Ohio court spars on science teacher’s creationist lessons

Mar 4, 2013 by

COLUMBUS, Ohio State Supreme Court justices sparred with lawyers on Wednesday in a heated hour of arguments over the extent to which a now-fired public school science teacher had the right to push his religious beliefs in class.

A lawyer for the school board that dismissed John Freshwater in 2011 said he waved a Bible at his students, handed out religious pamphlets and espoused creationism in his evolution lessons.

Freshwater violated the constitutional separation between church and state and was rightfully fired, said David Smith, an attorney for the Mount Vernon School Board.

Creationist teacher accused of burning crosses into students’ arms

Smith said Freshwater can’t “teach evolution from a Christian perspective” without violating constitutional protections against government establishment of religion.

“There is no academic freedom of the teacher to do that,” Smith argued. “This is not a case about industrial hemp. It’s not a case about the Iraqi war. Political sociological viewpoint is something completely different.”

Freshwater’s attorney, Rita Dunaway, said accounts of Freshwater’s class conduct were exaggerated and he was exercising his academic freedom to explore controversial ideas.

via Ohio court spars on science teacher’s creationist lessons – CBS News.

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