Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mess in Ohio

When I first read about this story of a public school Bible brouhaha over on Ed Brayton's blog, I didn't think much of it: I assumed the teacher, John Freshwater, was just another creationist who thinks that his right to religious expression extends to using his position as a school teacher to impose his particular brand of fundamentalist tripe on other peoples' children.

Objectionable, of course: but hardly anything out of the ordinary for the Uber-Christian crowd. If anything, I thought that the school was over-reacting in telling him to remove his personal copy of the Bible from his desk during class. Having it on his desk would seem no more harmful to me than having a picture of a family member there, or any other personal effect.

Silly me. There's always another shoe waiting to drop with these people, isn't there? This just in from the planet WTF:

In a press release issued Tuesday afternoon, Superintendent Steve Short said, “The allegations against Mr. Freshwater are very serious. This is not about his personal Bible on his desktop. It is about the totality of his conduct.”

One of the complaints was that Freshwater used an electrostatic device to burn crosses onto students’ arms.

Now, color me intolerant, but I just think that's a mite over the top. These are 8th graders. And he's branding them?! This man should not just be disciplined. He should be fired and charged with assault. His name should be put on a public list of People You Want Nowhere Near Your Children. And as it seems, according to this article from the Columbus Dispatch, that the school knew last December about the branding and chose not to do anything about it, some heads on the admin side should roll, as well.

Of course, according to the WorldNetDaily, this is all just a case of discrimination against Christians. I guess Christian Fundamentalists have some hidden constitutional right to torture 14-year olds. Funny, my teachers at the religious schools I attended must have skipped over that amendment. Typical of those scheming atheist commie pinkos.

What a debacle. It will be darkly fascinating to see what develops from this. I can't imagine that with this popping up, that there aren't any more surprises to follow.

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