Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Day 7 of the John Freshwater Inquisition

Righting First Amendment Wrongs

After a two month recess due to the scheduling conflicts of the attorneys involved in John Freshwater case, the contract hearing of middle school science teacher resumed this week. See my previous articles and comments regarding this case, including the first six days of the hearing, which were held last October and November.

A Columbus newspaper reporter summed up in a slightly biased fashion the case to date, “The hearing to help determine if Freshwater should lose his job . . . Freshwater is accused of burning students with an electric lab tool and preaching Christianity during science classes at public Mount Vernon Middle School.” Actually Freshwater was terminated for refusing to remove his Bible from the top of his desk and for daring to express or practice his faith at his job.

Yesterday (Tuesday) Freshwater’s attorney, Kelly Hamilton, questioned the principal of the investigating firm hired by the school board to investigate Mr. Freshwater. Thomas Herlevi, owner of HR on Call was grilled for most of the day today. The questioning of the investigator will continue tomorrow (Wednesday).

According to the Columbus Dispatch’s account of Tuesday’s events, “Just before breaking for lunch Hamilton asked Herlevi why only three students from an entire class were interviewed about accusations that the teacher used an electric lab tool to burn crosses on students' arms and preached during science classes.” Herlevi's answer was that in their judgment, they did not see a need to interview more than the three students.

On-going reports of this hearing can also be found on and at

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:45 AM

    "Actually Freshwater was terminated for refusing to remove his Bible from the top of his desk"

    This is completely wrong. Please show a link ( besides where you get this information. He was not fired for having a Bible on his desk. Here is a link to the report which states the reasons he was fired.