Saturday, January 03, 2009

John Freshwater’s Inquisition (Contract Hearing) Resumes

This article will recap the John Freshwater case, which has gained national attention this past year. One news summary by Patti Wiginton is included as an example of what is circulating on the Internet and in news stories. This article will also provide an update on when the next hearing will take place.

NEXT HEARING DATES

According to the SupportFreshwater.com website Mr. Freshwater’s hearing will pick up again on Tuesday January 6. Hearing dates that have been set for January 2008: 6-9th and 14-16. Most, if not all, of the time taken during these dates will be for testimony. Additional dates are possible.

TYPICAL NEWS ACCOUNT

In year-end recaps of top newsworthy stories of 2008, the story of John Freshwater is included in many of them. Here is how
Patti Wigington of About.com summarized the John Freshwater story in her year-end review of Schools and Religion on her Patti's Paganism / Wicca Blog.

“In Ohio, the case of John Freshwater made lots of news. You may remember Freshwater - he's the teacher who was told not to bring his Bible to class. Students then supported him
by bringing their own Bibles in. The whole situation created a battleground, pitting neighbor against neighbor, and parents were concerned about the divisive learning environment. Later, Freshwater was fired after he "branded" students with a high-frequency generator.”

THE REAL FRESHWATER STORY

You didn’t quite get the story accurate, Patti. I have followed this case and have written extensively on it.

First, the popular, award-winning middle school science teacher was told to remove posters including one with a inspirational posture of Colin Powell with a Bible verse and other “objectionable” postings in his classroom. He complied. However, when his new principal told him to remove his personal Bible from the top of his classroom desk (where he had kept it for 20 years), and hide it in his desk drawer, he refused.

This precipitated the school administration and school board to trump up additional charges in order to justify his eventual termination.

Second, the school board authorized a supposedly independent investigator to look into this case and make a recommendation. Among the things that were investigated was the complaint of the disgruntled parents of a young man who allegedly was harmed by a Tesla coil experiment, which Mr. Freshwater and other teachers routinely conducted as a science experiment. These parents sued the school board and Mr. Freshwater. Subsequently, Freshwater filed a counter suit against these parents. Those cases are working their way through the court system.

Third, in addition to the hiring of an investigating agency, the school and school board assigned a class monitor (Gestapo) to sit in on Mr. Freshwater’s classes the remainder of the school year. This all came to a head, I believe, in April of last year. In June, and based on Mr. Freshwater’s insubordination and based on the findings of the investigator the school board recommended that Mr. Freshwater’s contract not be renewed (employment termination.)

As was his right under the teachers’ union contract, Mr. Freshwater appealed the decision and demanded a hearing that began and was conducted for several days in October 2008 and continued for several more days in December 2008 and will apparently conclude next week (January 6 -9.) Most of the hearing will be testimony of various parties involved with the case. The hearing is being conducted before an Ohio Department of Education referee, who will make a recommendation to the School Board after reviewing all the testimony and facts of the case.

Since the end of last school year, Mr. Freshwater has been suspended without pay. I understand that he is working part-time jobs including working as a part time substitute teacher.

This situation is representative of what is going on in the now openly godless, pagan taxpayer funded government schools. Operating under a freedom-destroying, false premise of “separation of church and state” the Mount Vernon (Ohio) City School Board wants to punish this man who practices his in public.

A person’s faith, unlike his gun, need not be checked and confiscated at the entrance of the school house. There is a lot a stake in this case, beyond what happens to John Freshwater.


THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN AMERICA FOR CHRISTIANS

Our schools have been so corrupted by the removal of Christianity and of Christian influences. The vacuum is being filled by the false religion of secular humanism. Public schools may now be beyond reform. It just may be time for true Christians to yank all of their children out of these snake-pits, these literal hell-holes, and these far left wing indoctrination centers and look for alternatives such as home schooling.

In fact, there is a growing movement by organizations such as Exodus Mandate to encourage, support and facilitate students fleeing the inept and toxic
government run institutions.

LEARN MORE

Previous A Good Choice . . . articles
BibleOnTheDesk.com
SupportFreshwater.com

HOW YOU CAN HELP NOW

You can also help John Freshwater with his legal costs by sending a check to:

The Community Council for Free Expression
c/o Trinity Assembly of God
1051 Beech Street
Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for getting it correct and not calling it a "Teacher of the Year" award.
Reading all the information about this issue, I feel the school was justified in what they did. It sounds like the tesla coil incident and others are the real reason they are terminating his contract. It sounds like the teacher is "trumping" up the Bible on the desk subject to justify HIS actions.

Ed said...

The real shame is that it is so hard to fire a clown like John Freshwater. Just think of all the money wasted to get rid of this incompetent, child abusive moron.

gregjaye said...

Mr. Ed -

Thanks for your comment. You seem to have a lot of horse sense. All kidding aside, don't you think this "clown" should have his day in "court?"

The issue here is freedom to express one's faith. Freedom to have your personal Bible on your desk. Freedom to share your convictions. The goal of the ACLU and the School Board apparently is to stamp out all free speech when it comes to God.

It is no wonder that more and more people are considering home schooling rather than subjecting their children to humanistic indoctrination. Secular humanism or even atheism are religions.

Freshwater was an excellent teacher. But, these days. if you are not politically correct, then the fact you can teach and are loved and appreciated by your students and their parents does not matter . . . What a shame.

Anonymous said...

The ACLU is not involved!
Teachers sign a contract when they are hired, they know what is in it. They SHOULD know what is allowed and what isn't allowed. Obviously this teacher didn't, even after he was told NOT to continue teaching these things in 2003. Any teacher who burns a student, then tries to justify it should not be teaching.
If we let every teacher teach their "convictions" Students would be learning something different every year and it would contradict what they learned the year before. You have to have guidelines!

I think we should just let the Catholics take over our schools, they seem to be doing it right.

Anonymous said...

Freshwater has admitted that he touched a child with this device and he seems to justify it by saying it gets kids excited about science. Using that logic, should the art teacher let kids cut themselves with exacto knives, how about the home ec teacher allowing kids to eat just a little bit of poison? How about the PE teacher ignoring warnings about that kid who has asthma? Hey! It was all done out of a desire to get kids excited,right? We could go on and on using this warped logic.

Kids should not be hurt in school. I do not care how major or minor the injury is. KIDS. SHOULD. NOT. BE. HURT. IN. SCHOOL. ESPECIALLY. WILLFULLY. BY. A. TEACHER.

The district---Jeff Maley, Lynda Weston, Tim Keib, Jeff Kuntz, all those administrators making the big bucks--- was wrong to allow this to go on for so long, and the current supt. should have reported to Childrens' Services. However, this was still wrong and Freshwater knows it. Lack of proper discipline is not reason to exonerate his behavior.