The local school board voted to dismiss Freshwater in June because “Freshwater preached his Christian beliefs about how the world began, discredited evolution and didn’t teach the required science curriculum, the board says. He was told to stop teaching creationism and intelligent design, but he continued to do so, an investigation found.” In addition, the school board released a report showing that Freshwater branded a Christian cross into one student’s arm and several teachers complained for eleven years about Freshwater’s incorrect teaching of evolution. Two of the parents’ of the children branded filed a lawsuit against Freshwater and the school district. He gave an extra-credit assignment for students to see the pro-intelligent design movie Expelled:No Intelligence Allowed, using Jonathan Wells’ discredited Icons of Evolution and work by convicted felon Kent Hovind. According to CNN, “The report also cites evidence that Mr. Freshwater told his students that ‘science is wrong because the Bible states that homosexuality is a sin and so anyone who is gay chooses to be gay and is therefore a sinner’.”
The Ten Commandments together with other posters of a religious nature were posted in Mr. Freshwater’s classroom. Most were removed after Mr. White’s letter of April 14, 2008, but at least one poster remained which Mr. Freshwater was again instructed to remove on April 16, 2008, but did not do so.
Mr. Freshwater engaged in prayer during FCA meetings in violation of the district’s legal obligations for monitoring such organizations.
I’ve heard a few things lately that the right-wing/Christian media have focused specifically on one issue: keeping a Bible on his desk (which is not any kind of offense, and certainly not one that would get him fired). They continually harp on this one issue and ignore everything else – creating the perception that Freshwater was fired for one and only one thing: keeping a Bible on his desk. Obviously, this gets the Christian / conservative / pro-free-speech people riled up because it creates the illusion of a heavy-handed liberal establishment firing a guy for having a Bible on his desk – as if the “liberals” are out to ban religion, and having a Bible can get you fired from a job.
Here’s a video clip from Breitbart.tv titled “Hundreds Turn Out to Back Science Teacher Fired for Keeping Bible on His Desk”. See how long you have to watch the video before they even mention anything Freshwater did wrong (other than the allegation that he kept a Bible on his desk).
And now watch the ensuing hysteria:
We know it is almost criminal to carry a Bible and worse to have it in your desk at a public school–if you are a techer.This is the state of things in our nation,where christian science teachers are no longer welcomed at public schools nation wide,just because they believe in the Bible… We are in the days in which christianism is gonna be outlawed in the US,while paganism and atheism is embraced gladly by the masses that have hardened their hearts and hate and fight any mention of God anywhere in the country,especially in the public arena…May God help us!!!!!!!!!!! (Source)
It seems obvious this man is being persectuted because of his faith. I would go so far as to call it a witchhunt..being accused of burning a cross into a student’s arm as if he is some crazed zealot because it is well known that he is Christian. To fire a man with over his faith would be UNHEARD of…