The Springboro, Ohio, board of education has been flirting with adding creationism to its curriculum in the guise of a “controversial issues” policy. (See here for a representative news story, and see the Sensuous Curmudgeon for more opinionated coverage).
Now it’s been reported that John Freshwater, who is awaiting a decision by the Ohio Supreme Court on his termination as a science teacher in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, has been giving advice to that board. According to an Ohio political blog that I’ve never heard of before, Plunderbund, Freshwater communicated with Springboro board member Jim Rigano, one of the proponents of the “controversial issues” proposal, recommending his Rutherford Institute lawyer to the Springboro board. That attorney, Rita Dunaway, argued Freshwater’s case before the Ohio Supreme Court, and did a good job of it. (See here for the video, and here for my remarks on it.)
Plunderbund even claims to have the email request Springboro board member Rigano made to Dunaway. In the end, apparently Dunaway declined Rigano’s request–perhaps the Springboro board’s overt creationism was too much for the Rutherford Institute. So Rigano and his fellow board members sought different representation, which, according to Plunderbund, is Liberty Institute, with the board reportedly meeting last night (Aug 8) to vote on retaining Liberty Institute as counsel. The purported letter of agreement is here on Liberty letterhead. A Google News search yields no hits about the meeting last night. Anyone hear anything about that meeting?
According to its web site,
Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization focused solely on protecting and restoring religious liberty in the United States. We offer legal assistance pro bono to help defend the religious freedoms of individuals, churches and other organizations all across the nation.
From what I can tell scanning around the web, Liberty Institute makes the John Birch Society look pinko.
Freshwater’s advice was sound: Dunaway was a good representative for him. She was smooth and poised, and was able to unabashedly distort and misrepresent the record in a way favorable to Freshwater’s case. We’re still awaiting the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision.