In 2008 a science teacher at Ohio’s Mount Vernon Middle School was fired after the school board investigated claims that he a had burned a cross into student’s arms. Teacher John Freshwater claimed that he was demonstrating the use of a high frequency generator, and burned “x”s on the students arms. However Freshwater was also accused of preaching Christian beliefs rather than the school science curriculum, and the victims insisted that the burns were crosses.
The lawsuit Freshwater filed against the school sought half a million dollars in punitive damages, half a million dollars in lost wages , pension pay, and lost opportunities. Freshwater has also filed an appeal through an outside referee that is part of the Ohio teachers plan. The hearing with the referee was held in August but the decision hasn’t been released. Now Freshwater and his wife have dropped the lawsuit.
However Freshwater is claiming defamation, harassment due to his religion and a hostile work environment. What is surprising is that no parents have filed child abuse charges against him. I know of many parents who would blow a gasket if a teacher intentionally burned their child, or attempted to preach religion to the child in a public school. He’s lucky that all he got was fired.
Not only should he not be reinstated, he should be the subject of a deep investigation and lawsuit somewhere along the lines of what he was seeking for traumatizing children. Freshwater’s appeal with the referee could possibly put him back in the classroom, and it is rumored that the reason he dropped the lawsuit is because it would have interfered in the refereed appeal.