Mount Vernon, OH – An Ohio teacher was fired for keeping a Bible on his desk and allegedly pushing his religious views. John Freshwater was terminated from his teaching position after an investigation concluded that he had shared his Christian beliefs in the classroom. Freshwater believes his firing was unconstitutional, and the case is now heading to the Ohio Supreme Court.
John Freshwater was accused of preaching his religious beliefs when the topics of homosexuality and evolution were discussed in the classroom. The Mount Vernon school teacher was also found to be insubordinate for failing to remove the Bible from his desk, ABC News reports.
An allegations that the Ohio teacher used a “science tool” to burn a cross on students arms was ultimately resolved and reportedly not a factor in his termination. The Ohio Supreme Court made the decision to hear Freshwater’s case on Wednesday. The Mount Vernon School District’s decision to fire the teacher was upheld by two lower courts. The school district spent nearly $1 million during the legal battle, according to the Christian Post.
The Ohio Supreme Court noted that John Freshwater can argue that the presence of a Bible, or other religious text, does not present a Constitutional basis for termination. The Christian teacher’s attorneys are reportedly also free to argue that it is not acceptable to fire an employee without giving “clear guidance” on permissible teaching methods and materials.
In court documents, Defense attorney Kelly Hamilton wrote:
“Freshwater did not engage in religious proselytization, he discussed a scientific theory that happens to be consistent with the teachings of multiple major world religions.”
The former Mount Vernon middle school science teacher allegedly encouraged students to examine hypotheses and theories and then question and differentiate between the information.
Do you think the Ohio teacher should have been fired for having a Bible on his desk and discussing religion in the classroom?
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