Published Online: November 19, 2013

Ohio court upholds firing in school Bible case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's highest court says a school district was legally justified in firing a science teacher who refused orders to remove classroom displays of religious materials.

With three justices dissenting, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the Mount Vernon district had grounds to fire John Freshwater for insubordination for keeping religious books and a poster of a president praying.

The court says the district infringed on Freshwater's First Amendment rights by ordering the removal of his personal Bible but found he was insubordinate for keeping other items.

The court didn't address whether Freshwater unconstitutionally taught his religious beliefs.

Freshwater's attorney says she was disappointed but couldn't comment further because she hadn't discussed the decision with Freshwater.

Messages were left for the superintendent of the school district, about 40 miles northeast of Columbus, and its attorneys.


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