Branding For Jesus – Update II

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

We have previously discussed John Freshwater, a controversial teacher in Mount Vernon, Ohio, who used a Tesla coil to  brand crosses into the arm of a 7th grade student, here and updated his story, here.

The Mount Vernon School Board has voted, 4 to 1, to fire middle school science teacher John Freshwater.

After a hearing that lasted two years, a state-appointed referee addressed four grounds:

  • Using the tesla coil to mark the shape of a cross on students’ arms.
  • Failure to adhere to the established curriculum.
  • Participation in (rather than passive monitoring of) Fellowship of Christian Athletes activities.
  • Disobedience of Orders (insubordination).

Mount Vernon taxpayers will have to spend over $900,000 on this proceeding. The board must pay $813,628 to the school’s attorney, David Millstone, a Cleveland lawyer with Squires Sanders and Dempsey who specializes in employment law.

It is unknown if Freshwater will appeal.

H/T: Panda’s Thumb, The Columbus Dispatch.

10 thoughts on “Branding For Jesus – Update II”

  1. Simple…send him to be a cellmate of some big bubba…end of case….

  2. Well folks, remember that answers to prayers take a lot of time and gawd is *offal* busy nowadays with all those worldwide prayer requests and such.

  3. Two years for the hearing? I can’t imagine what took so long. Were there continuances requested? Wow. Branding a student on the arm is an serious assault. Does intelligent design require branding? I hope he was criminally charged as well??

  4. Gingerbaker was right about the other related law suits.

    Squires Sanders and Dempsey have quite a few School Boards as clients. I am not a fan, but they do seem to provide adequate representation. There were many crevices to be avoided or crossed in this case and each was filled with vicious pumas.

    Gingerbaker … thanks for the link

  5. “A school board member voted AGAINST dismissal?”

    A fellow named Steve Thompson is on the board. He was a vocal supporter of Freshwater and would have recused himself if he had an ounce of integrity.

    There was a lot more money involved in this case than the $800k to the school attorney, btw, as there were a number of related law suits. The parents of the a child injured by Freshwater and his infamous Tesla coil received several hundred thousand dollars in damages, for example.

    This was a fascinating case, and yeoman’s reportage was done by Richard B. Hoppe at if you want to read up on this. Comments there are by some very good scientists.

  6. Why must the government persecute Christians for merely expressing their faith?

    Thought I’d say it before Tootie got here.

  7. “After a hearing that lasted two years”

    Did sitting that long make their butts, and consequently their brains, go numb?

    Seriously, it took two years and $900K to decide to fire this idiot?

    I’m thinking the Mount Vernon School Board should probably also vote 5 to 0 to fire both themselves and their attorney (come on, $813,628 is milking it!).

    Thanks for the update, Nal.

  8. “…The Mount Vernon School Board has voted, 4 to 1…”

    A school board member voted AGAINST dismissal?

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