Us

Ohio's highest court hearing arguments in case of fired teacher who kept Bible on his desk

FILE - In this April 16, 2008 file photo, John Freshwater, center, addresses a crowd on Mount Vernon's public square in Mount Vernon, Ohio. The Ohio Supreme Court is ready to hear arguments in the case of Freshwater, a fired public school science teacher who kept a bible on his desk and was accused of preaching religious beliefs in class. (AP Photo/Mount Vernon News, Pam Schehl, File)

FILE - In this April 16, 2008 file photo, John Freshwater, center, addresses a crowd on Mount Vernon's public square in Mount Vernon, Ohio. The Ohio Supreme Court is ready to hear arguments in the case of Freshwater, a fired public school science teacher who kept a bible on his desk and was accused of preaching religious beliefs in class. (AP Photo/Mount Vernon News, Pam Schehl, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Ohio Supreme Court is ready to hear arguments in the case of a fired public school science teacher who kept a Bible on his desk and was accused of preaching religious beliefs in class.

The Mount Vernon School Board dismissed John Freshwater in 2011. Investigators reported he preached Christian beliefs in class when discussing topics such as evolution and homosexuality and was insubordinate in failing to remove the Bible from his classroom.

Two lower courts previously upheld the dismissal, but the state Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear a portion of Freshwater's claims over his firing.

The court has said Freshwater can argue it is unconstitutional to fire someone without clear guidance on what teaching materials or methods are acceptable.