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← Mount Vernon schools to hire investigator in Bible case

Mount Vernon schools to hire investigator in Bible case - Comments

bluehillside's Avatar Comment 1 by bluehillside

"Last week, Middle School Principal William D. White told Freshwater to remove "all religious items" from his classroom.

Freshwater agreed to take down the Ten Commandments, posters with Bible verses and Bibles on a shelf. But he refused to remove his personal Bible from his desk."

Fine - I suggest concerned parents have their kids exrcise the same right and have copies of The God Delusion on their desks.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 07:53:00 UTC | #160252

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 2 by irate_atheist

Is it a small investigator or a large case? I think we should be told.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 08:09:00 UTC | #160262

Szymanowski's Avatar Comment 3 by Szymanowski

Hang on, this guy has been accused of very serious crimes and the only repercussion is that his own employer hires a (visible) "investigator" to monitor him temporarily?

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 08:16:00 UTC | #160274

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 4 by irate_atheist

3. Comment #168668 by Szymanowski -

Yeah. But the investigator's in a Bible case. There aren't many investigators that can fit one. The school board can't be too choosey.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 08:26:00 UTC | #160281

jiujitstheist's Avatar Comment 5 by jiujitstheist

I live in the columbus area and was suprised to see this as I hadn't heard anything about it before seeing it on this site.
What doesn't suprise me is this wack-a-doo.
I'm sorry to say that these types of fools are all over the place here.
The "Church" of Scientcrockery is trying to get permission to build a big new building in the area.
I work in the same cubicle as a Fundy.
Don't get me started................

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 08:49:00 UTC | #160305

Adam Morrison's Avatar Comment 6 by Adam Morrison

Well, he should be up on charges for burning crosses into peoples arms.

If there was a divine justice, he'd end up in prison and have the stuffing pummeled out of him at some point.

But since there isn't, hopefully he'll at least get a substantial monetary slap and a freshly-filled pink slip.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 09:03:00 UTC | #160317

Chris Bell's Avatar Comment 7 by Chris Bell

As to "just" hiring an investigator, it's a big step. The point is that the investigator will confirm/deny the allegations, and then the school can fire the guy with legal protection.

Very smart, I think.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 09:06:00 UTC | #160323

CambrianExplosion's Avatar Comment 8 by CambrianExplosion

"If they were going to do anything, they should have taken him out and told him, instead of making all this news about it, and making such a commotion."

They DID tell. He refused. Blinders are for horses, not people. Sigh.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 09:56:00 UTC | #160389

Ty_Webb's Avatar Comment 9 by Ty_Webb

I don't see what the problem is with teaching the meaning of Good Friday and Easter. Where's the harm in "Good Friday is the day Christians believe that Jesus was sacrificed for mankind's sins and Easter is the day that everyone found out actually he wasn't sacrificed at all, he merely popped out for a couple of days."

I would have no objection to this at all. I would however be hoping that the teacher in question will get to spend some time as a guest of the state for burning crosses into children's arms.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 10:13:00 UTC | #160405

hoops mccann's Avatar Comment 10 by hoops mccann

Adam Morrison:
"Well, he should be up on charges for burning crosses into peoples arms. "

That's even worse than burning them on peoples lawns.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 10:18:00 UTC | #160410

jimbob's Avatar Comment 11 by jimbob

Is this guy related to Chuck Norris?

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 10:33:00 UTC | #160429

MrPickwick's Avatar Comment 12 by MrPickwick

Ok this is all very interesting but you are all missing the point... was Satan succesfully removed or not?

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 11:17:00 UTC | #160479

Opisthokont's Avatar Comment 13 by Opisthokont

The problem here, with this teacher, is not that he was explaining the meaning of Christian holidays to his class. He was actively proselytising his students. Moreover, he was doing so in a science class. He has absolutely no business even bringing up the topic in such a circumstance, and he should not be allowed to push his beliefs on his students.

Meanwhile, I am highly suspicious of the efficacy of sending an investigator to his class to observe his behaviour. Unless he is a complete moron, he can act like a civilised, secular teacher for the period that the investigator is present, and revert to his previous behaviour afterward. I would be surprised if he were not at least to tone down his activity during such a period. How stupid would he have to be to continue burning crosses into students' arms if he knows that such activity is controversial?!

One can only hope that he is not so wily as I expect, and that whatever shenanigans he has been up to can be documented. But I doubt that such is possible. The administrators have tipped their hand, and any hope for an objective confirmation has been eliminated.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 11:30:00 UTC | #160489

Elles's Avatar Comment 14 by Elles

Having a Bible on your desk, fine. My English teacher kept The God Delusion on her desk for a while... until I told her she'd been borrowing it from me for too long.

Telling your students what Good Friday and Easter are all about, fine. You can tell students what certain religions believe objectively. It's when you start rambling about "Jesus Christ our LORD and savior..." that it become preaching.

Burning crosses into your students arms...

That's just a clear sign of mental instability. Fire the man.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 11:50:00 UTC | #160513

Adam Morrison's Avatar Comment 15 by Adam Morrison

Re: hoops mccann, mr pickwick

Well played sirs, well played.

Though you never know, he could be the type that has to dress up like a ghost with a pointy head from time to time.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 12:50:00 UTC | #160583

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 16 by robotaholic

when he's fired he should be escorted out by police officers IMHO - and wow branding people is kind of rough don't ya think? - they're not cows (er sheep)

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 13:24:00 UTC | #160636

ebugogo's Avatar Comment 17 by ebugogo

Imagine the school's response if that teacher had a book of wicca on his desk & burned a pentagram onto students.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 13:57:00 UTC | #160717

k1mgy's Avatar Comment 18 by k1mgy

Are these religious types really so insecure that they need a bible on their desk?

Pathetic.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 14:48:00 UTC | #160774

24fps's Avatar Comment 19 by 24fps

I wouldn't care about a teacher having a bible on his desk -- who cares? Proselytizing I would take some issue with, but I've already taught my daughters to deflect that sort of nonsense.

But if one of my children came home with a religious symbol branded on her arm I would do grievous bodily harm to the lunatic who did it.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 15:40:00 UTC | #160818

Dr. Strangegod's Avatar Comment 20 by Dr. Strangegod

I'm with ebugogo. This guy must submit to the children he branded branding him with pentagrams. I'll do it myself if they'd rather not smell his flesh.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 15:43:00 UTC | #160822

Grantaire of JC's Avatar Comment 21 by Grantaire of JC

Embugogo,
Well stated! Its less a news story because it is a bible!

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 15:49:00 UTC | #160830

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 22 by Border Collie

Mount Vernon, Ohio, I presume? Texas doesn't need another idiotic episode at the moment. Hey, who cares? I'm gonna go walk the dogs.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 15:51:00 UTC | #160832

Bigorra's Avatar Comment 23 by Bigorra


"What you're seeing is a classic example of character assassination … to release nothing more than allegations and say now they're going to investigate," Daubenmire said.

The issue of burning crosses onto students' forearms is "an old allegation" that was first brought up in December, and school officials did not act on it at the time, Daubenmire said.


Daubenmire, you are a moron. If there were no allegations, then there would be no reason to investigate, but since there are allegations there will be an investigation. It's very simple. It's also not an "old allegation" at the ripe age of four months. There are things in my refrigerator older than that.

But I guess it's too much to expect a guy like Douchenmire to stop supporting a fellow teacher who breaks the same rules he does.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 16:17:00 UTC | #160848

Szymanowski's Avatar Comment 24 by Szymanowski

#168718 by Chris Bell-

"An independent investigator will be hired to look into claims involving Freshwater, an eighth-grade teacher at Mount Vernon Middle School, the school board decided today. An administrator will monitor his classes until the probe ends."

The classes are being "monitored". What evidence can the investigator possibly gather from this against the teacher, whether the allegations are true or not?

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 17:28:00 UTC | #160863

MorituriMax's Avatar Comment 25 by MorituriMax

Hmmm, I think I'll take the branding charge with a grain of salt, unless they can actually prove he did do that..

If it turns out he did do it... well one hopes he won't be teaching kids anymore. I don't really mind the Bible on the desk, it is his desk and we have the freedom to read what we want.. now if he has a shiny apply on there, that's just beyond the bounds of good taste... 8 )

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 17:33:00 UTC | #160866

lievemebe's Avatar Comment 26 by lievemebe

I toyed with the idea that wierdo fundies should be treated differently from moderately religious people. I quickly dismissed that from my mind as I recall the words of Dawkins and others that all religious believers encourage anti-social and irrational behaviour.

Fri, 25 Apr 2008 17:49:00 UTC | #160872

JimJ's Avatar Comment 27 by JimJ

I had a teacher senior year who might as well have been a preacher, when we weren't working (it was a masonry class) he was constantly preaching. He even talked about being in some town that was "full of fags" and how he wished someone would drop a bomb on it. Everyone else in the class was of the same beliefs so speaking up would've meant being ostracized. Looking back, I really wish I would've told him off. I'm ashamed to say that there was a time when I was starting to fall for his bullshit, thankfully I came to my senses. As far as I know, no crosses were burned into anyone. Actually, aside from his insane religious views, he was a really nice guy.

Sat, 26 Apr 2008 01:11:00 UTC | #160954

ZekeCDN's Avatar Comment 28 by ZekeCDN

From the article:

"If they were going to do anything, they should have taken him out and told him, instead of making all this news about it, and making such a commotion."

Maybe it's just speculation by an uniformed student, but this makes it sound as if Freshwater manipulated his class into supporting him by playing the victim--i.e. acting as if the school's administration had not already taken many steps to deal with the situation privately before resorting to the monitor and the attendant publicity.

Sat, 26 Apr 2008 03:26:00 UTC | #160976

Simonw's Avatar Comment 29 by Simonw

"... and Easter is the day that everyone found out actually he wasn't sacrificed at all"

How does that explains the bunny and the eggs then?

Easter is a festival probably descended (amongst other things) from the Persian New Year festival. Which involves hiding sweets and spring cleans, and predates the purported birth of Christ by at least 6 centuries.

Easter is just one of a number of festivals left over from the old new year (spring solstice). I doubt in truth that they have one common origin, as items from various cultures have been mixed up over the centuries.

Sure the Christians hijacked it, but please don't spread their version of events. People celebrated in the spring in a recognizable Easter celebration before Christ was born. People will probably welcome the arrival of spring long after Christ is forgotten.

Sat, 26 Apr 2008 04:12:00 UTC | #160988

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 30 by aquilacane

I was probably my most verbally abusive with the religious in grade eight. My father had died a few years earlier. That really strengthened my atheism making me extremely sensitive to any religious influence. I refused to sing Christmas carols in music class (the teacher did not know what to do). I would stand outside of the school during the lords prayer. Any time any teacher ever made a ref. to god, I would ask for proof, or tell them to shut up. If this teacher had branded me with a cross when I was in grade eight, I probably would have killed him were he stood. And I mean that. I would have made every effort to throttle him to death. Today I would only beat him to within an inch of his life. Oh how the wisdom of age tempers our hand in the fog of furry.

Sat, 26 Apr 2008 04:57:00 UTC | #160996