June 24th, 2008 08:11 EST
Ohio Teacher Axed for Branding Students with image of Cross
"The school board of a small central Ohio community voted unanimously Friday to fire a teacher accused of preaching his Christian beliefs despite staff complaints and using a device to burn the image of a cross on students` arms.
School board members voted 5-0 to fire Mount Vernon Middle School science teacher John Freshwater. Board attorney David Millstone said Freshwater is entitled to a hearing to challenge the dismissal."
Quotation from the Associated Press
It`s distressing that a science teacher, who is supposed to rely on empirical truth, is teaching religious myths and superstitions to his students.
Children have impressionable minds and they rightfully regard teachers as authority figures, they will believe almost anything their teachers tells them. A child will believe that Santa Claus can deliver billions of presents in one night, and that Jesus Christ can walk on water and raise the dead.
Freshwater took advantage of his position of authority to promulgate his religious views, and even if he had not branded his students with an image of a cross he should have been fired.
Freshwater used a high-frequency generator to brand his students, and this is supposed to be a painless technique. But this is an invasive procedure-- not to mention an unforgiveable breach of the doctrine of separation of church and state.
Even in a small central Ohio community there are religious minorities like Muslims and Hindus; it is cruel for students who aren`t Christian to be forced to sit in a class where the teacher is espousing Christian doctrines.
Some parents have defended Freshwater, arguing that he did nothing wrong because Christianity is the predominant religion in their town. I wonder how they would feel if their kids came home with a pentagram branded on their arms by a Satan-worshipping teacher.
Freshwater has branded himself as a religious fanatic who must never again be allowed anywhere near children.