Freshwater: No ruling until 2011?

The Mt. Vernon News is reporting that R. Lee Shepherd, the referee in the administrative hearing on the termination of John Freshwater as a middle school science teacher in the Mt. Vernon City schools, says that his “personal goal” is to have a recommendation for the Board of Education by the end of the year. He has recently received new submissions from both attorneys, R. Kelly Hamilton for Freshwater and David Millstone for the Board, and is incorporating them into the mass of material he is evaluating. Most notably, Millstone submitted a case decided just a few weeks ago by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, the appellate court overseeing federal cases in Ohio. According to a summary

The appellate panel in Cincinnati upheld a lower court’s ruling for the Tipp City [Ohio] Exempted Village School District, writing that the right to free speech “does not extend to the in-class speech of teachers in primary and secondary schools made ‘pursuant to’ their official duties.”

One of Freshwater’s claims has been that the district’s restrictions on his classroom behavior violated his free speech rights and this case apparently contradicts that claim. Hamilton, of course, submitted a rebuttal to Millstone’s submission. (Parenthetically, I have to say that there are some aspects of the court’s ruling as summarized in the linked material that trouble me, but it seems on point for the present proceedings.)

Hat tip to reader CMB