WOULD ya believe it? The Freshwater hearing isn’t over yet. Our last post on this creationist teaching mess was at the end of last year: Freshwater Hearing Halts in Chaos.
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 cross on a student with a Tesla coil, 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.
We haven’t been writing much about this case because the best coverage has been provided by Richard B. Hoppe at Panda’s Thumb. His last article, from a few days ago, is Two Freshwater attorneys ask to withdraw.
But we’ve found something new and Richard hasn’t posted about it yet so we’ll jump in. The Columbus Dispatch of Columbus, Ohio has this story: Science teacher’s hearing resumes. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
Participants hope to wrap up a hearing on whether John Freshwater should keep his teaching job by sometime in June, but sessions could resume next fall, they said yesterday.
There’s no end to it. Let’s read on:
The administrative hearing started almost two years ago after Mount Vernon school board members voted that they intended to fire the eighth-grade science teacher for teaching creationism and intelligent design, failing to remove religious materials from his classroom after being told to do so, and burning crosses on students’ arms.
The hearing appeared to end three months ago, but Freshwater’s attorney, R. Kelly Hamilton, never closed his case.
This is like one of those mummy movies, the kind that endlessly spawn sequel after sequel. Just when you think they’ve finally burned the thing, it rises from the ashes and starts stalking again. We continue:
The hearing resumed yesterday and is to continue today. At least three additional dates are scheduled for early June, and both sides have agreed not to hold any sessions during the summer school break, because witnesses will be difficult to schedule.
Once the hearing is concluded, the referee will make a recommendation to the board, which can take final action. Freshwater has been suspended without pay.
At least he’s not getting paid while this thing is dragging on. Here’s more:
Hamilton has subpoenaed 16 additional witnesses since Jan. 15, when Freshwater and the school board received an anonymous letter telling them about materials allegedly taken from his classroom that might exonerate him. The items include textbooks with handwritten notes that Freshwater testified would illustrate his science-teaching techniques at Mount Vernon Middle School.
Oooooh! An anonymous letter. Hidden evidence! It’s a Darwinist plot! Or maybe the Illuminati. Moving along:
David Millstone, attorney for the school district, said the items have always been available. “Had they asked for it, I could care less,” he said. “There’s nothing there.”
That’s about it. They’re still going at it. We’ll leave the details to Richard B. Hoppe. He sits in on these hearings and then posts about them. We don’t know how he can stand it, but he does a great job.
If any significant news comes out, we’ll post about it. Or maybe we won’t. After two years, this one has become rather wearisome.
Update: John Freshwater Case Is Winding Down.
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