The Freshwater case continues

John Freshwater is now challenging the Mount Vernon City School Board of Education's decision to terminate his employment as a middle school science teacher. The Mount Vernon News (February 11, 2011) reports that on February 8, 2011, Freshwater "filed a complaint, which could also be considered an appeal, with the Knox County Common Pleas Court ... asking the court for a reversal of the Mount Vernon school board's decision to terminate his teaching contract."

After a local family accused Freshwater of engaging in inappropriate religious activity — including teaching creationism — and sued Freshwater and the district in 2008, the board voted to begin proceedings to terminate his employment. After administrative hearings that proceeded sporadically over two years, the referee presiding over the hearings finally issued his recommendation that the board terminate his employment with the district, and the board voted to do so in January 2011.

Freshwater's thirty-three page complaint asks (PDF) the court for "a reversal of the board's resolution to terminate him, monetary damages in an amount to be determined, damages for defamation, false light, emotional distress, constitutional violations, reinstatement to his teaching position, and other relief" (pp. 32-33). Among the plethora of allegations contained in the complaint: "Creationism and/or Intelligent Design are NOT religions, nor is either reflective of beliefs or tenets unique to any particular religion" (p. 10).