Last we left the Springboro Ohio Community Schools, they were trying to force all kinds of right wing subjects into the school curriculum including creationism and the latest clap trap from Glenn Beck. The ACLU naturally sent a letter threatening a lawsuit. The religious cult on the school board decided to get advice from infamous school teacher John Freshwater and will be bringing in a Christian law firm that is known for supporting 1st amendment religious violations.
Earlier this year Springboro Ohio School Board members Jim Rigano and Kelly Kohls proposed controversial school policy changes that would intentionally introduce religion into the city’s classrooms. Despite heavy push-back from the community and educators, as well as external groups like the ACLU, School Board members are planning to push forward with their agenda with the legal assistance of a far-right Christian group out of Texas.
Rigano’s first attempt at lawyering up appears to have been prompted by a call from John Freshwater, the Mount Vernon science teacher fired for burning Christian crosses on to the arms of his students. Freshwater, still in the middle of an appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court over his firing, reached out to Rigano to recommend his own attorney, Rita Dunaway of the right-wing Rutherford Institute.
Rigano emailed Dunaway (full text of email here) asking for legal advice on the policy changes. In the email, Rigano admits that “one goal of our revised policy is to require science teachers to teach all sides of the evolution theory, including gaps and contrary science”. He also admits that the changes aim “to make clear that teaching religion and religous (sic) motivation in a historical context is expressly permitted.”
But the board decided to use the services of different far-right, Christian organization, the Liberty Institute, to help them push through their policies. According to their website, the Liberty Institute is “focused solely on protecting and restoring religious liberty in the United States.”
Yes, getting advice from a fired teacher and bringing in a far right-wing Christian legal group for support. *snark* Nothing wrong with that at all… */snark*
People like Jim Rigano and Kelly Kohls won’t stop until they drag the district into a lawsuit it won’t win. It will hurt the children because there will be less funding available for education – all to stroke someone’s religious ego.
I hope the more rational members of the community will put a stop to the silliness.
*Side Note* – The Liberty Institute is the same outfit that gave the Jackson Ohio City Schools such wonderful advice about their unconstitutional Jesus picture.