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Ohio Supreme Court: Biology Teacher Can’t Teach Creationism

A picture from the report released by the Moun...

A picture from the report released by the Mount Vernon City School District of the marks left on the child’s arm after contact with the Tesla coil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week, there was an important Ohio court ruling on religious freedom.

At issue was a public school science teacher, John Freshwater, who distributed creationist materials to students and surveyed kids about religion. (He is also well known for burning crosses into students’ forearms, but that is a different court case.) The Mt. Vernon City School District told him to stop, but he refused, so Freshwater was fired. The teacher then sued, claiming the district was stifling his First Amendment rights to free speech.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled against Freshwater. In a 4-3 decision, the Ohio high court said Mt. Vernon City School District had the right to fire Freshwater because the First Amendment does not let him to ignore orders from his bosses or display whatever religious items he pleases in his classroom.

The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that, under the First Amendment, public schools cannot teach creationism as science. That, combined with his brazen disregard for the school district’s instructions, seems to make dismissal a no-brainer.

Here’s the thing that jumps out: it was a 4-3 ruling. In other words, three justices on the Court concluded that the teacher was justified in blowing off the school district, scientific cannon, biology, the religious liberties of his students, and legal precedent.

The ruling is online here    

Via MSNBC.

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