Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Final Approval Given In Settlement of Charges Against Ohio Science Teacher

The final chapter in the litigation involving Mt. Vernon, Ohio suspended middle school science teacher John Freshwater seems to have been written last week.  The Mount Vernon News reported yesterday that the Licking County Probate Court has approved on behalf of student Zachary Dennis a previously reported federal court settlement agreement under which Freshwater agreed to pay $300,000 to parents Stephen and Jennifer Dennis, another $150,000 for an annuity for student Zachary Dennis and $25,000 for legal fees.  The lawsuit grew out of widely-publicized charges that Freshwater taught creationism or intelligent design in class, told his class that anyone who is gay is a sinner, improperly used an electrostatic device to put a cross on the arm of a student, was excessively involved in the school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was insubordinate in failing to remove religious materials when ordered to do so by his principal. (See prior posting.) Originally school officials had also been sued, but it settled in 2009. (See prior posting.) A counter suit by Freshwater against the school board was dropped in October. (See prior posting.) [Thanks to National Center for Science Education for the lead.]