Saturday, December 12, 2009

Freshwater Defense Rests, Finally

The defense rested in the Freshwater hearing after giving John Freshwater the opportunity to tell the "truth" about the circumstances of his firing. The Mount Vernon News has an article detailing the testimony wherein Freshwater denied any wrongdoing and asserted that the school board's case was based on misunderstandings, misinterpretations and big fat lies. Furthermore, he has never, and would never teach creationism in the classroom.

Now, I could either believe that Freshwater has been the innocent victim of a conspiracy to destroy his career, or I could believe that his pants are in dire need of a fire extinguisher. Let me review.

If Freshwater is innocent, investigators of good reputation from a respected company are incompetent to do the job for which they were hired. The school board suddenly decided to pick one popular teacher with 20-some years of service out of the entire school system to fire for no reason. All of the witnesses whose testimony supported the school board's case, including some defense witnesses who did so unintentionally, were either mistaken or lying. Also, all of the items entered as evidence were modified to look incriminating or were misrepresented (Freshwater testified that the creationist handouts were negative examples, used to represent bad science).

The whole hullabaloo about religious freedom and and freedom of speech that rallied supporters and polarized the town must likewise have been a big misunderstanding. It is obvious that the majority of people supporting Freshwater were evangelical Xians who advocate for prayer in school, creationism in science class, and generally relegating that whole separation of church and state thing to the garbage disposal. They must have been shocked and disappointed to learn last week that the man they have been supporting with fundraising, websites and rallies is, in fact, opposed to their views on Xian influence in public school and has argued against creationism in science class.

The other possibility is that a boy really did get his arm burned as photos and witnesses suggest and that Freshwater denied, evaded, and destroyed evidence to avoid punishment. It may be true that Freshwater had religious displays and taught creationism in his classroom as handouts, posters, records of complaints (dating back many years), and testimony of many witnesses would suggest and that he felt entitled to evangelise and impose his beliefs on his students in spite of rules and laws to the contrary. Then, when he and his lawyer saw the accumulation of evidence against him, he chose to lie his ass off under oath and throw all the people, who have supported him through the whole ordeal, under the bus to save his own skin. I sure do wonder which version is true.

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