Remember the case of John Freshwater, the Ohio science teacher who burned a cross into a student’s arm and decorates his desk with Christian kitsch? He’s a raving mad loon, but he’s also fun and popular with the Christian kids at school (who are, naturally, a majority).
Freshwater’s action and the administration’s inaction, the lawsuit states, “have the purpose and effect of endorsing religion over non-religion and Christianity over other religious beliefs, thus violating the neutrality portion of the Establishment Clause.”
In addition to asking the court to issue an injunction against the teaching of religion in the school, the plaintiffs seek compensatory damages, punitive damages, reasonable attorney fees, prejudgment interest and post judgment costs, and other relief the court deems appropriate.
Read the whole thing. It sounds open-and-shut to me, since not only is Freshwater plainly promoting sectarian religion in the public school classroom, he’s proud of it and brags about his advocacy. One wild card, though: the plaintiffs want a jury trial. That isn’t always a plus in a case that’s trying to protect a minority view.
They’re also just asking that Freshwater stop peddling his sectarian nonsense in the classroom (plus damages and costs), so I don’t think he’ll get to achieve his desired martyrdom.
Also at FCA [Fellowship of Christian Athletes] meetings, the suit alleges that Freshwater distributed Bibles for the students present to give to other students at the school who were not present, and that an invited speaker told students “they should disobey the law to further their own religion, even if it means going to jail.”
Jail isn’t at stake here, nor are they asking that he be fired. Just please stop using the classroom as a pulpit.