Teacher Refuses To Move Bible From Desk

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A middle school science teacher on Wednesday said he was willing to go to court after the district instructed him to remove a personal Bible from his desk.

John Freshwater held a rally Wednesday at the town square that drew support from dozens of people, 10TV's Andy Hirsch reported.

The teacher said he already removed a collage from his classroom that included the 10 Commandments, but he said asking him to remove the Bible was going too far.

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"The removal of it from my desk would be nothing short of an infringement on my own deeply held personal religious beliefs granted by God and guaranteed under the free exercise clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution," Freshwater said.

Freshwater, who said he's taught at Mount Vernon Middle School for more than 20 years, said the Bible has sat on his desk each day. He said it would remain there as long as he was teaching.
 
The district superintendent declined to comment on camera to 10TV News, but he did release a statement that read, "The Mount Vernon Schools has not taken this action because it opposes religion, but because it has an obligation under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution to protect against the establishment of religion in the schools."
 
The Ohio Department of Education said there are no rules or law preventing a teacher from having a Bible on a desk, Hirsch reported.
 
Freshwater said he was willing to take the fight to court.
 
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