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"with The Exception Of The Cross-burning Episode..."

The Columbus Dispatch has a report confirming yet again what Michigan natives have always believed about Ohio:

A Mount Vernon teacher undermined science instruction in the public school district by discrediting evolution in his classroom and focusing on creationism and intelligent design, an investigation has found.

Okay, pretty typical case of evolution-denying teacher brainwashing the students, right? It gets a little creepier:

The report confirmed that Freshwater burned crosses onto students' arms, using an electrostatic device, in December.

Freshwater told investigators the marks were X's, not crosses. But all of the students interviewed in the investigation reported being branded with crosses.

Naturally, the conventions of journalism require quoting a defender of the teacher:

Freshwater's friend Dave Daubenmire defended him. "With the exception of the cross-burning episode. … I believe John Freshwater is teaching the values of the parents in the Mount Vernon school district," he said.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Ohioan, strong social conservative, looking for employment... put this man on John McCain's veep shortlist.

--Jonathan Chait