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‘You’re Fired!’: At Religious Schools, Employee Rights Are Severely Limited

Let’s say you work as a teacher in a Catholic school in Cincinnati and your old friend, who is gay, invites you to New York to attend his same-sex wedding. You attend and snap some photos of this happy event, which you post on Facebook.

The school can fire you for that.

Let’s say you have another friend who, along with her husband, has struggled to conceive. The couple uses in vitro fertilization and gets good news: They’re going to have a baby. You use Twitter to send a message of congratulations to your friend.

The school can fire you for that. Read more

False Arrest: Ohio Cops’ Play Acting At Church Garners Bad Reviews

And now a quick visit to the “what-could-they-possibly-have-been-thinking?” department.

Police officers in Summit County, Ohio, are in hot water after they agreed to participate in a publicity stunt designed to drum up interest in a play about how difficult it is for pastors to publicly defend the Christian faith. Read more

What’s The Matter With Springboro?: Ohio City Grapples With Religious Right-Dominated School Board

There’s something rotten in the city of Springboro, Ohio. This community of about 17,000 in southwestern Ohio has suddenly become ground zero in a Religious Right-led culture war. What’s happening there should be a cautionary tale to all of us.

In the wake of elections last year, a three-member Tea Party faction now controls the school board. They’re up to no good. Read more

Difficult Lesson: Ohio Teacher Firing Reminds Us That Religious Schools Play By Different Rules

By all accounts, Carla Hale was a dedicated and popular teacher who loved her job.

Yet when she showed up for work a few weeks ago, Hale was summoned into an administrator’s office and subjected to a grilling. Not long after that, she was summarily fired from her position at a Clintonville, Ohio, high school. Read more

Extreme Over Easter: AFA Declares War On Ohio Town’s ‘Spring Egg Hunt’

Every year around Halloween, Religious Right groups start whining about an alleged “war on Christmas.” According to them, advocates of church-state separation have teamed up with politically correct secularists to drive all mention of the December holiday out of public life. Read more

Starving The Schools: In The States, Voucher Boosters Play Reverse Robin Hood With Tax Dollars

Across the country, public schools are feeling the pinch of the economic downturn. The school system my daughter and son attend has increased class sizes, and some popular programs are on the chopping block.

This, then, would seem to be a poor time to divert tax money into religious and other private schools. (Learn more here.) Yet consider what’s going on in several states: Read more

A Commandment For An Ohio Judge: Thou Shalt Not Promote Religion In Court!

Yesterday a federal appeals court in Ohio ruled against a state judge in Richland County who had erected a religious display in his courtroom.

James DeWeese, a judge of the Court of Common Pleas, had put up a display entitled “Philosophies of Law in Conflict” that contrasted the “Moral Absolutes” of the Ten Commandments with the “Moral Relatives” of humanism. Read more

Freshwater Fired: Ohio Teacher’s Classroom Crusade – Finally – Comes To An End

We’ve written several times about the antics of John Freshwater, an eighth-grade science teacher in Mount Vernon, Ohio, who was accused of teaching creationism and promoting religion in class.

It took a while, but there is good news to report: Freshwater has been fired. Read more

Cross To Bear: Ohio Battle Over Preaching Teacher Moves Toward Resolution

A long-running legal battle over religion in an Ohio public school appears to be drawing to a close.

The case involves a former eighth-grade science teacher named John Freshwater at Mount Vernon Middle School, who was accused of teaching creationism, posting religious signs in his classroom and engaging in other legally dubious activities.

Ironically, none of that stuff, as bad as it is, brought Freshwater under scrutiny. His downfall began after he used an electronic device called a Tesla coil to burn a small cross on a student’s arm. Read more

Mimicking Moore?: Ohio Judge Picks Up Fight For Decalogue Display

Does Ohio Judge James DeWeese really want his future judicial career to be as bleak as former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore?

DeWeese was told by a federal judge last week that his self-designed Ten Commandments poster cannot be displayed in his courtroom. This is the second time a court has ordered the Richland County judge to remove a Decalogue display.

Hearing about DeWeese got us thinking here today about another non-compliant judge and Religious Right favorite, Roy Moore. Read more

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