Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Reflections on a Bad Science Teacher

There is a postscript in the Columbus Dispatch on the fired science teacher, John Freshwater, who burned the cross into the arm of a student. A few things are seeing the light of day:

Eighth-graders who were taught by John Freshwater frequently had to be re-taught in high school what they were supposed to have learned in Freshwater's class, according to outside investigators hired by the district.

Nothing like being automatically put behind because you don't have the necessary scientific knowledge or skills to compete. There is also this about the cross-branding:

Freshwater told investigators the marks were X's, not crosses. But all of the students interviewed in the investigation reported being branded with crosses. The investigation report includes a photo of one student's arm with a long vertical line and a short horizontal line running through it.

Okay, so that misses the point: why was he burning x's into the arms of students? He doesn't even lie well. He was defended by one of his friends, who said:

"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," he said.

That is sort of like saying "well, with the exception of the child molestation charges, he really is a good guy." If I were the parents of some of these students, I would hold the school board and the school complicit in this fiasco. Some of these kids will be in school longer than 12 years and the ones who do graduate won't know anything about evolution. Incredible.

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