Anti-ScienceReligionSkepticism

Um, I don’t support this…..

In case it’s unclear to anyone… I do not support this kind of thing:

John Freshwater is a science teacher at Mount Vernon Middle School in Ohio. A public school.

He preaches his Christian beliefs in class.

He teaches Creationism/Intelligent Design.

He kept the Ten Commandments on the door of his classroom until he was finally forced to take it down.

He failed to remove a Bible from his classroom even after he was asked to get rid of it.

He gave his students extra credit if they saw the sham that is Expelled and completed an assignment explaining “why it is important to examine this objectively and not let bias affect your observations.”

Oh… and he burns crosses into his students arms.

And it ain’t just the branding that I disagree with. I concur with Hemant when he says, “Why this man is even allowed near children amazes me.” At least he’s finally being fired (thanks to Emory for pointing out this update).

Oh, and just for the record, I vehemently despise the Discovery Institute and William Dembski.

When you read this, I will be somewhere between Chicago and Warsaw. I didn’t want to leave with rumors going around that I’d come out as a creationist! 

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Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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14 Comments

  1. Are you, by any chance, referring to Warsaw, Indiana (as opposed to Warsaw, Poland)?

    I just so happen to live in Warsaw IN. It’s excessively conservative here. At least, the people who vote and start churches are. It’s really hard to know about the rest of us, because we’re a nice quiet bunch.

  2. Well, she’s going to Lithuania, so I can’t imagine a reason for a stopover in Indiana… but you never know, it’s not like flying routes have ever really made a whole lot of sense.

  3. This is the sort of thing that really bugs me:

    Freshwater’s friend Dave Daubenmire defended him.

    “With the exception of the cross-burning episode … I believe John Freshwater is teaching the values of the parents in the Mount Vernon school district,”

    My understanding has always been that it is not a public school teacher’s job to teach values, aside from those that relate to scholarship. If he has such a hard time teaching his subject matter without personal bias, maybe he should have chosen a different career.

  4. @Jsug: I’ve been arguing for a while that schools should teach some basic values like the duties of citizenship, common courtesy, even some rudimentary etiquette.

    BUT I want them taught in a separate course.

    The benefit (or draw-back if you are a sneaky fanatic) is that the curriculum would be above-board and open to public review and debate.

    I am sure that no one is surprised to know that some of the people who most oppose my crazy, liberal idea as a subversion of their parenting also support rogue teachers like Mr. Freshwater.

  5. “why it is important to examine this objectively and not let bias affect your observations.”

    Summary of the paper I would write:

    “Because then you won’t get taken in by obvious propaganda such as this intellectually dishonest piece of tripe made by know-nothing self-righteous politicians who have gotten above their station that our teacher (who could do a LOT more objective examinations of things himself) forced us to endure.”

    I’d probably get an F.

  6. @Jsug: I’ve been arguing for a while that schools should teach some basic values like the duties of citizenship, common courtesy, even some rudimentary etiquette.

    My 8th grade social studies class covered the US constitution and the duties of citizenship. Courtesy and etiquette tend to be more subjective. Everyone thinks the people around them need to learn some manners ;o)

  7. Everyone thinks the people around them need to learn some manners

    That’s exactly what got me thinking about teaching values in schools. If “everyone thinks” we have a problem, maybe we should address it.

  8. Hard to believe this can still happen. In the mid 90s my daughter had a science teacher like this who kept a Bible on his desk and called the kids “stupid” because they couldn’t guess that the volcano he was thinking of was Pompeii?!?! . . .he ripped her pentacle off her neck after she said something sarcastic and only got the rest of the year (three days) off with pay. The police wouldn’t even let me press charges. SHE got suspended for being disrespectful. I was so angry.

    I started to home school shortly after that. Best choice I ever made.

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