Finally it is over. By a vote of 4-1 the Mount Vernon Ohio School Board accepted the referee’s report that upheld the firing of John Freshwater, who not only burned crosses in arms of students but pushed his creationism on his classes against orders from his superiors.
From the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) website:
On January 10, 2011, the Mount Vernon City Schools Board of Education voted 4-1 to terminate the employment of John Freshwater. A middle school science teacher in Mount Vernon, Ohio, Freshwater was accused of inappropriate religious activity in the classroom — including displaying posters with the Ten Commandments and Bible verses, branding crosses on the arms of his students with a high-voltage electrical device, and teaching creationism. After a local family sued Freshwater and the district in 2008, the board voted to begin proceedings to terminate his employment in the district. Finally, after administrative hearings that proceeded sporadically over two years, the referee presiding over the hearings issued his recommendation that the board terminate his employment with the district.
Freshwater officially fired
Also info from the Columbus Dispatch
The hearing is among the most costly and lengthy that education experts can recall. Records, however, are not kept.
Asked if the cost is worth it, officials with the Ohio School Boards Association had mixed feelings.
“It’s sad that they had to spend all that money to do what they thought was right all along,” said Rick Lewis, executive director.
The board voted unanimously in 2008 to terminate Freshwater. But under state law, teachers are entitled to an administrative hearing to defend themselves.
The process protects teachers and also discourages districts from keeping rogue teachers in less-sensitive positions.
“Allowing somebody to resign and go away and pass those problems on to another school district isn’t right, either,” Lewis said.
Asked if the system works, Holly Ready, chief legal counsel for the association, said, “I think it’s fairly clear that it’s not working in all cases. That’s a huge burden on taxpayers – we’re paying for that.”
Mount Vernon schools pay to uphold Freshwater firing