John Freshwater Trial Update (28 Oct)

THIS ONE is back in the news. In the Columbus Dispatch we read Student testifies science teacher burned him, subtitled: “A hearing for Mt. Vernon teacher John Freshwater resumed today.”

John Freshwater is the Ohio school teacher accused of teaching creationism, classroom preaching, after-school prayer, and burning a cross on a student’s arm with an electrical device. The hearing, resumed today after a three-week break (there were scheduling problems), is supposed to decide whether Freshwater will be fired.

The article says, with bold added by us:

John Freshwater also used the high-voltage electrostatic generator on a special needs classmate, Zachary Dennis, now a Mount Vernon High School freshman testified during a hearing today …

Sloppy writing. Zachary had testified that he — Zachary — had been zapped, and now it seems he’s testifying that Freshwater also zapped a special needs classmate. Continuing:

Zachary testified that Freshwater told a classmate to pick up a test tube, and then “shocked him in the back” with the device, which is normally used to test the composition of gases.

Ouch! Here’s more:

Freshwater later testified that he might have touched the student “inadvertently.” He acknowledged that he made an ‘x’ motion when using the device on Dennis’ arm. But he said there were no marks, and that it was not a cross.

Hey, what’s the big deal? It was just an “X.” Continuing:

Zachary also described a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting in which Freshwater led a prayer, which teachers are prohibited from doing.

That seems rather trivial. But there’s more:

“Devil, you cannot take over this man,” Zachary recalled Freshwater saying as he held his hands above a guest speaker who had been ill.

This is peculiar behavior in a public school. But there are always two sides to these things. However:

Freshwater’s attorney declined to cross-examine Zachary and his mother, Jenifer, explaining that he needed time to investigate new information he read in today’s Dispatch.

For the moment, Zachary’s testimony is unchallenged. The trial will continue, and so will we. Stay tuned.

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9 responses to “John Freshwater Trial Update (28 Oct)

  1. I live in this area and wanted to clarify that FCA Fellowship of Christian Athletes, was meeting at the Middle School during lunch, not after school. Mr Short also confirmed the student with special needs story.

  2. Thanks, Mary. That’s interesting.

  3. I’m from the area… in fact, I had one of Mr. Freshwater’s direct predecessors for Eighth Grade science. A very different breed of science teacher, who lent me his science-fiction magazines when he was done reading them. I’d like to think that if I’d been born a few decades later, I would have been the Darwinian rebel in Freshwater’s class (like a Jack Chick comic book in reverse). I wonder what my grades would have been like, though…

  4. “the Darwinian rebel in Freshwater’s class (like a Jack Chick comic book in reverse)”

    I like it! Great parody potential.

  5. This is entertaining, but pause and think for a moment of the hundreds of students who have been inflicted with Freshwater’s nonsense who have been and will be totally unprepared for any career that is based in any way on science. Is this what our taxes go to support? The sooner our educational institutions are rid of anachronisms like Freshwater, the better off all Americans will be.

  6. “The sooner our educational institutions are rid of anachronisms like Freshwater …”

    The public school system is totally wucked up, and the problem isn’t just creationists. They’re mostly all boobs — with a few notable exceptions.

    In college, you learn history from a history major, math from a math major, etc. In 10th grade, you learn everything from “education” majors — but what do they know? When I was in college, the education majors weren’t the best and brightest (that’s really being diplomatic about it).

  7. retiredsciguy

    SC says,”The public school system is totally wucked up, and the problem isn’t just creationists. They’re mostly all boobs — with a few notable exceptions. ”
    I’m glad you noted exceptions. And the public school system isn’t totally wucked up, just partially, and mostly in the inner cities. Suburban districts are mostly doing a good job, and most HS science teachers are qualified and are in it because of dedication.
    I think the creationists are skilled at making a lot of noise, and they focus their efforts where a few people can have a big effect — like Texas.
    When it comes to teaching science, I think the public schools are more likely to do a credible job than private Christian academies.
    Your comment about learning everything from education majors is more likely in elementary schools and some middle schools. At the secondary level, most states require teacher certification in the subject being taught.

  8. “Suburban districts are mostly doing a good job, and most HS science teachers are qualified and are in it because of dedication.”

    True. I had good science teachers in high school. And math is math (although when they had my sister teaching math, I knew the system was in trouble.)

    I guess I’m mostly concerned that too many teachers know nothing about American history, the Revolution, what it’s all about, etc. Anyway, as a curmudgeon, I’m entitled to be grumpy.

  9. retiredsciguy

    SC says,
    “I guess I’m mostly concerned that too many teachers know nothing about American history…”
    Not to mention a certain Democrat VP candidate. Roosevelt addressing the American public on TV, Four years before he’s elected, decades before there are any TVs in American homes? And Katie Curic either didn’t know any better herself, or she gave him a free pass. Probably both.