State pulls negative letter from Fres...

State pulls negative letter from Freshwater's file | The Columbus Dispatch

There are 51 comments on the Columbus Dispatch story from Jul 20, 2011, titled State pulls negative letter from Freshwater's file | The Columbus Dispatch. In it, Columbus Dispatch reports that:

The Ohio Department of Education has removed its letter of admonishment from the disciplinary file of a fired Mount Vernon science teacher while it considers a legal challenge.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Columbus Dispatch.

Florida Gator

Cleveland, OH

#23 Jul 21, 2011
You folks should just stop trying to convince these people with facts their minds, or what passes for one, is already made up. Evolution hasn't been proven and never will, creationism and intelligent design are real science because they are based on belief not on facts or observation nor can either be tested and by golly that's how science should be.
Michelle

Pickerington, OH

#24 Jul 21, 2011
The allegation regarding the burn was never substantiated.
Although the ODE's letter (which has now been removed from John Freshwater's file) claimed that Freshwater injured a student, the letter did not cite any evidence or sources.(I've posted a copy of the "letter of admonishment" on my website; see the article "Ohio Department of Education tries to revive Tesla coil issue."

You are so one sided Knox. He did burn several students and there are pictures to prove it, the burn marks are crosses too. He has no right to teach any child about relgion, that is up to the parents - NOT A TEACHER. He deserves everything he gets thrown at him and won't win. He already lost! He needs to move on and find a new career.

Since: Aug 08

Mount Vernon, OH

#25 Jul 21, 2011
Zelda wrote:
<quoted text>
Exactly!! This underscores how ODE's action was politically motivated in order for the Kasich regime to show its loyalty to its Protestant evangelical supporters.
It also refutes Kasich's campaign promise for more jobs. What biotechnology company would seriously consider moving to a state with a government that thinks it appropriate to substitute the magical thinking of Protestant evangelicals for scientific education?
Mt. Vernon City Schools was justified in terminating Freshwater because he failed to do his job. He was hired to teach science, not proselytize about his faith. And because he failed to do his job, and Ohio is an "at will" state when it comes to employment, the school district was justified in its actions. And that should have been the end of it. Instead, the district has had to pay $900,000 defending their decision. And the district is in financial trouble. Even worse, our state government has undermined the district's decision. And now it appears that the district will have to spend even more money......
If Ohio is dying, it's because we are now being ruled by ignorant, dangerous theocrats.
Zelda said, "Even worse, our state government has undermined the district's decision."

The state government "undermined the district's decision" by issuing the letter of reprimand. By removing the letter from John Freshwater's file the state is being consistent with the decision by the local school board. The letter only mentioned one thing: The Tesla coil burn allegation.

The school board DID NOT include the unsubstantiated burn allegation as part of their basis for firing the teacher.

The referee who oversaw Freshwater's state administrative hearing, R. Lee Shepherd, stated about the allegation of a student being injured:

"Due to the sensational and provocative nature of this specified ground, it and the facts and circumstances surrounding it became the focus of the curious, including those in the video, audio, and print media. Once sworn testimony was presented, it [became] obvious that speculation and imagination had pushed reality aside."

Since: Aug 08

Mount Vernon, OH

#26 Jul 21, 2011
Michelle wrote:
The allegation regarding the burn was never substantiated.
Although the ODE's letter (which has now been removed from John Freshwater's file) claimed that Freshwater injured a student, the letter did not cite any evidence or sources.(I've posted a copy of the "letter of admonishment" on my website; see the article "Ohio Department of Education tries to revive Tesla coil issue."
You are so one sided Knox. He did burn several students and there are pictures to prove it, the burn marks are crosses too. He has no right to teach any child about relgion, that is up to the parents - NOT A TEACHER. He deserves everything he gets thrown at him and won't win. He already lost! He needs to move on and find a new career.
The burn allegation was never substantiated.

The "photos" were never examined by a forensic expert. No medical expert ever examined the arm of the child who claimed to have been injured (the parents did not take their child to the hospital.

According to a doctor who testified at the state administrative hearing, unless the student is a Navy Seal trained in torture techniques, there is no way he would have been able to withstand the "burning" without pulling away.

For more information, see my article "Student Was Not Burned, According To Medical Expert."

http://www.accountabilityinthemedia.com/2010/...

Since: Mar 11

Columbus, OH

#27 Jul 21, 2011
Changes wrote:
I'm sure this guy was given an opprotunity to speak with ODE. If he want's to put his bible down on the corner of his desk, go apply at a private or catholic school. I'm not sure if this whole thing was about the bible or that he was using an instrument to burn students.
I don't plan to defend the guy, I haven't actually followed this story. BUT, what the guy said was "I want to go back to teaching and to put my Bible back in the corner of my desk." Back IN - that tells me he's putting it away - not planning on carrying on with lessons that got him fired in the first place. JMO.....
Michelle

Pickerington, OH

#28 Jul 21, 2011
The burn allegation was never substantiated.

The "photos" were never examined by a forensic expert. No medical expert ever examined the arm of the child who claimed to have been injured (the parents did not take their child to the hospital.

According to a doctor who testified at the state administrative hearing, unless the student is a Navy Seal trained in torture techniques, there is no way he would have been able to withstand the "burning" without pulling away.

For more information, see my article "Student Was Not Burned, According To Medical Expert."

Knox,

Funny how the family won the case!

Since: Aug 08

Mount Vernon, OH

#29 Jul 21, 2011
Michelle wrote:
The burn allegation was never substantiated.
The "photos" were never examined by a forensic expert. No medical expert ever examined the arm of the child who claimed to have been injured (the parents did not take their child to the hospital.
According to a doctor who testified at the state administrative hearing, unless the student is a Navy Seal trained in torture techniques, there is no way he would have been able to withstand the "burning" without pulling away.
For more information, see my article "Student Was Not Burned, According To Medical Expert."
Knox,
Funny how the family won the case!
The family did not win the case; the case was settled out of court by the school's insurance company.

In saying that the family "won" the case you stated that how they "won" the case is "funny." Do you have unreleased/unpublished details about what went on behind the scenes regarding the Federal court matters?(If you do have details about some "funny" business going on behind the scenes then perhaps you should supply that information to the Dispatch so they can do an investigative story.)

Come to think of it, it was odd how the judge granted the Dennis family standing in April 2010.(See my article "Christian Family Objects to Bible in Classroom.")

http://www.accountabilityinthemedia.com/2010/...

It was also odd how the judge made his trash-can decision regarding sanctions.(See my article "What's in the Trash, Stays in the Trash, According to Judge.")

http://www.accountabilityinthemedia.com/2010/...

Michelle, please share with the rest of use about this supposed "funny" business.
wgwII

Findlay, OH

#30 Jul 21, 2011
Knox wrote:
<quoted text>
The family did not win the case; the case was settled out of court by the school's insurance company.
In saying that the family "won" the case you stated that how they "won" the case is "funny." Do you have unreleased/unpublished details about what went on behind the scenes regarding the Federal court matters?(If you do have details about some "funny" business going on behind the scenes then perhaps you should supply that information to the Dispatch so they can do an investigative story.)
Come to think of it, it was odd how the judge granted the Dennis family standing in April 2010.(See my article "Christian Family Objects to Bible in Classroom.")
http://www.accountabilityinthemedia.com/2010/...
It was also odd how the judge made his trash-can decision regarding sanctions.(See my article "What's in the Trash, Stays in the Trash, According to Judge.")
http://www.accountabilityinthemedia.com/2010/...
Michelle, please share with the rest of use about this supposed "funny" business.
Knox- there was mole on the childs arm that under oath was discovered to be in the picture. The picture IS real and multiple people testified under oath this. There was also another Doctor who testified who said the mark IS consistent with a burn that can be left from a Tesla Coil.
If you want to read, perhaps we should read the FEDERAl JUDGE'S opinion where he states that Freshwater was not found credible.
Also the referee just said he did not consider the Tesla Coil in his consideration for rightful termination. He never said it didn't happen or tell Mr Freshwater it was OK. All he said is some of the media used imagination and blew some parts out of proportion when they wrote abut it.

Since: Aug 08

Mount Vernon, OH

#31 Jul 21, 2011
wgwII wrote:
<quoted text>
Knox- there was mole on the childs arm that under oath was discovered to be in the picture. The picture IS real and multiple people testified under oath this. There was also another Doctor who testified who said the mark IS consistent with a burn that can be left from a Tesla Coil.
If you want to read, perhaps we should read the FEDERAl JUDGE'S opinion where he states that Freshwater was not found credible.
Also the referee just said he did not consider the Tesla Coil in his consideration for rightful termination. He never said it didn't happen or tell Mr Freshwater it was OK. All he said is some of the media used imagination and blew some parts out of proportion when they wrote abut it.
wgwII said: "there was mole on the childs arm that under oath was discovered to be in the picture. The picture IS real and multiple people testified under oath this."

By "multiple people" do you mean members of the Dennis family? As an FYI, no one but members of the Dennis family ever testified in the state administrative hearing that they saw a burn on the student's arm.

wgwII said: "There was also another Doctor who testified who said the mark IS consistent with a burn that can be left from a Tesla Coil."

The other doctor was David Levy. Levy said that he did not have any training in forensic analysis of pictures.

Attorney for Freshwater, R. Kelly Hamilton, questioned Levy over his ability to come to a conclusion about what happened based on two photographs:

Q. "My question specifically to you, Doctor, is, could somebody create that particular marking to make it look like a burn but it not actually be a burn?"

A. "I imagine it's possible."

Q. "You can't tell from a deduction of medical evidence as to whether or not that is a fabrication or it is a reality from an electrical instrument, correct?"

A. "Without seeing the arm itself, I could not."

AND

Q. "Would you agree that the best evidence for your review is to see the injury firsthand, correct?"

A. "Yes."

Q.“And seeing it by pictures makes it more difficult to grasp the nature of the injury?”

A. "Yes."

AND

Q. "Can you tell the age of the person by looking at that arm in that picture?"

A. "No."

wgwII said: "If you want to read, perhaps we should read the FEDERAl JUDGE'S opinion where he states that Freshwater was not found credible."

I did read the judge's opinion, and I was present in federal court for the hearing that preceded the judge's written opinion.(See my article "What's in the Trash, Stays in the Trash, According to Judge.")

http://www.accountabilityinthemedia.com/2010/...
Michelle

Pickerington, OH

#32 Jul 21, 2011
Knox,

Again you are so one sided and only tell half the story. Apparently you are friends with Freshwater to keep defending him over and over and over again. What he did was wrong bottom line.

Since: Aug 08

Mount Vernon, OH

#33 Jul 21, 2011
Michelle wrote:
Knox,
Again you are so one sided and only tell half the story. Apparently you are friends with Freshwater to keep defending him over and over and over again. What he did was wrong bottom line.
Do you believe that it was wrong for Mr. Freshwater to have a Bible on his classroom desk?
Michelle

Pickerington, OH

#34 Jul 21, 2011
Knox,

I believe it is wrong that he pushed his beliefs on childern. It is not his place to teach religion to children, that is up to the parents. He told his students not to tell parents about certain things he was teaching. He messed up and needs to face the consequences.
wgwII

Findlay, OH

#35 Jul 21, 2011
Knox wrote:
<quoted text>
wgwII said: "there was mole on the childs arm that under oath was discovered to be in the picture. The picture IS real and multiple people testified under oath this."
By "multiple people" do you mean members of the Dennis family? As an FYI, no one but members of the Dennis family ever testified in the state administrative hearing that they saw a burn on the student's arm.
wgwII said: "There was also another Doctor who testified who said the mark IS consistent with a burn that can be left from a Tesla Coil."
The other doctor was David Levy. Levy said that he did not have any training in forensic analysis of pictures.
Attorney for Freshwater, R. Kelly Hamilton, questioned Levy over his ability to come to a conclusion about what happened based on two photographs:
Q. "My question specifically to you, Doctor, is, could somebody create that particular marking to make it look like a burn but it not actually be a burn?"
A. "I imagine it's possible."
Q. "You can't tell from a deduction of medical evidence as to whether or not that is a fabrication or it is a reality from an electrical instrument, correct?"
A. "Without seeing the arm itself, I could not."
AND
Q. "Would you agree that the best evidence for your review is to see the injury firsthand, correct?"
A. "Yes."
Q.“And seeing it by pictures makes it more difficult to grasp the nature of the injury?”
A. "Yes."
AND
Q. "Can you tell the age of the person by looking at that arm in that picture?"
A. "No."
wgwII said: "If you want to read, perhaps we should read the FEDERAl JUDGE'S opinion where he states that Freshwater was not found credible."
I did read the judge's opinion, and I was present in federal court for the hearing that preceded the judge's written opinion.(See my article "What's in the Trash, Stays in the Trash, According to Judge.")
http://www.accountabilityinthemedia.com/2010/...
You are wrong on that. There were other kids who said they also had marks on their arms, and the teacher admitted using the tesla coil on students and that it left a mark. He just called it an "x". Their also WERE other students who testified that they saw a mark on the child in question, one even drew a picture of it while under oath. There also were others in the Federal case who said they saw it. But unlike you I will not post transcripts or childrens names.

I agree with the Federal Judge opinion. The teacher has changes his story SOO many times I don't think he even knows which version he is on.
wgwII

Findlay, OH

#36 Jul 21, 2011
Knox wrote:
<quoted text>
Do you believe that it was wrong for Mr. Freshwater to have a Bible on his classroom desk?
For any teacher to have a Bible simply on their desk would be OK. The problem I see with this question is that you ask specifically about Mr Freshwater. So my answer would be different. You would also have to add Bible versus on the walls, multiple Ten Commandments, multiple Bibles in the room, books and videos religious in nature, along with discussions of Easter and Good Friday, a book titled Jesus of Nazareth, a bag of Bibles etc etc.....

Since: Aug 08

Mount Vernon, OH

#37 Jul 21, 2011
Michelle wrote:
Knox,
I believe it is wrong that he pushed his beliefs on childern. It is not his place to teach religion to children, that is up to the parents. He told his students not to tell parents about certain things he was teaching. He messed up and needs to face the consequences.
Michelle said, "I believe it is wrong that he pushed his beliefs on childern."

What did he do that you believe constitutes pushing his beliefs on children?

Was it allowing the STUDENTS to express their own views on origin science?

Was it offering an optional extra credit assignment to see Expelled, a documentary about VIEWPOINT DISCRIMINATION, and then write a short report about the film?

Was it allowing STUDENTS to say "here" when the students thought something was questionable in the textbook?

The example that the state administrative hearing referee identified as being the "most egregious" of Freshwater's supposed "failure to adhere to established curriculum" is the now debunked claim that Freshwater made remarks about homosexuality during class.(See my article "Witness impeached by school records.")

http://www.accountabilityinthemedia.com/2011/...

Michelle said, "He told his students not to tell parents about certain things he was teaching."

Why would he not want his students to share with their parents about what they were learning in class? What is your basis for claiming he didn't want students to share about what they were learning?
Michelle

Pickerington, OH

#38 Jul 21, 2011
Knox,

You truly are crazy and into this case waaaaaaaaaaaaaay to much. Get a life!

Since: Aug 08

Mount Vernon, OH

#39 Jul 21, 2011
wgwII wrote:
<quoted text>
For any teacher to have a Bible simply on their desk would be OK. The problem I see with this question is that you ask specifically about Mr Freshwater. So my answer would be different. You would also have to add Bible versus on the walls, multiple Ten Commandments, multiple Bibles in the room, books and videos religious in nature, along with discussions of Easter and Good Friday, a book titled Jesus of Nazareth, a bag of Bibles etc etc.....
I agree with you that "For any teacher to have a Bible simply on their desk would be OK."

You go on, though, to describe a scenario with more items than simply a Bible on a desk.

If you were the administrator and a teacher had multiple religious items in the classroom would you tell the teacher to remove all the religious items? Or would you allow the teacher to choose one or two of the items to keep on the desk?
wgwII

Findlay, OH

#40 Jul 21, 2011
Knox wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree with you that "For any teacher to have a Bible simply on their desk would be OK."
You go on, though, to describe a scenario with more items than simply a Bible on a desk.
If you were the administrator and a teacher had multiple religious items in the classroom would you tell the teacher to remove all the religious items? Or would you allow the teacher to choose one or two of the items to keep on the desk?
You only asked if it was OK to have a Bible on a desk. I replied. So I will ask you, would you allow a teacher to keep a Wiccan book, the Koran, a Satan Worshipping Bible? Not all of them but only one? And if that teacher had posters supporting those beliefs in the class?

Kids were taught to say "here" by the teacher. The kids didn't come up with that themselves. It happened year after year. This was a science class by the way. Not social studies or a comparitive religious class.
wgw

Findlay, OH

#41 Jul 21, 2011
"The example that the state administrative hearing referee identified as being the "most egregious" of Freshwater's supposed "failure to adhere to established curriculum" is the now debunked claim that Freshwater made remarks about homosexuality during class."

This is a self proclaimed "debunkment" by you. It is NOT debunked. For someone so supportive of people getting due process you sure aren't interested in allowing others those rights!!!

Since: Aug 08

Mount Vernon, OH

#42 Jul 21, 2011
wgw wrote:
"The example that the state administrative hearing referee identified as being the "most egregious" of Freshwater's supposed "failure to adhere to established curriculum" is the now debunked claim that Freshwater made remarks about homosexuality during class."
This is a self proclaimed "debunkment" by you. It is NOT debunked. For someone so supportive of people getting due process you sure aren't interested in allowing others those rights!!!
Actually, the information that debunked the witness' testimony was the attendance records from the school. Are you against that information being available to the public?

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