If you’ve been following Richard Hoppe’s coverage of the John Freshwater trial on the Panda’s Thumb, you know this event has been dragging along like the OJ trial, only with less media pandemonium and now, at last, a less unsatisfying outcome. Freshwater, you may recall, is the bible-thumping public school science teacher who was more interested in promoting Christianity than science in the classroom, and whose most egregious error was using a gadget to burn crosses into students’ arms.
He’ll be getting his sadistic Christian jollies at the expense of students no more: John Freshwater has been officially terminated from employment by the Mount Vernon school district.
It’s a win-win situation. Now the students will (we hope) get decent science educations and no longer be afflicted with an evangelical freak, and Freshwater can now move on to his lucrative new career as martyr.
There is one loser, though: the taxpayers of Mount Vernon, Ohio. They get to pay the $900,000 bill. That’s a message that every school district should take to heart—if you’ve got a teacher who uses the public school classroom to proselytize, to peddle religion or creationism, you’ve got a major liability on your hands.