The long drawn out saga of John Freshwater, the Mount Vernon Ohio middle school teacher who was fired for injecting his religious beliefs into his science classes, is officially over after the US Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal from a 2013 Ohio Supreme Court ruling that upheld his termination. Now he can move to the Bible and Chicken Dinner circuit playing the ‘martyr’ he believes he had become.
The justices on Monday let stand an Ohio Supreme Court ruling that found the Mount Vernon school district had grounds to fire John Freshwater in 2011 for insubordination for keeping religious books and a poster of a praying president.
The state court said the district infringed on Freshwater’s First Amendment rights by ordering him to remove his personal Bible from his desk, but found he was insubordinate for keeping the other items.
The case began when Freshwater was fired for insubordination is 2008 after an investigation concerning a student having a cross burned into his skin by a Tesla coil during class. Freshwater had issues with keeping his religious beliefs out of the classroom going back to 1994.
“Mount Vernon School Board asserts that despite the district’s instructions to cease doing so, Freshwater unequivocally injected his own Christian faith into his classroom as early as 1994 and continued to do so right up until he was relieved of his teaching duties. The board also asserts that after it denied Freshwater’s 2003 teaching proposal to critically evaluate evolution, Freshwater surreptitiously supplemented his eighth-grade science curriculum with religious handouts, showed videos on creationism and intelligent design, displayed religious materials in his classroom, and made various statements in class referring to the Bible.”
Past posts here about this case can be read following the John Freshwater tag
Now Freshwater can join the Bible and Chicken Dinner circuit playing the “martyr” he believes he had become and his former students can learn about real science. It is a win-win.