MOUNT VERNON — Former Superintendent Jeff Maley took the stand this morning in the termination hearing for Mount Vernon Middle School science teacher John Freshwater.
Maley was asked about his knowledge of Freshwater’s proposal to teach evolution at the school. He was also asked, hypothetically, what he would do as superintendent if he saw this type of injury to a student.
Maley is expected to remain on the stand throughout the morning as he has not yet completed questioning by the defense lawyer.
The school board last spring launched an investigation into allegations of
professional misconduct by Freshwater, and the investigative report by an independent
firm concluded that he caused physical harm to a student with a high frequency
electrical generator during a science experiment, overstepped his bounds as a
monitor of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, promoted particular religious
beliefs in the classroom while denigrating others and was insubordinate in refusing
to follow directives from school administrators.
Freshwater, suspended without pay, requested a hearing to contest the board’s intent to terminate his teaching contract and maintains the board wants to fire him for simply keeping a personal Bible on his classroom desk.