Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- An Ohio school teacher fired over accusations that he preached christianity in class says in a $1 million lawsuit that his free speech and civil rights were violated.
John Freshwater, an eighth-grade teacher in Mount Vernon northeast of Columbus, also says he was harassed because of his religion, was defamed and suffered a hostile work environment.
The lawsuit against the school board and school administrators was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Columbus.
The Mount Vernon School Board fired Freshwater last year, citing an internal investigation that found he had preached his christian beliefs in class.
Freshwater was also accused of using a scientific device to burn a cross image onto a student's arm and of keeping a bible on his desk.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
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