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View Full Version : teacher burns crosses into students hand to teach science


Expat
Apr 24th, 2008, 01:48 AM
There's an ugly case brewing in Ohio. A popular middle school science teacher has been ordered to remove his copy of the bible from his desk. On the face of it, I think letting a teacher have a bible on his desk or on his person should not be a problem — it's nothing but a personal tchotchke, and it's not worth fighting over. John Freshwater, though, has made it more than an expression of personal preference. He is proselytizing in the public school classroom. Freshwater is responsible for turning this into a church-state separation case; he's one of those particularly obnoxious Christians who wrap themselves in sanctimony and loudly demand that they have more than a right to believe (a right I would defend), they have a right to tell their students what they must believe, and who uses every opportunity to evangelize in defiance of his professional responsibilities.

The school has a right and an obligation to tell him to knock it off, and if he won't comply, they should hold him in violation of his contract and fire him. But I wouldn't have him fired for being a pretentious Christian, only for refusal to do his job.

There's another reason he should be fired, however, and the school district should take advantage of his intransigence over his stupid bible to kick his sorry ass off the faculty. He's an incompetent science teacher.

In one class, Freshwater used Lego pieces to describe the beginning of the world. He dumped the pieces, then asked students if the Legos could assemble by themselves, said Joe Stuart, 18, assistant editor of the high-school newspaper.

When Freshwater taught students about electrical current, he used a device to leave a red mark in the shape of a cross on the forearms of some students, Stuart said.

"If it were just about the Bible, I don't think people would have a problem with it," Stuart said.

In his evaluations through the 21 years he's worked for the district, Freshwater has drawn consistent praise for his strong rapport with students, broad knowledge of his subject matter and engaging teaching style.

In 2006, he was instructed to remove from his curriculum a handout titled "Darwin's Theory of Evolution — The Premise and the Problem." A parent had questioned its validity and use in a science classroom.

Mr Stuart is wise. It's not the bible at all. It's that he's a deluded creationist teaching lies to students in a science class. Unfortunately, there's little recourse for expelling bad teachers (and his popularity is not an indication that he's a good teacher, don't make that mistake) on the basis of incompetence.

And the cross thing is just plain bizarre. Burning religious symbols into students' flesh is not a way to teach them about the physics of electricity; what next, will he teach about the chemistry of oxidation reactions by burning heretical students at a stake? Even religious parents in the community are disturbed by this kook:

The fax stated, "We are religious people, but we were offended when Mr. Freshwater burned a cross onto the arm of our child. This was done in science class in December 2007, where an electric shock machine was used to burn our child. The burn was severe enough that our child awoke that night with severe pain, and the cross remained there for several weeks. ... We have tried to keep this a private matter and hesitate to tell the whole story to the media for fear that we will be retaliated against."

These same parents also expressed the key issue in separation of church and state:

Short said it is alleged that Freshwater used his classroom to advance religion and that he teaches his own beliefs from the Bible and not the approved curriculum. In the fax, the parents also said, "We are Christians who practice our faith where it belongs, at church and in our home and, most importantly, outside the public classroom, where the law requires a separation of church and state."

Freshwater can believe whatever he wants. When he decides to use his public school classroom to shove his beliefs down student throats, he's in the wrong and should obey the order to keep his class secular. And when his personal beliefs so scramble his judgment that he can't even teach the evidence and logic of science, his professional duty, fire him.

drake3781
Apr 24th, 2008, 01:51 AM
your writing or copied from somewhere, and if copied, source please?

Expat
Apr 24th, 2008, 01:52 AM
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/04/fire_john_freshwater_for_the_r.php

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/04/18/bible2.html?sid=101

drake3781
Apr 24th, 2008, 02:14 AM
Thanks. Somebody's blog writing, I guess.

Volcana
Apr 24th, 2008, 06:07 AM
If he actually burned a cross into a student's arm, this is a simple case of assault, and a police matter.

*abby*
Apr 24th, 2008, 11:28 AM
"It's that he's a deluded creationist teaching lies to students in a science class."

That annoys me! They are lies in the opinion of the person doing the writing, not everyone else.

marmotte
Apr 24th, 2008, 12:31 PM
"It's that he's a deluded creationist teaching lies to students in a science class."

That annoys me! They are lies in the opinion of the person doing the writing, not everyone else.

you actually think creationism is right ?

kwilliams
Apr 24th, 2008, 02:11 PM
Ugh! Creationism, what a load of crap!

Alizé Molik
Apr 24th, 2008, 02:21 PM
"It's that he's a deluded creationist teaching lies to students in a science class."

That annoys me! They are lies in the opinion of the person doing the writing, not everyone else.

lol you critiqued a generalisation with a generalisation :worship:

Pureracket
Apr 24th, 2008, 02:42 PM
Gee, where are all the supporters of his freedom of religion now? Anyone who is that antagonistic regarding flaunting his "faith" is generally a nutbag... at least that's what I've seen repeatedly.

I hope the guy is fired and the school system is sued and the christo-fascists sect of my religion gain another martyr for their worthless cause. What a horrible excuse for a teacher. Surely the school and school system knew of this beforehand.


He sounds like he belongs in a loony bin, not a classroom.

God: The most popular scapegoat for our sins. ~Mark Twain

young_gunner913
Apr 24th, 2008, 04:08 PM
He was burning his students with a cross? And they just sat there and took it? It seems kinda fishy to me that high school students (most obnoxious, loud, unwilling students in the world) would just sit there and let themselves get burned with a cross.

If it did indeed happen, the teacher needs to be arrested because chances are, most of the students are under the age of 18 which means he can go to jail for causing harm to minors. He's a disgusting bible thumping child molester and he needs to go to jail where he can spend his nights with a big burly man named Little Debbie.

samsung101
Apr 24th, 2008, 04:28 PM
If he physically harmed a child in any way, the child should have reported it (any of the students),
and the school should have done something about it then.

Personally, that's a reason to suspend someone or fire them.

I find it strange it didn't come up before in his tenure.

No, he can't promote Christianity in a public school in his job as a teacher.
He can't force a student to accept his ideas or beliefs.
He can't hurt a student.

If they find he did any of those things, the district should take action.

Period. No two ways about it.

However, this has been going on for a long time?
Previous complaints?
Or new made up things?
Not sure. A full investigation should go forth.

No teacher has a right to harm a student.




He can no more force a student to adhere to one view than a liberal nutcase teacher can do the
same. Although, that normally happens in schools and colleges every day, and no one says anything.
Conservative students are forced to be silent as a teacher or professor shades a class subject
in far left ideas and philosphy - to the exclusion of any other view.

As for the Bible, and other things he may have which are objectionable to some...he's trying to make
a point. If it was Koran, or he had a prayer mat in his room for his own use, would the school district
do the same thing? I doubt it, they'd fold up like a cheap suit to be PC.


There is a case here where a student reported a teacher who degraded his christian beliefs in class - telling
him they were nonsense, stupid, etc. More than a few times. He reported it, and some rallied to his side.
The teacher had a long time anti-Christian, anti-religion view that he pushed on every class. If you went
against it, he would harm you with a poor grade - it is alleged. That's up for review now too.

miffedmax
Apr 24th, 2008, 06:25 PM
If anyone had done that to my kid, losing his job would be the least of his worries.

*abby*
Apr 24th, 2008, 06:37 PM
you actually think creationism is right ?

yes i do, so what?
is it really that absurd?
i'd rather believe that we were created by God than that we all morphed out of little blobs via fish, lizards, monkeys and whatever else.

*abby*
Apr 24th, 2008, 06:38 PM
lol you critiqued a generalisation with a generalisation :worship:

i was meaning that he shouldn't write as though he's speaking on behalf of everyone else when he clearly doesnt know everyone elses opinion on it

Whitehead's Boy
Apr 24th, 2008, 06:50 PM
is it really that absurd?

Yes.

To believe in creationism, you have to deny an enormous amount of empirical data. Because creationism is no longer tenable by any sane person (note: the folks @ "Answers in Genesis" are not sane), the movement morphed into "intelligent design", where God sometimes intervenes in the process of evolution.


i'd rather believe that we were created by God than that we all morphed out of little blobs via fish, lizards, monkeys and whatever else

God, if he exists, can easily use the process of evolution to create the diversity of species. Read Christians like Alister McGrath or John Hick on the issue.

*abby*
Apr 24th, 2008, 07:50 PM
ok yeah i accept that God could easily have created evolution but for a lot of people it's either God OR evolution.
it just really gets my back up that people are so quick to rubbish something i believe in. its not doing anyone any harm. im not one for saying if you dont believe what i believe then youre wrong, i just wish other people would extend the same courtesy.
but thank you for a decent response

Whitehead's Boy
Apr 27th, 2008, 10:35 PM
The relativism that you advocate is not tenable. What if someone comes to you and claim the earth is flat? Or that Napoleon is still alive? Or that there was a talking snake with legs? (Okay, wrong example, that is what Genesis claims).

If the observable reality conflicts with your presuppositions, maybe there is something wrong with your presuppositions.

*abby*
Apr 27th, 2008, 11:36 PM
im gonna be honest, i really dont understand what u just said.its late and ive been doing uni work all day so my brain is fried!

In The Zone
Apr 28th, 2008, 01:31 AM
Believing in Creationism word for word by the Bible, no.

Believing that God is the reasons humans began and all the world and that it evolved into what it is today -- I believe that to be true.

The teacher needs to be suspended/fired immediately. Separation of Church and State is not a pick-and-choose battle.

Whitehead's Boy
Apr 28th, 2008, 02:34 AM
im gonna be honest, i really dont understand what u just said.its late and ive been doing uni work all day so my brain is fried!

I'll try in other words. You're suggesting we should all respect what other people believe as long as it doesn't harm anyone. I can't say I agree, we all have our limits, and I'm sure you do too. Like I said, what if someone comes to you and claim Napoleon is still alive? Surely you're going to tell him that what he believes is silly? The example is bit extreme, but you get the point. We all draw the limits somewhere, we all consider some belief to be silly, or just plain stupid.

The second paragraph, I was saying: if the observable, empirical reality is overwhelming in favor of evolution, could it be that your creationist presupposition is wrong and you need to rethink your position? Why, exactly, are you a creationist? What evidence support it? If it's just a matter of presupposing Genesis is accurate history, do you also believe there was a talking snake with legs and then God cursed it, so it had to crawl on its belly? do you see that, from a non-Christian perspective, it is a silly belief?

gentenaire
Apr 28th, 2008, 06:52 AM
i'd rather believe that we were created by God than that we all morphed out of little blobs via fish, lizards, monkeys and whatever else.

Science is not about believing, it's about facts, about empirical data. And you can't choose your facts. You could say you'd rather believe tomatoes are blue because you think that's a nicer colour than red, this doesn't change the fact that tomatoes are actually red.

*abby*
Apr 28th, 2008, 10:11 AM
I'll try in other words. You're suggesting we should all respect what other people believe as long as it doesn't harm anyone. I can't say I agree, we all have our limits, and I'm sure you do too. Like I said, what if someone comes to you and claim Napoleon is still alive? Surely you're going to tell him that what he believes is silly? The example is bit extreme, but you get the point. We all draw the limits somewhere, we all consider some belief to be silly, or just plain stupid.

The second paragraph, I was saying: if the observable, empirical reality is overwhelming in favor of evolution, could it be that your creationist presupposition is wrong and you need to rethink your position? Why, exactly, are you a creationist? What evidence support it? If it's just a matter of presupposing Genesis is accurate history, do you also believe there was a talking snake with legs and then God cursed it, so it had to crawl on its belly? do you see that, from a non-Christian perspective, it is a silly belief?

ok yeah i get you, but i just think it's different when it comes to religion because most of the time its not a tangable thing that everyone experiences. if i didnt have the personal connection that i do have then yeah i probably would agree with you that a lot of it is stupid. in fact up until say last year i probably would have agreed with you but now i just cant. but im not gonna beat you into submission so that you'll say fine what you believe in is okay if u dont really think that.

i understand that there is evidence for evolution but i guess this is where faith comes in. even without religion id rather believe we were purposely made rather than we were an accident or we came from lower species. i find some stuff in the bible hard to believe like the feeding of the five thousand and other miracles but it comes down to faith. somedays mine is stronger than others. i totally understand where ur coming from but i guess i dont really have an answer.

*abby*
Apr 28th, 2008, 10:13 AM
Science is not about believing, it's about facts, about empirical data. And you can't choose your facts. You could say you'd rather believe tomatoes are blue because you think that's a nicer colour than red, this doesn't change the fact that tomatoes are actually red.

the way i see it is im not choosing to ignore facts, im merely interpreting them in a different way to other people. scientist say fossils prove the link between different species but in my view it could just be that god created loads of different species including the one people see as the link, hence the fossil, it doesnt prove to me that one thing evolved into another. sorry.

homogenius
Apr 28th, 2008, 10:30 AM
Like I said, what if someone comes to you and claim Napoleon is still alive?

Well, actually this pervert was recently seen in China.
He was fucking this slut called Joan of Arc on a picnic table in some park.