Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ohio Middle School Science Teacher Drops Suit Over His Firing For Promoting Religion

Today's Mount Vernon (OH) News reports that on Thursday, Ohio middle school science teacher John Freshwater and his wife filed a stipulation along with the Mount Vernon (OH) school board asking an Ohio federal court to dismiss Freshwater's religious discrimination and other claims. Freshwater was fired for posting copies of the Ten Commandments in his classroom, refusing to remove his personal Bible from on his desk, and a storing a box of Bibles in the back of the classroom for use by the school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes. It was also claimed that an in-class experiment with a Tesla coil left a mark on a student's arm in the shape of a cross. (See prior posting.)  No settlement was reached between the parties in the case, but apparently Freshwater has run out of funds and is now hoping to prevail when a referee issues a decision in his administrative appeal of his firing. The referee heard 38 days of testimony. Referring to the fact that the school board has not paid anything in settlement to him in exchange for his dropping the case, Freshwater said: "We have already spent our life savings and have pledged our farm to get to the truth. It is better to leave the money on the table than to take the Bible off of my desk." The school's attorney said there was never any monetary settlement offer for Freshwater to reject.