Last Friday the referee in the John Freshwater termination hearing released his recommendation that Freshwater should be fired (here) and last night the Mount Vernon School Board voted 4 to 1 to terminate his contract (here). The one dissenting vote was from Steve Thompson, a vocal supporter and fund raiser for John Freshwater, who didn't recuse himself but did complain about Paula Barone not recusing herself. The hearing cost the school district about $900,000.
Now the excitement is all over unless Freshwater decides to appeal the decision, or, maybe I should say; if the grandstanders and theocracy advocates don't push him into another appeal. It seems to me that John Freshwater has, from the beginning, been pushed in directions that were not in his best interest by people who used him to fulfill their own agendas. I don't mean to absolve Freshwater of responsibility. The fact that he tried to conceal his actions is clear evidence that he knew he was breaking the rules, but with media-whore, bully, Dave Daubenmire and ignorant clown of a lawyer R. Kelly Hamilton in his corner, not to mention all the fundies who always want to try evolution in the court of public opinion, he was doomed from the start.
This fiasco was predicated on the fundy belief that their religious opinions should supersede legal and moral codes. From the very beginning supporters were incorporating creationist, Christian nation rhetoric that made it clear that they intended the hearing to be a referendum on the incorporation of religious dogma in public education instead of a simple determination of guilt or innocence. If their goal was to siphon off $900,000 of taxpayers' money that should have been spent on kids' education; if their goal was to bankrupt the teacher they professed to be supporting; if their goal was to prove that the court of public opinion is always trumped by real courts, they were very successful. However, if their goal was to prove that their fundy beliefs were true, they failed, and they did a hell of a lot of damage in the process.