is such freedom more crucial than in a science classroom, where the asking and answering of questions is the very basis of the universally acknowledged “scientific method,” Freshwater’s attorney, R. Kelly Hamilton argued in his request for the court to hear the case.
Yes, competing theories — science vs. Oogity Boogity! Let the students decide.
There’s not much else to the news story other than rehashing each side’s position, but now we know the state’s Supreme Court will get involved. Maybe they think they’ll put an end to this madness. But even if they write a smashing decision, the madness will never end.
Addendum: Richard B. Hoppe has just posted about this at Panda’s Thumb, and as usual, his posts are the most informative. So take a look at Freshwater: Ohio Supreme Court accepts F’water’s appeal on two Propositions of Law.
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