FFRF: Indiana teacher who slapped student had promoted religion in class

Jimtown High School Teacher

An Indiana teacher recently captured on a security camera brutalizing a student had earlier caught the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s attention with his out-of-control conduct.

The state/church watchdog had noticed in 2019 that Jimtown High School teacher Mike Hosinski was engaging in unacceptable classroom behavior. His conduct in class included bizarre political rants based in his religious ideology, such as telling his students that “Bill Clinton’s friend takes little girls to a sex island and anyone who finds out is killed.”

Baugo Community School Corporation officials responded by removing religious and political materials posted in the history teacher’s high school classroom. However, Hosinki received a lot of support at the time. Even after FFRF’s complaint, he was named Teacher of the Year in 2020.

After a video went public showing Hosinski striking a student on the head during morning classes on Feb. 23, the Baugo Community Schools board in Elkhart let him take “early retirement.” It is more than unfortunate that students organized a walkout in support of Hosinki prior to public release of the video, and that a change.org petition in his support has already garnered more than 1,000 signatures.

The video shows the veteran teacher following a student down a hallway, grabbing the boy’s backpack, then striking him. The student’s head hit the wall and he fell to the ground, requiring medical attention, leaving him with a throbbing lump on his head, a bloody nose and lip, and an abrasion in his mouth.

The Elkhart County Sheriff’s office announced that Hosinki was arrested March 3 and requested that he be charged with a felony. Instead, the prosecutor charged Hosinski with a misdemeanor.

“This is a cautionary tale that public school teachers who push their religion on a captive audience of students may also be willing to literally push a student,” says Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. “School administrators must stop coddling or tolerating teachers who have no boundaries when it comes to exploiting their authority.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with more than 36,000 members and several chapters all across the country, including almost 500 members and a chapter in Indiana. FFRF’s purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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