Freshwater: “I have never branded or burned a person”

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During a well attended meeting on Monday August 4, 2008, Mount Vernon science teacher John Freshwater denied having burned or branded a person

“I have never branded or burned a person,” Freshwater told the board

And yet, during the investigation, he told

He said that he uses the device about twice a year and has done so for 21 years. At the end of the experiment the kids are excited and ask if they can touch it. He said that he demonstrates it on his own arm by making an “X” and then lets them touch it voluntarily. He said that the incident in question occurred in December 2007. He remembers getting from 3 to 8 volunteers, but couldn’t remember the order or all of the names.

He said that the device is owned by the school, he received verbal instructions on using it 21 years ago, and has never seen any written instructions. He said that he has not had a complaint in 21 years regarding his use of the device. The device leaves a red mark after one or two seconds of touching, but no blisters. He denied any religious discussions during this or any previous occurrences. He said that he would never hurt a student.

The investigators also talked to several former students of Freshwater, contrary to Freshwater’s claims.

The current or former students that were interviewed that had participated in the December 2007 incident or other similar incidents in earlier years described the demonstration in the same manner as had Mr. Freshwater with one exception. The all described the mark Mr. Freshwater put on his arm as a “cross”. One student stated Mr. Freshwater would mark the student with a cross unless the student requested a different type of marking. It was the default mark. The pictures below were provided by the parents.

While Freshwater may argue that marking the arm with a cross is not branding or burning, this seems to be largely an issue of semantics. The report describes how at least in one instance, the mark remained painful and visible for an extended period of time (the report mentions three to four weeks).

The report thus concludes

Mr. Freshwater did improperly use an electrostatic device on the student who filed the complaint and other students in his science class in a manner that was not in compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions. While there did not appear to be any intent by Mr. Freshwater to cause injury to any student, he was not using the device for its intended purpose. Contrary to Mr. Freshwater’s statement he simply made an “X” not a “cross,” all of the students described the marking as a “cross” and the pictures provided depict a “cross”.

Some of his supporters have come to repeat the claims by Freshwater that the investigation was ‘biased’

“What concerns me the most is that what you’re basing your decision on to terminate Mr. Freshwater is on an incomplete, biased, and all-out lie investigation,” Thompson said.

Even though the report mentions that the investigators did in fact interview former students, John Freshwater continues to argue that

“They used half-truths. They didn’t interview people who had been in my classroom,” he said. “Science teachers at the high school: Why would you interview them?”

The introduction of the report of findings explains clearly the approach chosen:

Our investigation included interviews with:

* The parents who filed the complaint and the student involved
* John Freshwater, the teacher against whom the complaint had been filed
* Stephen Short, Superintendent of the Mount Vernon City Schools
* Jeff Maley, Former Superintendent of the Mount Vernon City Schools
* Bill White, Middle School Principal
* Kathy Kasler, High School Principal
* Dr. Lynda Weston, Director of Teaching and Learning for the Mount Vernon City Schools
* The monitor assigned to Mr. Freshwaters’ classroom since April 23, 2008
* Twelve other teachers in the Middle School and High School
* Five current or former students of Mr. Freshwater along with, in four instances, their parents

Freshwater also argues that he did not teach creationism and that he taught evolution as proscribed by the curriculum and yet the investigators describe various instances in which Freshwater diverged from the curriculum.

There is a significant amount of evidence that Mr. Freshwaters’ teachings regarding subjects related to evolution were not consistent with the curriculum of the Mount Vernon City Schools and State standards. Contrary to Mr. Freshwater’s statement, the evidence indicates he has been teaching creationism and intelligent design and has been teaching the unreliability of carbon dating in support of opposition to evolution. He has passed out materials to students for the past several years challenging evolution and then collecting the materialsback from the students. He has done so in spite of specific directives not to teach creationism or intelligent design. He has taught students to use the code word “Here” to challenge scientific process that is considered settled by the high school science teachers.

h1. Source:

1. Associated Press Ohio town split over teacher accused of preaching By MATT REED – Jul 8, 2008
2. Columbus Dispatch Freshwater defends self in meeting Tuesday, August 5, 2008 3:09 AM By Alayna DeMartini
3. The Guardian UK Ohio town reacts to tale of teacher accused of branding student with cross Monday August 04 2008 17:44 BST
4. WBNS 10TV Suspended Science Teacher Defends Himself To School Board Tuesday, August 5, 2008 4:08 AM
5. WTTE Fox 28 Board hears from teacher who taught creationism August 05, 2008 00:08 EDT

6. Freshwater Press Conference 08-04-2008 :John Freshwater, Attorney Kelly Hamilton, and Pastor Don Matolyak answer questions from various media outlets from across the state
7. In an 1-on-1 with SupportFreshwater.com, Teacher John Freshwater expresses his side of the story. “I really, truly believe I am doing the right thing,” he said. Additional comments are made by Attorney Kelly Hamilton and Pastor Don Matolyak.

The one-on-one interview is interesting as I can hear a voice whisper ‘no’ when Freshwater is asked if he believes that Intelligent Design will ever be taught in public schools. Also the statement about obedience and one true rule to be obedient to shows an interesting perspective on the issue.

It seems to me that the defense is to turn this into a Church versus State issue about the Bible on the desk, however the problem is that the report outlines various other problems such as the teaching of creationism and the marking with an ‘X’ with a tool which was used in an inappropriate manner.

Coach Daubenmire remarked:

The issue of burning crosses onto students’ forearms is “an old allegation” that was first brought up in December, and school officials did not act on it at the time, Daubenmire said.

An old allegation, as if that is somehow going to make the allegation less relevant… While Daubenmire was an early defender of Freshwater, his performance on various occasions may explain why he has remained invisible in the last few weeks.

As to the issue of the Bible on his desk, according to this website, Freshwater ‘argued’

Freshwater said in his written statement. “Would we ask a science teacher to remove The Origin of Species from his desk merely because the origin of man has never been proven?”

Interesting statement for more than one reason.

h1. Burning questions, burning crosses and does ‘X’ mark the spot?

So the question is simple: Did Freshwater use a device to mark an ‘x’ onto pupils arms. And the answer seems simple and supported by Freshwater’s own admissions: Yes.

Did Freshwater intend to cause lasting pain, welts and blisters in this ‘experiment’? The answer again seems straightforward: No

Did Freshwater cause significant discomfort to at least one student whose arm was marke with said device? The evidence suggests that the answer to this is a likely yes, although some of his defenders openly claim that the accuser is lying.

So while Freshwater’s intentions were not to cause pain or brand or burn children, my personal conclusion is that it may very well be that the use of this device, against manufacturer’s recommendation, may have, unintentionally caused some harm and discomfort to at least one student.

And finally, was the mark a ‘cross’ or an ‘X’ as Freshwater asserts? The pictures seem to show a shape that looks like a cross and the students interviewed were also clear:

The current or former students that were interviewed that had participated in the December 2007 incident or other similar incidents in earlier years described the demonstration in the same manner as had Mr. Freshwater with one exception. The (sic) all described the mark Mr. Freshwater put on his arm as a “cross”. One student stated Mr. Freshwater would mark the student with a cross unless the student requested a different type of marking. It was the default mark. The pictures below were provided by the parents.

cross.png

From a comment at Pharyngula I learned that:

The late Jeff Medkeff described its effects as follows:

I have used this device instructionally, and in a moment of carelessness, I once burned myself with one. My forearm made contact with the electrode of the device for about half or three-quarters of a second — this necessarily being an estimate. This experience wasn’t too painful at the time, on the order of getting a good strong static shock after shuffling your feet on the carpets. But it did leave one hell of a welt that got more and more painful over the course of the next three or four days. My recollection is that the small wound stayed painful for a week or so. Eventually the welt that was raised went down, scabbed over, and after about two weeks, the scab fell off. I had a red mark that persisted for about two or three months. It was by no means a pleasant experience.

Source: Blue Collar Scientist, who passed away recently

See also the following Youtube video of a 50,000 V high frequency generator and notice the differences between 10 and 50 kV.

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Listen to Freshwater’s statement

Why would ANYONE do that to someone else’s kid, regardless of intent?

I can’t believe the applause he was getting … it makes me sick to my stomach!

He’s upset that the “referree” isn’t someone that he knows and that no one in the community knows. Awwwww … poor baby!

How is it going to be fair if the people that hear his case don’t know him? Gosh! How unfair!

Below this line is shameless self promotion.

____________________________________________________

NASA press conference on possible Martian poop!

Transcription of part of the statement made by Freshwater, all errors are mine.

I have been a public school teacher for 24 years, 21 years in this building, okay. I take my responsibilities for teaching very highly, okay. And I feel I have done a good job, a very good job. My personnel file, 240 pages of it, I have no reprimands, it’s clean, it’s absolutely clean, 240 pages. I have had no remedial actions against me. It is my understanding that the members of this board of education have elected to have my termination hearing heard by a referee, a referee… Why not you? I want you! I am a referee(?). (Applause )I want you to do it. That’s who should hear it not a referee, not someone we don’t even know. Because you have chosen not to hear the facts for yourself first handed, I want to make certain there is no confusion in the translation of the evidence and testimony from the referee to the members of a board of education. So no matter what you hear or perceive that you hear I want you to know the following facts

1. I have never, never branded or burned a person, I have never branded or burned myself, I have never branded, burned or mar.. put a religious mark on my family, I have never done that to the alleged plaintiffs. Am I clear on that? I have never taught evolution and creation in the public classroom

Some audience members seem to ask the board for a response…

I have never taught anything in the public classroom that was prohibited by the mandate of curriculum of the State standards. I have never exceeded the boundaries or the parameters established for being a teacher monitor, facilitator, supervisor of FCA fellowship of Christian Athletes. In fact, I have never ever received any training about how to do so until this year. When I did receive this training I was pleased to learn that I have been monitoring, facilitating, supervising exactly as the mandate by the document that you gave me mr …

I have been warned that the members of the schoolboard likely have a preconceived notion of the facts surrounding these untrue allegations. I pray that each one of you will have the patience, the courage and the professionalism to be unbiased, to be unbiased until after the facts have been presented. You have to keep coming back to this question: What makes sense here? What makes sense here..

Why did it take so long to come up with the allegations against me. If I have been acting in violation for twenty one years. The answer is: I have done nothing wrong, I have done nothing wrong. Please hear me on that.

Okay

This case, if it remains to be my .….. personal Bible on my desk

Thank you

Sure, Freshwater may very well have believed that this was a cool experiment to use the device to draw a cross/’X’ on children’s forearms. I see nothing really extremely wrong with this, although it does go against the recommendations of the device manufacturer and perhaps common sense. Then again, it may have left, in most cases a harmless red mark.

Kids are curious and this seems like a good ‘experiment’ which was done by other teachers as well. My problem is not with the incident itself but rather the response to said incident as well as with the alleged choice of a cross as the default mark.

DistendedPendulusFrenulum said:

Why would ANYONE do that to someone else’s kid, regardless of intent?

I find Freshwater’s arguments to be confused, on the one hand he does not want a referee, on the other hand he claims that the board may be prejudiced. Of course, an outside referee is much harder to reject as unbiased than a school board member who is under much pressure to ‘do the right thing’ and facing re-election.

Stacy S. said:

I can’t believe the applause he was getting … it makes me sick to my stomach!

He’s upset that the “referree” isn’t someone that he knows and that no one in the community knows. Awwwww … poor baby!

How is it going to be fair if the people that hear his case don’t know him? Gosh! How unfair!

Below this line is shameless self promotion.

____________________________________________________

NASA press conference on possible Martian poop!

Then again, it may have left, in most cases a harmless red mark.

a recently departed science blogger had much worse things to say about it, actually.

turns out that those “harmless marks” are in fact very painful, and lasted on the back of his hand (from an accidental touch with the same device kind of device used by Freshwater) for many weeks.

If you like, I could probably dig up the exact reference for you.

I see nothing really extremely wrong with this

I really do wonder about you sometimes, Pim.

ah, it wasn’t hard to re-locate:

it was originally posted by Blake Stacey over on Pharyngula:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/[…]ment-1034474

The device used to mark the student was a BD-10A High Frequency Generator. The late Jeff Medkeff described its effects as follows:

I have used this device instructionally, and in a moment of carelessness, I once burned myself with one. My forearm made contact with the electrode of the device for about half or three-quarters of a second — this necessarily being an estimate. This experience wasn’t too painful at the time, on the order of getting a good strong static shock after shuffling your feet on the carpets. But it did leave one hell of a welt that got more and more painful over the course of the next three or four days. My recollection is that the small wound stayed painful for a week or so. Eventually the welt that was raised went down, scabbed over, and after about two weeks, the scab fell off. I had a red mark that persisted for about two or three months. It was by no means a pleasant experience.

50 kilovolts will do that to you.

…I missed you already added that, but imagine my surprise when I saw you mention the word “harmless” AFTER posting the bit from Medkeff.

It was such a strange response, I think I just balked that you actually had even noticed that piece of information to begin with.

PvM said:

Sure, Freshwater may very well have believed that this was a cool experiment to use the device to draw a cross/’X’ on children’s forearms. I see nothing really extremely wrong with this, although it does go against the recommendations of the device manufacturer and perhaps common sense. Then again, it may have left, in most cases a harmless red mark.

Kids are curious and this seems like a good ‘experiment’ which was done by other teachers as well. My problem is not with the incident itself but rather the response to said incident as well as with the alleged choice of a cross as the default mark.

I’m sorry, but as a high school teacher myself, I find it unfathomable that a teacher would do this. Clearly, the man thought this was “fun” and “harmless”. I don’t doubt his honesty there, but just as clearly, he is outstandingly clueless as to his professional responsibilities. As teachers we have it drilled into us that we have ethical and legal constraints on our interactions with students. We cannot even touch students without risk of law suits and we need parental permission slips to show R-rated movies in class. I’ve only been teaching high school for a few years (after many years of college teaching) and these limits were and are repeatedly pointed out to me. Only someone willfully or recklessly disregarding these well established guidelines would ever think that he could put a physical mark on the skin of a student, or that minors have the legal capacity for consent to such.If I had done this to a student, I would at the very least be severely reprimanded and if a parent were angry, I doubt I would have my job the next day.

To me, both his original actions and his continuing refusal to recognize that he crossed important ethical and legal lines indicates the same cock-eyed “maverick” sensibility evident in his keeping the Bible on his desk. This is not a man I want working with adolescents.

I’ll try again.

Has the DI commented about this case? Anywhere?

““Would we ask a science teacher to remove The Origin of Species from his desk merely because the origin of man has never been proven?””

Leaving aside the obvious disanalogies, The Origin of Species doesn’t bloody talk about the origin of man. The fact that he doesn’t know that - or less charitably is willing to lie about it - should in itself be grounds to question his ability to teach science.

“I have never branded or burned a person,” Freshwater told the board

“I did not have sex with that woman” Bill Clinton

The issue of burning crosses onto students’ forearms is “an old allegation” - - What is the statute of limitations on child abuse?

DistendedPendulusFrenulum said:

Why would ANYONE do that to someone else’s kid, regardless of intent?

Apparently to score brownie points for Jesus.

PvM said:

Sure, Freshwater may very well have believed that this was a cool experiment to use the device to draw a cross/’X’ on children’s forearms. I see nothing really extremely wrong with this, although it does go against the recommendations of the device manufacturer and perhaps common sense. Then again, it may have left, in most cases a harmless red mark.

Kids are curious and this seems like a good ‘experiment’ which was done by other teachers as well. My problem is not with the incident itself but rather the response to said incident as well as with the alleged choice of a cross as the default mark.

A teacher intentionally leaving welts on a child’s skin is always extremely wrong, especially when the teacher misuses electrical equipment to do so in order to reaffirm the teacher’s own spiritual beliefs.

I mean, Pim, you are aware that Freshwater scorching the skin of his students with an electrical device is the injury on top of the insult of how he is physically incapable of teaching science to his students in the first place, right?

PvM I can’t believe you would justify what he did to a CHILD!

Stop being so melodramatic and realize that as the investigators showed, the use of the device in most cases leaves a temporary mark which quickly disappears.

In the presence of Principal Bill White, one of the investigators tried the device on own arm. There is a knob to adjust the voltageof the unit. When held at full power for one or two seconds in the manner described by Mr. Freshwater, the device left a slight redness with no burns and the redness disappeared overnight.

Man the melodrama here is just nauseating. Let’s focus on the real issues here and not look foolish.

At best this is a poorly thought out experiment gone bad. Remember that this ‘experiment’ was performed for 20 or so years by the science teachers at this school.

Mary said:

PvM I can’t believe you would justify what he did to a CHILD!

Mary said:

PvM I can’t believe you would justify what he did to a CHILD!

I just want to come out on record as saying that I think claims of “child abuse” and the like are over inflated empty retoric which is damaging to children. Being somewhat familiar with the subject and the psychological scars non-sexual physical abuse can leave, asking children to voluntarily do something that “…wasn’t too painful at the time, on the order of getting a good strong static shock after shuffling your feet on the carpets.” is not even in the same ballpark as child abuse. If children were coerced into volunteering then you are getting close, but as the allegations stand comparisons to child abuse are ludicrous.

I have serious doubts any of these children will be waking up at night in a cold sweat 10 years down the line from recurrent nightmares. If some of these kids have PTSD then I could see allegations of child abuse.

Seriously. I hope these students think Freshwater is an ignorant tool, but I doubt any of them feel abused.

The point is that what Freshwater did was irresponsible in the same way that it is irresponsible to throw potassium into a bucket of water without making student put on safety goggles. Freshwater’s irresponsible use of laboratory equipment resulted in unintentional injury to students, this seems to be the claim that the parents of the students are making, and I don’t see why anyone feels the need to turn that into child abuse simply because Freshwater also happens to be an incompetent delusional moron.

In conclusion. Calm the bleep down. Seriously.

Ichthyic said:

Then again, it may have left, in most cases a harmless red mark.

a recently departed science blogger had much worse things to say about it, actually.

turns out that those “harmless marks” are in fact very painful, and lasted on the back of his hand (from an accidental touch with the same device kind of device used by Freshwater) for many weeks.

These marks can be painful and last, I do not disagree with that, but in most cases the effect seems to have been quite minimal. Do you really believe that if the effects were as severe as described above, that Freshwater would have still done it? For over 20 years?… Hard to believe.

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Larry Boy said:

Mary said:

PvM I can’t believe you would justify what he did to a CHILD!

I just want to come out on record as saying that I think claims of “child abuse” and the like are over inflated empty retoric which is damaging to children. Being somewhat familiar with the subject and the psychological scars non-sexual physical abuse can leave, asking children to voluntarily do something that “…wasn’t too painful at the time, on the order of getting a good strong static shock after shuffling your feet on the carpets.” is not even in the same ballpark as child abuse. If children were coerced into volunteering then you are getting close, but as the allegations stand comparisons to child abuse are ludicrous.

A voice of reason, finally.

The point is that what Freshwater did was irresponsible in the same way that it is irresponsible to throw potassium into a bucket of water without making student put on safety goggles. Freshwater’s irresponsible use of laboratory equipment resulted in unintentional injury to students, this seems to be the claim that the parents of the students are making, and I don’t see why anyone feels the need to turn that into child abuse simply because Freshwater also happens to be an incompetent delusional moron.

In conclusion. Calm the bleep down. Seriously.

Well said

Stop being so melodramatic and realize that as the investigators showed, the use of the device in most cases leaves a temporary mark which quickly disappears.

I’m not seeing how you’re not getting that at least in the United States and Canada, that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that the device “leaves a temporary mark which quickly disappears.” (So, incidentally, does slapping a student across the face, but nobody’s advocating doing that.)

To be perfectly clear, legally, the guy ought not to have a leg to stand on, because any touching of students or marking their skin is against the rules, whether or not the student in question allegedly “consented,” because legally, a student cannot consent to such treatment. So whether it was harmless, painless, and temporary or not, it was still a professionally inappropriate thing to do. Regardless of his religious issues (which are, as far as I’m concerned, irrelevant to the burning issue), in terms of the way the rules are now, he should have been fired and de-credentialed.

If you think the rules are too harsh, that’s another discussion.

Now we go from child abuse to unprofessional behavior, much better. As to the US and Canada rules, I am not familiar with them, could you provide me with a reference where I can check them out myself? I think there are far better reasons why Freshwater should be fired. In fact, the school did not even act upon the complaints initially and only later removed the device. Sure, if Freshwater and the school had dealt in a more professional manner with this incident, we would not have much of this mess right now. However, I see the alleged accusations that Freshwater was inappropriately teaching religion during science classes as far more troubling. I also see far more evidence to support this than the claim that Freshwater somehow intended to cause physical harm to students with this ill conceived experiment.

Interrobang said:

Stop being so melodramatic and realize that as the investigators showed, the use of the device in most cases leaves a temporary mark which quickly disappears.

I’m not seeing how you’re not getting that at least in the United States and Canada, that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that the device “leaves a temporary mark which quickly disappears.” (So, incidentally, does slapping a student across the face, but nobody’s advocating doing that.)

To be perfectly clear, legally, the guy ought not to have a leg to stand on, because any touching of students or marking their skin is against the rules, whether or not the student in question allegedly “consented,” because legally, a student cannot consent to such treatment. So whether it was harmless, painless, and temporary or not, it was still a professionally inappropriate thing to do. Regardless of his religious issues (which are, as far as I’m concerned, irrelevant to the burning issue), in terms of the way the rules are now, he should have been fired and de-credentialed.

If you think the rules are too harsh, that’s another discussion.

For me, the “child abuse” issue is the sort of technicality on which some genuine discipline can be attached, while the real damage is much more subtle and difficult to litigate.

But history tells us that many societies have some sort of physical and/or psychological trauma as an initiation ritual, and that trauma renders the initiation much more sincere and psychologically binding.

And it need not be harmful, excessively painful, or permanent to serve that purpose. What matters is that you underwent the ritual, proved your worthiness, and qualify as a True Christian in a way that can be damn near impossible to deprogram.

Freshwater clearly understands this, and so do his fellow insider fraternity members.

What really disappoints me is what a liar Freshwater has become. He should just admit what the evidence clearly shows. He did brand his students with a cross/X and he did teach “the weaknesses of evolution”. In my opinion the guy might even deserve a second chance if he just admitted what he did was against school guidelines and that he acted inappropriately. The fact that he has now resorted to claiming everyone but he is a liar makes me hope that his termination stands. It took a lot of bravery for that one student and his parents to finally call Mr. Freshwater on what he has previously admitted to doing for the last 21 years. Now Freshwater has to turn this into a circus by pretending he didn’t do what he is alleged to have done and claiming religious persecution for the one thing he admits to (which is also the most minor of his infractions), leaving a Bible on his desk.

At best this is a poorly thought out experiment gone bad.

I do not know whether this “experiment” rises to the level of child abuse, but it was bloody stupid and unprofessional, at best. If it was truly an experiment, though, may we assume that it had been cleared by an Institutional Review Board?

At best this is a poorly thought out experiment gone bad.

But if it were a legitimate “experiment” what could it conceivably been trying to show? That having a miniature lightning bolt linger on your skin will produce a burn?

It’s a fortunate thing they weren’t doing a unit on gunshot wounds that week.

I can’t believe the applause he was getting … it makes me sick to my stomach!

According to a post on PZ’s blog, Freshwater packed the school board with ringers. A lot of people from outside the area and even some from out of state.

If this is so, the locals aren’t going to be too happy. Or shouldn’t anyway. Another example of the lunatic fringe of xianity in action.

Easy enough to see if the “device” can brand or burn a person. Just try it on someone.

The heart of science is reproducable results.

I wouldn’t recommend grabbing the nearest kid though. LOL.

Anyone really curious could try it on themselves. Tattoos are very in these days and the worst that oculd happen is one will have a smiley face, peace symbol, Darwin Fish, or other decoration for a little while.

that Freshwater would have still done it? For over 20 years?… Hard to believe.

“hard to believe” is all relative to direct experience, though, yes?

regardless of the specifics in this case, surely at some point you have heard of worse examples of abuse that have gone “under the radar” for long periods?

look at the picture of the child’s arm again.

that ISN’T a minor temporary welt.

the welt marks obviously lasted quite long enough for the parents of that child to take the photo, so someone involved over there (“as the investigators showed”) is being deliberately dishonest about either the voltages used, or the method.

Aside from the relative severity of the injuries themselves, the principle here is that any time one can even think about abusing the intended usage of a scientific device in a manner like that, there is something seriously wrong there.

Did your secondary school teachers often misuse their own equipment?

I know this would have been quick grounds for review in any school district I’m personally familiar with in California; I’ve seen teachers here fired/forced to retire for far less.

Ichthyic said:

that Freshwater would have still done it? For over 20 years?… Hard to believe.

“hard to believe” is all relative to direct experience, though, yes?

regardless of the specifics in this case, surely at some point you have heard of worse examples of abuse that have gone “under the radar” for long periods?

look at the picture of the child’s arm again.

that ISN’T a minor temporary welt.

I agree, however this is a single example and other students as well as the investigators have suggested that the mark quickly disappeared.

To call this child abuse is just plain silly.

Thanks, nope that’s it so far. I am still recovering from watching RBH’s youtube links. Now that is emotional abuse…

Wheels said:

PvM said:

Wheels said:The only source for that is from Freshwater’s lawyer, then? You’ll have to excuse me if I take that assertion as something other than an accurate representation of the facts.

And you haven’t said anything which convinces me that this is not an abuse of his students.

See also Youtube where another teacher admits having used the device in the same manner as Freshwater.

Cheers

That’s more like it. I accept the claim that other teachers have engaged in this “experiment.” Anything else?

So what was Freshwater demonstrating?

He seems to be saying that he made contact for 1 or 2 seconds with the unit to make each mark, but looking at the pattern he would have to activate the unit more than 30 times to create the pattern.

His one to two second comment is likely just his way of saying a short contact, otherwise it would take too long to make the cross pattern.

What does he claim that he was doing activating the unit so many times?

If we define child abuse in terms of Intent with Physical and/or Psychological Harm, then I would say that the case is very weak against Freshwater. His experience with the device was that it did not hurt and all marks were temporary. But in terms of teachers’ guidelines in the classroom, what Freshwater did was the worst. He is obviously guilty of using an electrical device inappropriately and experimenting on minors without consent. Throw in lying, insubordination, and preaching his religious views to the students and we have a case for calling him a first class nutjob.

In 1964 my 6th grade teacher put a drop of mercury onto our dimes to make them look shiny and new. The dangers of mercury were not well known to the public back then. In 1965 my public school science teacher made one statement about souls. These cases are nothing compared to Freshwater, he gives me the creeps.

If we define child abuse in terms of Intent with Physical and/or Psychological Harm, then I would say that the case is very weak against Freshwater.

I agree. It seems clear Freshwater and probably some other teachers there saw public school years as a novitiate, and this ritual as an initiation ceremony. I don’t think it’s possible to understimate the religious freight Freshwater projected onto everything in his life.

GuyeFaux said:

inflicted by a parent, caregiver, or other person who has responsibility for the child.

Ah, I stand corrected. Then my reference case needs modifying accordingly.

This is a bit OT for this thread, but it’s still about creationism in the schools.

Does anyone know if the state of Texas has filed their reply yet?

IIRC, the Comer suit was filed in very early July, and Texas had 30 days to reply, but I haven’t been able to find anything updated in the last 3 weeks.

Oops, my bad, the question should have been…

Does anyone know if the state of Texas has filed their reply to the Chris Comer lawsuit yet?

Mongo’s Brain fade on a weekend.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on August 5, 2008 12:22 PM.

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