Teacher conduct subject of investigation

A teacher having the Bible on his desk can be a bit of a gray area, but a teacher who is accused of burning crosses onto students’ arms with an electrostatic device is another matter.

MOUNT VERNON — After an extended executive session Tuesday morning, the Mount Vernon City Schools Board of Education and administration decided to have an independent party investigate allegations made against eighth-grade science teacher John Freshwater.

In a public rally last week, Freshwater said the school administration’s directive to remove a personal Bible from his desk was an abridgment of his First Amendment rights, and refused to comply with the order. On Friday, students held a rally in support of Freshwater and his stance for displaying his Bible.

In a press release issued Tuesday afternoon, Superintendent Steve Short said, “The allegations against Mr. Freshwater are very serious. This is not about his personal Bible on his desktop. It is about the totality of his conduct.”

One of the complaints was that Freshwater used an electrostatic device to burn crosses onto students’ arms.

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