Incoming students to John Freshwater's eighth-grade science class were asked if they could survive in a course where textbooks were used only partially and whether religion was important to them, according to questionnaires Mount Vernon school officials found in his classroom.Things would probably have gone better for him if he hadn't been caught in a fib:
An attorney for the school district introduced the forms today as evidence that Freshwater should be fired from his teaching job.
The forms, completed at the start of the school year, were discovered after Freshwater was accused in early 2008 of teaching creationism and intelligent design in addition to science, said David Millstone, the attorney representing the school district.
The Mount Vernon school board, in a 2008 vote, said it intended to fire Freshwater for promoting religion in the classroom, failing to remove religious materials including his personal Bible, and burning crosses on students' arms. He first is entitled to an independent hearing after which a referee will make a recommendation to the board.
Freshwater has denied the allegations against him, saying this month that he might have talked about religion in the classroom to illustrate how bias and "faulty science" can affect the learning process.Nice.
[Attorney David] Millstone asked Freshwater today whether he had ever surveyed incoming students. Freshwater said he hadn't.
But when he was shown at least two completed student questionnaires, he studied them closely and, after a long pause, replied, "It appears like you have gone through my room and taken some stuff out."
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