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Groups urge Ohio Supreme Court to uphold firing of Creationist science teacher

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Secular and science groups have urged the Ohio Supreme Court to rule against John Freshwater, an eighth-grade science teacher who was fired for teaching creationism instead of evolution in class.

“Freshwater’s pedagogy serves no legitimate educational purpose in a public school science class, is scientifically unsound, and serves only impermissibly to advance a sectarian purpose, namely, to teach creationism in its tradition version of ‘creation science’ or its modern incarnation of intelligent design,” National Center for Science Education told the court last week.

Freshwater decorated his classroom at the Mount Vernon middle school in Ohio with Biblical verses and taught his students “competing theories” about evolution. He repeatedly attacked the theory of evolution, encouraged his students to question their scientific textbook, and gave extra credit to students who saw a creationist film. Freshwater was also sued in 2008 for allegedly burning a Christian cross into student’s arm using a high-voltage Tesla coil.

The Board of Education voted to consider firing Freshwater later that year for failing to adhere to the school’s curriculum and injecting his personal religious beliefs into his teaching plan. Freshman sued the school board members, the superintendent, the middle school principal and others in 2009, alleging that his First Amendment rights had been violated. . Freshwater is seeking $1 million in damages and to have his job reinstated.

After the Knox County Court of Common Pleas and Fifth District Court of Appeals upheld the Board’s decision, Freshwater appealed the case to the Ohio Supreme Court.

“Simply put, public-school teachers do not have a constitutional right to impose their faith on their students. There can be no doubt that Freshwater was doing exactly that: He now frankly admits what everyone in the community knew all along-namely, that he was intentionally teaching creationism and otherwise incorporating his religious views into his classes,” Americans United for Separation of Church and State told the Ohio Supreme Court.

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“The School District had both the lawful authority and the constitutional obligation to curtail his actions; and in the face of his recalcitrance, terminating his employment was, as the referee found, more than justified.”

Stephen and Jenifer Dennis, whose son was allegedly branded by Freshwater, also urged the court to uphold the Board’s decision. The family sued Freshwater in 2008 and later settled the case for $450,000 plus attorney fees.

“A governmental employee retains all of his First Amendment rights in his private life but must surrender some of them when he is on the job because in that role he speaks for the state as its representative,” the American Humanist Association and the Secular Student Alliance added, citing prior court rulings.

[Intelligent design in school via Shutterstock]

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Pentagon gives senators classified briefing on UFOs reported by the Navy

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While it might sound like something out of "The X-Files," Navy pilots have been seeing UFOs, and U.S. Senators now want to know what's happening.

According to Politico, three more senators met with Pentagon officials for a classified briefing Wednesday about encounters pilots are having with unidentified aircraft. It seems the Pentagon is getting more and more requests by officials with high clearances to figure out what's happening.

The crafts are, at their most basic, nothing more than "unidentified aircraft," and while it isn't likely they're little green men, there are some senators who might have concerns about whether these UFOs are actually a foreign adversary.

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Wall Street Journal issues blistering editorial asking Trump what the point is of a second term

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In a blistering editorial, the Wall Street Journal is asking President Donald Trump what the point of a second term is since he hasn't done anything in his first term.

During his rally in Orlando Tuesday, Trump repeated the same tired lines and same tired policies from 2016. The "Promises Made, Promises Kept" slogan shown over the crowd, yet the supporters didn't understand the irony.

"The most striking fact of his speech was how backward looking it was," the editorial board said. "Every incumbent needs to remind voters of his record, Mr. Trump more than most because the media are so hostile."

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‘Crosses a line’: New York Times publisher unleashes on Trump for accusing paper of ‘treason’

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On Wednesday, New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger wrote a blistering editorial in the Wall Street Journal, saying that President Donald Trump's latest attack on his paper "crosses a line."

First it was the "the failing New York Times." Then "fake news." Then "enemy of the people," wrote Sulzberger. "President Trump's escalating attacks on The New York Times have paralleled his broader barrage on American media. He's gone from misrepresenting our business, to assaulting our integrity, to demonizing our journalists with a phrase that’s been used by generations of demagogues. Now the president has escalated his attacks even further, accusing the Times of a crime so grave it is punishable by death.

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