Wednesday, April 23, 2008

John Freshwater teaching creationism in an Ohio school, and Pharyngula's bizarre reaction

Recently, PZ Myers of Pharyngula brought up the case of John Freshwater. He's a science teacher who keeps a Bible on his desk.

He also, "When Freshwater taught students about electrical current, he used a device to leave a red mark in the shape of a cross on the forearms of some students". He used electricity to do what?!

Some parents describe the "red mark" in a little more detail:

The News received a fax Tuesday from attorney Jessica Philemond of the law firm Isaac, Brant, Ledman & Teetor, who issued a statement from her clients, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of their child being retaliated against.

The fax stated, “We are religious people, but we were offended when Mr. Freshwater burned a cross onto the arm of our child. This was done in science class in December 2007, where an electric shock machine was used to burn our child. The burn was severe enough that our child awoke that night with severe pain, and the cross remained there for several weeks. ... We have tried to keep this a private matter and hesitate to tell the whole story to the media for fear that we will be retaliated against.”

That "make a red mark" on the child's arm was a burn. This sonofabitch was burning children. That he was doing it with the cross is adding insult to injury, but PZ Myers, the Columbus Dispatch and the Mount Vernon News are focusing on the religious implications of this and they're sort passing by that students were intentionally burned by this teacher!

If this guy was puffing on a cigarette and asking kids over and snubbing it out on their arm, that would be the story. The story would be about how this guy is a child abuser who snuffs out cigarettes on student's arms. But because he uses a gadget to brand children with the cross, it's about . . . religion?!

I have said before that most religions are systemized child abuse. I have said before that religion gets a free pass in our religion to abuse children. I have said that even atheists still believe that religion is somehow exceptional and should be held to different standards than other beliefs and organizations. That not even PZ Myers can see that this is child abuse and that child abuse is way more important than the church and state religion, and the fact that seemingly everyone else is missing the fact this guy is branding students I think amply displays all of this.

C'mon, guys, this is about the child abuse!


Anonymous said...

I think you missed the point of PZ's post. The comment about religion is a final thought. He refered to the burning as "just plain bizarre".

Either way he should be fired. Perhaps from a cannon.


Chris Bradley said...

I didn't miss the point. I just thought it was a superficial point. To complain that this guy who is torturing children has a Bible on his desk is, I think, silly.

Anonymous said...

i am a student at Mount Vernon High School and last year had Mr. Freshwater as an 8th grade science teacher. This man should have been fired years ago, far before the branding of a students arm. I have been raised Catholic, and many times we asked him to allow Catholics to be added to his "Fellowship of Christian Athletes" conversation, allow a priest to come in to talk. His exact response was, "I as a True Christian can not allow my students to bear witness to this." I am an atheist though, and he constantly is mixing religion into the classroom, straight out shunning certain students. The only reason anyone is now coming out and saying anything is because in the last year Mount Vernon administration has changed, being that the previous principal and vice principal encouraged him and allowed him to do this.

Chris Bradley said...

Whoa, hey, thank you for commenting!

taylorSiluwé ..... said...

The MOST stunning thing about this whole situation is that not one parent went down to the school and kicked his ass up the block. Amazing!

Anonymous said...

this webpage is posting updates on the hearings

Anonymous said...

um i went to the middle when he was teaching taught there(im freshman in highschool now). honestly he was a great teacher and person. i mean some of what he did was wrong but he didnt burn anyone. all the science teachers there use the electrostatic thing. we did when i was in 6th grade. it doesnt hurt at all and the mark goes a way really fast. and some of the other mount vernon teachers had bibles on their desks and nothing has ever been said about that.Honestly this just getting out of hand. Everyone loved him as a teacher except a select few.