Saturday, June 21, 2008
Is John Freshwater A Modern Day John The Baptist Inappropriately Spreading The Word In A Public School? ~by Legal Pub
Has a teacher once again gone too far? No, not another teacher - underage student relationship. This time it is a public school teacher professing and teaching the fundamentals of Christianity.
A small central Ohio School Board voted unanimously to fire John Freshwater, a Mount Vernon Middle School teacher accused of preaching Christian beliefs. Freshwater is also accused of temporarily burning the image of a cross on students' arms. School board attorney, David Millstone, said Freshwater has a right to appeal the dismissal.
John Freshwater denies any wrongdoing and will request a hearing to appeal the decision. Attorney, Kelly Hamilton, told the Mount Vernon News, that the decision to fire Freshwater was made shortly after a family filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Freshwater and the school district. The law suit claims Freshwater burned a cross on a child's arm that remained for three or four weeks. Dave Daubenmire has been quoted as defending his friend, "With the exception of the cross-burning episode. ... I believe John Freshwater is teaching the values of the parents in the Mount Vernon school district." (See Friday's edition of The Columbus Dispatch.) Several students told investigators that Freshwater is a "great guy" and their "favorite teacher." But district director of teaching and learning, Lynda Weston, apparently shared with investigators that she there have been numerous complaints about Freshwater for over the past several years. Superintendent, Jeff Maley, claims he unsuccessfully tried to find another position for Freshwater.
John Freshwater is accused of using a high-frequency generator to burn images of a cross on students' arms in December. However, Freshwater claims he simply was trying to demonstrate the device on several students and described the images as an "X," not a cross. (Pictures appear consistent with a cross; however, see Legal Pub's story about the stolen cross, Jesus and the plus sign LINK.) Freshwater is also accused of teaching that "carbon dating" is unreliable to argue in favor of evolution.
John Freshwater raises a few issues. One is John Freshwater a modern day John the Baptist who baptizes with high-frequency instead of water? Two, for those of you who support John Freshwater and his teachings, would you feel the same if he was preaching fundamental Muslim values?