(CBSNEWS) — State Supreme Court justices sparred with lawyers on Wednesday in a heated hour of arguments over the extent to which a now-fired public school science teacher had the right to push his religious beliefs in class.

A lawyer for the school board that dismissed John Freshwater in 2011 said he waved a Bible at his students, handed out religious pamphlets and espoused creationism in his evolution lessons.

Freshwater violated the constitutional separation between church and state and was rightfully fired, said David Smith, an attorney for the Mount Vernon School Board.

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