Attorneys for an Ohio school district have asked the state
Supreme Court to strike down the First Amendment portion of an
appeal briefing in the ongoing case of a middle school science
teacher who was fired over concerns that he was injecting religion
into the classroom.
When Ohio's high court agreed last month to hear the case, John Whitehead of
Rutherford Institute told OneNewsNow it was taking John
Freshwater's case "very, very seriously." The teacher was
terminated from Mount Vernon Middle School in 2008 for discussing
evolution vs. creationism. But the school is trying to get the
Supreme Court to discount a key element of the case.
"When the Supreme Court of Ohio decided
to hear this case, they particularly noted the First Amendment
issue being one issue they were going to consider, and I think
that's why you're seeing the school filing a motion to strike that
portion of the case out," Whitehead suggests.
He is not surprised by the request from the school district's
"These are delaying tactics as well as a way to gut a case that
could actually open up debate on an important topic, and that's
origins," the attorney explains.
Whitehead believes the court will retain the First Amendment
portion of the appeal briefing, because that is one of the issues
it wishes to consider.