MOUNT VERNON — The administrative hearing in the matter of the Mount Vernon Board of Education and suspended middle school teacher John Freshwater has been officially closed, according to hearing referee R. Lee Shepherd.
On Thursday he informed the News, “My report will be filed with the board office within 10 days (in accordance with the provisions of ORC 3319.16). Copies of the report will be simultaneously served on counsel.” With the Martin Luther King holiday, that means the report must be filed with the school board by Jan. 18.
After the board reviews Shepherd’s report, it may, with a majority vote, accept or reject his recommendation regarding the termination of Freshwater’s teaching contract.
If the board votes to terminate the contract, the grounds for termination must be stated. If the decision is against termination of the contract, the ORC states; “the charges and the record of the hearing shall be physically expunged from the minutes, and, if the teacher has suffered any loss of salary by reason of being suspended, the teacher shall be paid the teacher’s full salary for the period of such suspension.”
If the board informs Freshwater that his contract has been terminated, he has the option to file an appeal, within 30 days, with the Knox County Court of Common Pleas.