I only know the facts to the extent that the article states:
School board members voted 5-0 to fire Mount Vernon Middle School science teacher John Freshwater. Board attorney David Millstone said Freshwater is entitled to a hearing to challenge the dismissal.
Freshwater denies wrongdoing and will request such a hearing, the teacher’s attorney, Kelly Hamilton, told the Mount Vernon News.
Freshwater used a science tool known as a high-frequency generator to burn images of a cross on students’ arms in December, the report said. Freshwater told investigators he simply was trying to demonstrate the device on several students and described the images as an “X,” not a cross. But pictures show a cross, the report said.
I stand firm on innocent until proven guilty. Until he has a hearing, I’m not interested in saying much more than anyone who would teach religion in a science classroom is not qualified to teach science. I hope it’s obvious that anyone who would burn an image on a child’s arm, be it an “X” or a cross, is fit only to wear a prison jump suit.
That said, is this about violating the First Amendment rights of the children or violating their human rights? Change the scenario: would we allow parents to burn an image of a cross on their child’s body? Many will reflexively offer some variation of “of course not”. But that’s not accurate. We already allow parents to “burn” a (permanent) religious mark on their (male) child’s body through genital mutilation. And that doesn’t disappear in three or four weeks, as the burned image of the cross/”X” disappeared. Why is the less damaging, less permanent assault reprehensible and the more damaging,
more permanent assault considered a reasonable parental choice?