Ohio Supreme Court To Hear Case Of Fired Christian Teacher

John Freshwater had been a science teacher in Ohio public schools for 24 years.  His eight grade students in Mount Vernon, Ohio, generally scored at or above the state and national averages on test scores.  He believed that students learned better with hands on experiments and making learning fun.

On one occasion, he was demonstrating a Tesla coil which burned an ‘X’ on a student’s arm.  The burn was minor and it seems that no one other than the parents saw the burn.  They did take a photo of the arm and claimed he had burned a cross and not an X.

In 2008 Freshwater committed an unpardonable sin of asking his science students to think critically.  He taught them to ask questions about different theories which would lead them to further investigate the theories for themselves.  This has been a fundamental aspect of science for centuries.  His method was successful and his students responded well and excelled.

When it came to evolution, he encouraged them to question and investigate the tenets of evolution.  When the topic of creation was brought up, he encouraged the same kind of critical thinking and questioning as they did for evolution.

Even though this has been a foundation of science for years, Freshwater soon learned that to question evolution was nearly akin to committing high treason.  He was ordered to stop that method of teaching.  He was also ordered to remove all religious items from his classroom including the Bible that always sat on his desk.  Freshwater complied with everything except removing the Bible and he was summarily suspended under charges of teaching creationism and religious doctrine in his public school classroom. In 2003, the school board denied his request to teach students that there were controversies with the theory of evolution.

A Mount Vernon School District review board determined that Freshwater had in fact taught creationism and failed to comply with orders to remove religious items from the classroom and burned a cross in a student’s arm during an experiment.  In January, 2011, Freshwater was officially terminated from his teaching job.

Freshwater appealed to two different courts, claiming that his right to free speech and academic freedom had been violated by the school district.  Unfortunately, both courts refused to hear his case.  His case has been taken on by the Rutherford Institute and president of Rutherford, John W. Whitehead commented about the case saying:

“Academic freedom was once the bedrock of American education. That is no longer the state of affairs, as this case makes clear.  What we need today are more teachers and school administrators who understand that young people don’t need to be indoctrinated. Rather, they need to be taught how to think for themselves.”

And when it came to the supposed cross that had been burned into the arm of the student, Whitehead explained:

“No one but the reporting family observed the alleged mark, as the family took a picture of the student’s arm instead of taking the child to a physician or showing the arm to any other potentially interested adult.”

Whitehead and Rutherford Institute took their appeal to the state supreme court who recently announced that they would hear the case.

I’ve known other teachers who have suffered similar fates for just questioning evolution without any mention of creationism.  I spoke with a man who had taught high school biology for nearly 20 years in a Midwest public school.  One day he asked his students if they saw any problem with the laws of biology and the theory of evolution.  By the end of the week, he was suspended because one student complained to his parents who immediately contacted the ACLU who contacted the school who suspended the teacher.

It seems that in today’s academic world, the only thing that cannot be questioned is evolution.  Everything else is fair game, but evolution is religiously protected and guarded.  Freshwater not only questioned it, but tried to teach his students to think critically and question it instead of blindly accepting it.  Hopefully, the Ohio State Supreme Court will recognize the hypocrisy that exists in the educational system and will exonerate Freshwater and allow him to return to what he loves, teaching America’s next generation of leaders how to think for themselves.


  • Screeminmeeme

    The NEA wants to produce brainwashed little robots who march in line to progressivism.
    To teach children HOW to think critically would threaten the Marxist agenda.
    Can't have that, now, can we?

  • Taylor Wallis

    I do agree with teaching children to think critically for themselves, but religion should not be brought into the work place. The teacher should not have been fired.

    • notoshariah

      Then the schools that have the "prayer" rooms for islamists should STOP this too.
      When I was a kid we put on the story of the Nativity at the school assembly and it was just fine . Those days are gone.
      Agreed the teacher should NOT have been fired.

    • Tout

      Yes, teach children the truth. Help them to think. True thinking leads to knowing that there has to be God !

  • deeme

    Gee, so the bad teachers can't be fired and the good ones can, well that goes right along with the upside down America we are living in right now..but what do we expect from a bunch of people who came from monkeys??? I don't think they evolved from monkeys, I think the monkeys evolved from them..We were taught evolution and creation but I'm beginning to understand alot more these kids, and the lack of thought they display..Why wouldn't the teachers all get together and fight this?? Are you going to tell me it is now a requirement that only teachers who believe in evolution are hired, because that would explain the low level of education our kids are getting..

    • PROUDONE50

      I AGREE YOU ,BUT I THINK THEY ARE TAKING GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER OUT OF EVERYBODY'S LIVE'S TODAY..I'M 62 AND WE HAD PRAYER IN SCHOOL,AND THOUGHT THE GOLDEN RULE OF BEING GOOD TO GODD#1,THEN TOO YOUR FELLOW MAN.....ALL THE KID'S ARE THOUGHT TODAY IS HATERED,RACISM TO ALL WALK'S OF LIFE..MY GRANDSON WASN'T EVEN THOUGHT HISTORY,UNTILL HE WAS HOME SCHOOLED....OBAMA IS TAKING US ALL TO HELL IN A HANDBAG " WAKE UP PEOPLE"

      • Revere

        You may need to go back to school to learn spelling.

        • Dean

          Spelling is his problem because all the good spelling teachers were fired!!

        • PatrioticMary

          You should go back and learn manners. This isn't an English test but courtesy USED to be common.

        • Tout

          to REVERE Why ? I deliberately always spell some words different. In Belgium the Flemish spelling was greatly simplified over several years. First names of cities::Mol (Moll),Geel (Gheel),Turnout (Turnhout). Ten years later, an other group of words. I remember an lady saying "Why did we write Moll". English language has one of the worst spellings.Long ago, English Nobles found It more educated to use some French words: swine became pork, etc.. Besides my Flemish, I had to learn French, English, German. Every language had its rules, but we never learned a single rule on how to write English;we just had to remember how to spell it. I can not simplify the whole language, so I choose a few words; foto (photo), enuf (enough). Maybe 8 words that i spell differently. You just go ahead and consider how smart you are, while I write: thru, thru-out, eg, A smart fellow taught me the meaning of eg. I told him, he meant e.g. ,not eg. Of course, the longer the kisssss, the better. One can only write a few simplifications at one time. Is it smart to write "throughout" and pronounce "ou" different ? To put woman in plural you change the second half to wo men, but change the pronunciation of the first half. I do not advocate to spell anyway you want. Good luck !

        • proudone50

          Do you have A.D.D,or are you a grammer teacher..I was in a rush today.. I think you want to mock the wrong Man here Literate people got the Message.That's the problem with young kid's NO MANNER'S FOR THEIR ELDER'S Thank You, Patriotic Mary I've forgotten more than this kid will ever know

  • bonnie

    This teaching that evolution as fact is frustrating. It is STILL a theory - a theory supposes it may be truth, but until proven by irrefutable evidence it remains a theory - not proof.

  • TheGizmo51

    "Ohio Supreme Court To Hear Case Of Fired Christian Teacher" How about and would the news receive the same coverage if:

    Ohio Supreme Court To Hear Case Of Fired Muslim or Mormon Teacher, Grow up and get a life!

  • notoshariah

    The idea to think in a critical & creative manner. OMG How do you think this country got this way? We had critical/creative founders. Now however we are lead by an islamist who is very short accepting criticism and can't think himself out of a paper bag-- but will hand this land (with the help of Congress) into the hands of total sharia-Just like Egypt (he facilitated that too!) Wake up!

  • f8tul

    The Now Evil Association wants everything their way.. Indoctrination to the Earth God, not the one and only true God.

    Evolution is only a Theory, and as such is still in the works so to speak... there are so many holes in Evolution swiss cheese is jealous..

    God created the world, but that is NOT the point here. The point is to teach the children how to think for themselves, not what the ILLEGAL regime in Washington thinks...

    • Revere

      Sorry to break your bubble ,but evolution is a fact ,just like gravity. There are however ,a few theories of how evolution occurred.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=684497937 Jim Havice

        since when did the Theory of Evolution become the Fact of Evolution? Last I checked, it's still a Theory and has not been proven as a whole?

        • Jim S

          That's because too many people don't know what the word "theory" means in the scientific sense. It refers to a proposed explanation for an observed fact. If I drop a hammer, the idea of "objects going to their natural home" of the classical Greeks is one theory. Newton's theory of gravity explained it better.... and Einstein's curved space explains it even better. Maybe someday Einstein will be replaced by a better theory. OF course, there are still people who think objects fall because the Earth sucks. ;-)

      • CWDJR

        Sorry Pal, Maybe you evolved from a monkey but I think of myself and most modern human beings as something better than a primate.

      • PatrioticMary

        Enlighten us, Oh Orb of Wisdom. Evolution as in, "we come from monkeys" is NOT proven. Here's food for thought for you. Confusious say, "It is better to be THOUGHT a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." Memorize it.

      • TheBucko

        Revere: Think about this: The minimum number of parts necessary for an organism to reproduce is the organism itself. Although not every part is vital, but only the whole unit encompasses all the parts, information, and conditions to reproduce itself. There are no 'primitive' and 'advanced' life forms, just 'different' life. To create a baby you need a man and a woman and all their vital interdependent parts.

      • Tout

        to REVERE Evolution from what ? There was nothing or something. Nothing stays nothing. Something comes from,,,,what ? "There was nothing. Then... " Then what ? An explosion. From what ? You belief, something came from nothing.Nothing can not produce anything. Evolution is o.k., but it could never come from nothing. So, what started evolution ? Something that had no beginning, but existed always. That 'something' started everything. By what 'something' produced, we find that 'Somthing' is extremely smart. That 'Something', we call it 'God'. He created everything, also 'men'; He still exists, will always exist. How does He look ? He showed Himself as a human. Created 'man' as the top of creation. He started Adam & Eve. He will exist always, and judge us after we die. Learn about Him for He will be your judge. And He appointed Peter(and Popes)to replade Him thru the years. Please, study creation, for one thing.

  • darkcyder

    the keywords are "religiously protecting" the teaching of evolution. When we finally accept that it is truly its own religion, it will receive equal treatment, as it should. The evolutionist must believe much more than the creationist in order to accept its teachnigs.

  • CWinBaltimore

    If you read "Godless: the Church of Liberalism" by Ann Coulter, you will find that even among atheistic scientists, Darwinian Theory of evolution has largely been discredited, and abandoned. The en vogue thinkers now are debating panspermia, the thought that life started somewhere else and was seeded here. The point is also made that until there is some kind of consensus on that, Darwinian Evolutionary Theory is sacrosanct, and that any besides the atheistic, scientific chosen who dare questioin the orthodoxy are to be crucified!

  • http://www.facebook.com/hiram.holiday Hiram Holiday

    Public schools are unconstitutional because they violate freedom of religion and speech. Every education bill restricts the free exercise of religion. Modern science grew out of Christianity and no other religion. (Muslims appropiated others' discoveries for themselves, like Chekov claimed American discoveries for Russia.) I have no choice but to pay for failing anti-moral indoctrination centers. Allow the parents to exit their children and don't give me any cr@p about the need for more money for education unions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ILoveZ Debra Moody

    My mothers science teacher went through something similiar, instead of getting fired she quit. Kids do need to be taught to think for themselves, and not to just take someones word for truth anything! The ACLU needs to jump in a hole and bury themselves. One highschools graduates requested a song during their graduation, ALL the students wanted it played, one band member who was NOT graduating refused to play it and got the ACLU involved because it had the word God in it. That student should have been dismissed from the graduation instead of ruining what is one of the most important days for young people. They all worked hard to graduate and this one little non graduating person ruined their night! It is a shame how a few can ruin so many!

  • Luong the Viet

    EvolNUTion is for the nuts! This pseudo-science lie is NOT even a theory! It's just a hypothesis because by definition, a theory has to be TESTABLE which it isn't! Even the evolNUTionists admit it!

    • TheBucko

      Please RE-TEST the so-called Big Bang.....

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O24NYT5HOQNDEJ3TUT5QOTLOF4 TM

    If you hate God you must be a democrat
    If you love abortions you must be a democrat
    If you love illegals coming into our country you must be a democrat
    If you love having obama care shoved down your throat you must be a democrat
    If you love the government raising your children you must be a democrat
    If you hate freedom you must be a democrat
    If you love high taxes you must be a democrat

    These are just a few there are thousands more.

  • cdoc

    "...and allow him to return to what he loves, teaching America’s next generation of leaders how to think for themselves".
    Maybe this is what our problem has been all along. Fully half of our leaders cannot think for themselves. They just bend whichever way the wind blows. The other half are just power-hungry narcissists.

  • samtman

    He was teaching Christian religion disguised as science. The Supreme court said that Government's job is not to promote one religion over another, that means hands of promoting any religion in a Government facility. School Ground's are a Govenrnem facility. He was hired to teach science not theology. I'm sure if he was promoting some other religion he would have been fired as well. I can just imagin if he was promoting Islan or Mormonism.

    • PatrioticMary

      You, not surprisingly, missed the entire point of his lesson. He was trying to teach the children to think critically, to question and learn and come to their OWN conclusions. Do you get it now? He was NOT teaching any religion. You must've graduated recently because you don't comprehend the natiive tongue.

      • http://www.facebook.com/aemoreira81 Adam Moreira

        If that is is the case...let's see the tests.

  • jim28threg

    These anti GOD PEOPLE NEED TO GET THEIR OWN SCHOOLS . I'm sick and tired of their crap.
    I'm going to tell a story mind you it may or may not be true. There once was an athiest family that had moved into an area. The local high school prayed at assembly and before
    games. The athiest family protested and threatened civil action. They were invited to leave the area by weeks end.
    Problem solved --! Make your own assumptions!

  • Don

    Sorry mr. Freshwater, no union help in your case, there's no money in it for them. I only hope the Ohio Supreme court rules in your favor, and if not, the US supreme court.

  • PatrioticMary

    They took discipline and God out of our schools and replaced them with guns and drugs.

  • ConservaDave2

    For a couple of decades I was brainwashed by the very clever and seemingly logical theory of evolution. It was only taught to me by men of science whom I generally respected. They were sincere and not malicious in their presentation. They also had bought into the (false) "science" as it had been taught to them. It is a THEORY that was taught as fact with no substantiation and subsequently became entrenched in "science" as fact, It is only when we use, or are permitted to use true scientific method that the weaknesses in the theory appear. It has become a religion called "science" that cannot be questioned, just as the existence of the Creator cannot be questioned among many religious people, and those that question it are branded heretics and excommunicated.

  • Rosie46

    Our schools and universities have abdicated eduction in favor of indoctrination at the leadership of the federal government and the leftist NEA. And this has been going on for a long time. The best thing parents can do is to take their children out of the government schools and put in private or home school if they can afford it, and I know many cannot, but stay aware of what your children are being taught and like this teacher encourage them to question and analyze.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Ward/100000135233619 Mark Ward

    It's REFRESHING to have a teacher who actually TEACHES his students to THINK FOR THEMSELVES!
    Sadly, I suspect the Courts will NOT view matters so openly.
    Our LIBERAL Education Systems have deterioriated to NOTHING MORE than indoctrination centers - where what Liberals wish to "teach" is the ONLY accepted ciriculum!
    So STUPID and INTOLLERANT have the Liberals running our schools become, I'm reminded of a deaf 3 year old boy named "Hunter" who is told he CANNOT sign (American Sign Language) his OWN NAME, because his HAND/FINGERS form a "gun" shape, and (in the "oh, so tollerant Liberal world") THAT violates the ZERO TOLLERANCE on "guns" policy OF HIS PRESCHOOL! No, REALLY: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/28/hunter-spanjer-3-year-old_n_1836159.html
    So, it really comes as NO SURPRISE that Schools ("encouraged" by the threat of an ACLU lawsuit) would quickly tuck their tails between their legs and take the path of least resistance (and cost) - and FIRE a GOOD teacher - in favor, I'm sure, of a "teacher" who will simply go along with "the program"!
    I wish you the best of luck, but I wouldn't hold my breath, if I were you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/charles.steele.92798 Charles Steele

    The Communist Goal in 1958 was to remove God and moral teaching from our public schools and replace it with materialism and evolution. Public schools only teach socialist dogma today, critical thinking, how Capitalist? Evolution is the dogma being taught and no matter how much evidence counteracts its teachings. It is heresy to go against the evolution dogma. We are entering a second dark-ages.

  • http://www.survivingurbancrisis.com/ Silas Longshot

    In order for the intended purpose of their agenda to form and control the youth of America into the good little citizens of the future, which can't include God, they will not allow any free thinking on the subject of creationism vs darwinism. This would threaten the idea that the state is all knowing

  • LeSellers

    Freshwater is an idiot.

    Not because he's a Christian, but because he is a Christian teaching in a government-run, tax-funded welfare school. Those schools were set up by a Unitarian, Horace Mann, at the behest of a group of his father-in-law's* friends who wanted a means to control the minds of children.
    * Mary Peabody Mann was the daughter of the founder of Peabody Coal (NYES.BTU). His friends wanted a workforce who would not question orders, among other things.

    If this man who, according to this article is an excellent teacher, would get with a half dozen other Christians and establish a private school, they could get rich while failing to achieve Mann's goal: to divorce children from their fathers' religions and moral values.

    We lament that fact that Christian children are learning evil in school, but we do not acknowledge that it is our own fault: we send them there even though there are alternatives.

    We bemoan the fact that government-run, tax-funded welfare schools train our offspring to look down on the faith of their fathers, but ignore that other fact: we did it first. In the mid-XIX, the Reverend Dabney warned Protestants that they were using the schools to make "good Americans" out of immigrant Irish children. His prophetic cry was that the same instrument they were using against the Catholics would one day be turned on them. That day has arrived (and did long before SCotuS ruled on school prayer).

    Get your children out of the grasp of self-appointed, self-anointed bureaucrats. Teach them at home, get someone in your church to help you. Have Grandma'n'Grandpa help out. The "crazy" neighbor who's been educating her own children for five years is probably willing to help, too. Uncle Jeff can teach math, Great Auntie Myrtle knows more about chemistry than you imagine.

    And, if you're one of the Freshwaters, get yourself out, too. There is no room for you in the grtf-welfare school. Save yourselves and save the children.

    Act now, before it's too late.

    Mr. O'bama, where are the Jobs?

  • http://www.facebook.com/aemoreira81 Adam Moreira

    If it was up to me, I would have dismissed Freshwater for reckless behavior in the situation that caused the X to be burned, when that was completely preventable. Now that it came down to the issue of evolution versus creationism, to me, I'd really need to see the lesson plan and any test materials before passing judgment, as the key word in freedom of religion is freedom...that is, to not be forced to learn creationism.

  • REM1875

    question the heresy called global warming and see how long you remain employed. Liberals are very tolerant, in fact they are all about tolerence -unless of course you disagree with them..

  • Buford

    Liberals are the reason that Dark Ages get started. When the state takes control of the church, that is the end of free thought.

  • Gringo Infidel

    If this teacher had a koran on his desk and was fired there would be riots and violence.

    Where does it say 'separation of church and state' in the Constitution of the US? Perhaps in the Bill of Rights? Nope. Its origins lay in a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote. This premise has been hijacked and abused by atheists and fools to try and remove all public references to Christianity.

    But is okay - we out number them and have awakened to their evil deeds. We will not stand idly by.