QUICK BACKGROUND: This is an administrative hearing to determine whether John Freshwater will be fired as an 8th-grade science teacher in Ohio. He’s accused of burning a student, teaching religion in his science class, and failing to follow the school district’s orders. Freshwater says the district wants to fire him only because he refused to remove a Bible from his desk.
[Bulletin! We interrupt this blog article to advise you of a great article on the Freshwater affair by Lauri Lebo, star reporter during the Kitzmiller trial, and author of The Devil in Dover: An Insider’s Story of Dogma v. Darwin in Small-town America,. Lauri’s article on Freshwater is here: Creationism Makes Its Mark. End of bulletin.]
This is an early report from the Columbus Dispatch, Teacher defied request to remove Bible, scripture posters from classroom. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
An expert in employee investigations, whose report is the chief evidence against John Freshwater, said the 8th grade science teacher was defiant in not removing religious items from his classroom and persistent in not following the curriculum.
Not only did Freshwater keep his Bible on his desk, he went and got another one, said Thomas Herlevi, co-owner of HR ON Call.
“It was odd to us, that he would check out another Bible (from the school library) … in the midst of a controversy,” Herlevi said. “We asked him, ‘Was that to make a statement?’ He said ‘Yes, it was.’ “
Now we have a story from later in the day. In the Mount Vernon News we read Investigator cross examined by Freshwater lawyer. Excerpts:
Cross examination of Thomas Herlevi, owner of HR on Call, the firm hired by the Mount Vernon Board of Education to investigate allegations against John Freshwater, continued after today’s lunch break.
Kelly Hamilton, Freshwater’s attorney, focused his questions on the method of the investigation, Herlevi’s sources and his conclusions as a result of the investigation. Hamilton also walked Herlevi through his final report. Hamilton will continue his cross examination of Herlevi when the hearing resumes Wednesday morning.
That looks like all that happened today. The only real news is that the hearing is active again.
We know you’re all wondering — Will Freshwater be fired? Will he be raptured during the hearing? Will lightning strike the officials who dared to question Freshwater’s classroom behavior?
We’ll find out, eventually. But from now on, we’ll skip reporting such boring stuff as today’s proceedings. We’ll get back into this when something interesting happens.
Addendum: An extensive report on this day’s hearing can be found at Panda’s Thumb, here: Freshwater Day 7: The Investigator.
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