MOUNT VERNON — Former Mount Vernon teacher John Freshwater is continuing his fight against the educational establishment in Ohio. In January, Freshwater was fired from his position as a middle school science teacher.
In March, the Ohio Department of Education placed a letter of admonishment in Freshwater’s file. It stated that Freshwater used poor judgment when he permitted students to volunteer to touch a live Tesla coil which resulted in an injury to a student. ODE further stated that conduct is unbecoming to the teaching profession.
Through attorney Kelly Hamilton, Freshwater in April filed a response to rebut the letter of admonishment and demand that it be rescinded. The response alleges the letter “contains false information and is erroneous, defamatory and unwarranted.” It further asserts that Freshwater never caused any harm to any student, and states that if a thorough investigation had been conducted, “the student who alleged harm can only be deemed as other classmates described: a liar.”
Freshwater’s response demands the ODE investigate the alleged failure of Superintendent Steve Short and middle school principal William White to report the harm or injury incident to the ODE. It also demands the ODE investigate other educators who used the Tesla coil in their classrooms.
Supporting documents included the closing brief Freshwater filed as part of his contract termination hearing.
Neither Freshwater nor David Millstone, the board’s attorney, could be reached for comment as of press time.