Ohio Teacher Accused Of Preaching Fights For Job

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Mount Vernon, Ohio (AP) -- An Ohio teacher accused of burning the image of a cross on students' arms says his boss gave him conflicting guidelines about what kinds of religious expressions were appropriate.

John Freshwater was fired last year at the Mount Vernon Middle School, about 40 miles northeast of Columbus. He testified Thursday during an appeals hearing.

Freshwater said school principal Bill White gave conflicting memos and directives, including whether he could keep a Bible on his desk.

He also said a poster in his classroom that showed the ten commandments came from a stack of identical posters that had been left in the school's administration office.

Freshwater said no one complained until he was he was accused of insubordination.

An internal investigation said Freshwater burned students' arms with an electrostatic device.

Freshwater denies branding anyone.

(Copyright 2009 By The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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