Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ohio Torture-Teacher Goes to Court

Via Pharyngula

Back in April, I harangued regarding John Freshwater, an Ohio middle school teacher who was under investigation for, among other things, burning crosses into his 8th-grade students' arms as a 'demonstration' in science class. Apparently, the issue has now gone to court, and my prediction that there was going to be more ugliness revealed is being born out. From the Mount Vernon News:

(School superintendent Stephen) Short, (middle school principal William) White and the school board are named as defendants in the case because they allowed Freshwater to continue to teach religion, and violate school policy and the Constitution after being notified of the policy violations and unconstitutional activities. For example, after April 14, the suit claims, Freshwater assigned “extra credit” to his students for homework related to intelligent design and was not removed from the classroom.

White also, according to the court documents, disclosed the identity of the plaintiffs to Freshwater, although Short had promised them anonymity. After the parents raised concerns of retaliation against their son, a field trip was scheduled, with their son assigned to a certain group and chaperone. The suit claims that once the child’s identity was revealed, his group assignment was changed to the one led by Freshwater. As a result, the parents “were forced to prohibit their son from attending the school field trip.” That caused injury by depriving the son of a valuable educational experience and discouraging the plaintiffs from continuing to exercise their right to free speech.

Initially, I thought that the lack of action on the part of the school stemmed from either an aversion to scandal, or at worst, your typical Christian fundamentalist assumption that the "non-believers" were just being hysterical and over-reacting. That if they ignored the complaints, it would all blow over.

The above seems to indicate something far more malevolent. The plaintiffs may talk about "depriving the son of a valuable educational experience", but it had to creep them the hell out whan the school placed their son into the hands of the same teacher who saw fit to brand him as a demonstration of how spectrum analysis works.

Go read the whole article. This is blatant intimidation on the part of Freshwater and White. They should both be fired. Or perhaps Gene's solution over at PZ's house is more appropriate:

Perhaps Mr. Freshwater should have his apparatus applied to his testicles as part of his ongoing education about why he shouldn't use it on students.

God-damned pair of sleaze bags.


Oh, and this is what he used to brand his students. Not sure how he got from "High Frequency Generator Tester for Leak Detection" to "A Cool Device to Burn Little Kids With", though.

What a nice man.

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