MOUNT VERNON — The defense rested its case to conclude Friday’s session of the contract termination hearing for suspended Mount Vernon middle school teacher John Freshwater.



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17 Responses to “Defense rests in Freshwater hearing”

  1. whatever

    No Sherry, not the investigative report. The document why they were going to terminate him.

  2. charley horse

    TheTruthHurts—–Thanks for sharing that. It’s obvious, the leopard never changed its

    Hazeleyes protests too much to not have a compelling interest. Wonder what it could

  3. CB

    Come on hazeleyes. I want to hear your responce to what TheTruthHurts wrote since you support Mr. Freshwater. I have no problem with what this man believes in. I really dont care what happens to him. What i do have a problem with is him pressing his views on children that dont believe what he does. If my child would have came home with a cross burned on his arm, losing his job would have been the least of worries on his mind. The man sounds like a religous fanatic that dont belong in public schools.

  4. Fred S.

    JF needs to go because he taught bad science (creationism, intelligent design). The written evidence to demonstrate this (e.g. student quizzes) has been made public both inside and outside this hearing. These materials strongly resemble classroom materials distributed on creationist web sites. His denials in the hearing this week do not stand up against the written evidence. It is clear that JF promoted religious viewpoints in science class, violating policy of the school system and contradicting the Ohio science standards for 8th grade. Wanton refusal to teach good science, the science our students need to meet Ohio standards, is reason enough to dismiss him, regardless of the rumored Tesla coil debacle.

  5. TheTruthHurts

    I’m sorry to inform you. But I had Mr.Freshwater for 8th grade science in the 80’s. For one, if you had forgotten your school work, he would make you swear on the Bible that what ever occured that made you forget it. Actually occured.

    Secondly, some students that were deemed by him to be unacceptable in the way they dressed, would be asked by him to come forth to his desk where he would say a prayer under his breath while applying a crucifix to their foreheads.

    Lastly, and to my dismay. He would refuse to teach/discuss anything about Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution. Again making quote of what the Bible says of mans forthcomimg. And if a student argued, he asked for you to come forth to his desk, and would say a prayer while placing the crucifix on your forehead.

    My asumption. The man is completely mad. And I will never be convinced other wise.

    Good day.

  6. Sherry

    Yes, and the report is completely consistent with my statement. JF admits using the device, discusses not getting any written instructions, was told to use the device by the school, and says the mark was just two lines going in different directions. Nothing in the report contradicts any of that. The investigator went to the manufacturer to obtain information never before given to JF to conclude he misused the device, and summarily concluded that the 2 lines were a cross and not a “t” without saying why, and despite conducting a test where the device caused no mark. The rest of the discussion was about alleged conduct that occurred before the device controversy arose, about which JF had never been disciplined before and which occurred at times when he consistently received excellent reviews from the school. Listen to the videos in this case (I think it was at a school board meeting), where another teacher emphatically reports using the device in Mt. Vernon H.S. That teacher is not being disciplined, and this case is not about using the device to burn someone, or else all the other teachers should be on trial for the same thing.

  7. whatever

    Sherry- I am not sure where you are getting your information, but you are waayy off! Did you even read the document that explains why they voted to start the termination process?

  8. hazeleyes

    Okay charley horse you know all of this for a fact? Do you have all the documents before you, that is are you looking directly at them? If so then you are doing something illegal here. If not then you are just blowing smoke!

  9. M Baker

    From just reading from what the others testified who generally were consistant, I believe Mr. Freshwater is going to be seen as being a lier. From what I remember, he is even contridicted what he has said earlier. He is just another self rightious person who thinks of himself as a “Christian” and everyone else is either persecuting for his religion(who wouldn’t even know what his faith was unless he publically professed it), or that everyone else is evil and out to get the Christians like him. I can imagine the school board attorneys are having a great time this week end finding his inconsistancies and can’t wait until Monday morning.

  10. whatever

    So hazeleyes we are to assume that you WERE in his class? If he says everyone else is lying why are we to believe him and not everyone else? Nobody said that he wasn’t respected or well liked, at least not from what I have heard and read.

  11. Sherry

    John Freshwater has consistently discussed that he touched the students with the Tesla coil, in two quick swipes. He says he didn’t do the swipes in the same direction because he didn’t want to touch the same spot twice. In doing so, he was following the directives of the teachers at the school, who told him to use the device this way. When he taught in other schools, he did not use the coil, and only did so after the science dept. at Mt. Vernon told him to. He was not given any safety manuals when they gave him the device and told him how to use it. So, he was following the school’s directive! He also says no one was ever burned by it, and there are professors who said in other news articles that to be burnt by the coil would be impossible in less than a five minute hold on the skin. I think they were from a university in Westerville. The school is not saying that using the device was wrong, but only that using it to swipe a cross instead of an “X” or “t” was wrong. So, the hearing is to determine whether a mark was created and whether it was an “x” or “t,” which would both be OK, or if it was a cross used to further religion. Note that only students who volunteered to be touched after JF demonstrated on his own arm were touched by the coil. He always demonstrated on himself for every class, so he was “burned” 3 or 4 times a day on Tesla experiment days, and says he never got a mark from it. The other teachers did the same.
    Also, the school “closed” any investigation into the matter in January, then re-opened it months later after telling JF he had to remove all religious materials from his classroom. Some of those materials he got from the previous administrators, and all had been there for years. He removed all but the Bible. They told him to remove that, he objected publicly, then they recanted and said the Bible was OK. Only after that got to be a public outcry did they re-open the issue about the “x” or cross. They only moved to fire him after he went public about the Bible issue. JF is being fired for insubordination in promoting religion in the classroom, not for burning a student, and supposedly not for insisting on keeping his Bible on the desk. He is being fired only for what he supposedly did in furtherance of religion before the whole Bible incident started. JF claims the termination is retaliation for going public about the Bible on the desk issue, even though the Board now says that keeping it there was OK and that speaking publicly on the issue was OK. Their position is that even burning a “t” would be OK. It has to be, since all the teachers were doing that.

  12. charley horse

    hazeleyes, Freshwater’s crimes were committed over a period of years, not just ONE day. Yes, crimes.
    He stole class time to proselytize. He abused his students both mentally and physically. He stole from his employer.
    Now, he has lied to the hearing officer or whatever his title is. If he was under oath (I don’t know if the witnesses
    were sworn) he committed several acts of perjury this week. Well documented by his earlier statements and
    numerous witnesses that previously testified.

  13. Paul Burnett

    I hope the referee quotes Federal Judge John Jones in his 2005 Dover Decision: “It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the Intelligent Design Policy.” Next week Freshwater will have his previous sworn testimony read back to him and will have to admit that either one or another contradictory statement is untrue – and then it’s all over.

  14. hazeleyes

    Absolutely no one on this thread was in the classroom on that day ,except the students and Mr Freshwater! Whom are you to say this man is lying? I didn’t realize we had so many mind readers in MountVernon and the surrounding area?! A good percentage of Mr Freshwater’s students respect and care for him, that says a lot for the teacher! Most of what I have seen on here are people who had nothing to do with the case, just here to pass judgment, d/t his beliefs in God! The way I see it there are a lot of people with Bibles who proclaim to be Christians, and some are, and there are those ready to stab you in the back the minute you turn and walk away! Our Country is a SAD place to live right now, we tend to see what we want to see, not what is really there! We judge people nastily for the sake of doing so. I am guilty of this as well, shame on me! Mostly shame on all of those that continue to do so after becoming aware of this! I am on Mr Freshwater’s side! Let him go back to his job, let him do what he loves to do! TEACH!!!!

  15. david

    This isn’t a court case. It’s a contract termination hearing. Freshwater burned a student with something he shouldn’t have. He said on 1300 WMVO that he touched the child with the device and he’s lied about it since.

  16. charley horse

    I’m sure I am not the only one who has noticed that the Freshwater fan club here
    consistently defends his teaching creationism, etc. while Freshwater has denied
    constantly his doing that.

    Freshwater has not told one truth in his testimony from what little of it has been reported.
    It appears he is one of those christians who have no problem with lying to promote his
    religious beliefs.

    For those who think he had a right to teach more than one “theory” of how life evolved,
    there is only ONE scientific theory. And that is called the theory of evolution. That is what
    Freshwater was paid to teach. Period.

  17. Sam Stickle

    I was at the hearing and did not hear Kelly Hamilton say that he was resting the defense’s case.

    To rest a case, according to the dictionary is when “In a lawsuit, a party is said to ‘rest,’ or ‘rest her case,’ when that party indicates that she has produced all the evidence that she intends to offer at that stage and submits the case either finally, or subject to the right to offer rebutting evidence after her opponent has introduced her evidence.”