The student read in the newspaper that his seventh-grade science teacher, Bill Oxenford, testified at the John Freshwater hearing that he stopped using the Tesla coil in class demonstrations ten years ago. That was not true, Nathan Thomas told his parents.
Thomas, now in tenth-grade, said that Oxenford did use it in his class—as many as ten students went up and touched the Tesla coil with their fingers. Thomas described coming in contact with the electricity as “like the tip of a coat hanger being moved around on the tip of my finger.” He found it to not be hot, was surprised when he first felt it and that it left a little red mark that was gone by the next class.
The newspaper coverage Thomas read was presumably an article titled “Tesla coil demonstrated during hearing” published in the Mount Vernon News.
The testimony of Thomas went on to information about Freshwater. During an eighth-grade science class with Freshwater, in a lesson on gases, three to four students touched the Tesla coil, Thomas said. “Girls that went up kinda’ shrieked, I guess because they are girls,” Thomas said.
Freshwater never preached in science class, he did, however, present both sides on issues—such as saying that some people believe that there is a God who created the earth, Freshwater would then go on with the lesson, Thomas said.
Attorney for the Mount Vernon City Schools Board of Education, David Millstone, asked Thomas about the use of the word “here” in Freshwater’s classroom.
Thomas said that the students would say “here” when they came across a “date” in the textbook. “Like, ‘This fossil was 49 million years old,’ and we would say ‘here,’” Thomas said.
Freshwater had the students question statements in the textbook that had to do with radioactive dating, Thomas explained, because that is relative dating, depending on things around it “such as fossils and trees” to determine a date.
For more information on the controversy surrounding radioactive dating, see “Radioactive dating method ‘under fire’” an article by Andrew A. Snelling, published in Creation. Also by Snelling is an article titled “Geological conflict: Young radiocarbon date for ancient fossil wood challenges fossil dating.”