THIS ONE is back in the news. In the Columbus Dispatch we read Student testifies science teacher burned him, subtitled: “A hearing for Mt. Vernon teacher John Freshwater resumed today.”
John Freshwater is the Ohio school teacher accused of teaching creationism, classroom preaching, after-school prayer, and burning a cross on a student’s arm with an electrical device. The hearing, resumed today after a three-week break (there were scheduling problems), is supposed to decide whether Freshwater will be fired.
The article says, with bold added by us:
John Freshwater also used the high-voltage electrostatic generator on a special needs classmate, Zachary Dennis, now a Mount Vernon High School freshman testified during a hearing today …
Sloppy writing. Zachary had testified that he — Zachary — had been zapped, and now it seems he’s testifying that Freshwater also zapped a special needs classmate. Continuing:
Zachary testified that Freshwater told a classmate to pick up a test tube, and then “shocked him in the back” with the device, which is normally used to test the composition of gases.
Ouch! Here’s more:
Freshwater later testified that he might have touched the student “inadvertently.” He acknowledged that he made an ‘x’ motion when using the device on Dennis’ arm. But he said there were no marks, and that it was not a cross.
Hey, what’s the big deal? It was just an “X.” Continuing:
Zachary also described a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting in which Freshwater led a prayer, which teachers are prohibited from doing.
That seems rather trivial. But there’s more:
“Devil, you cannot take over this man,” Zachary recalled Freshwater saying as he held his hands above a guest speaker who had been ill.
This is peculiar behavior in a public school. But there are always two sides to these things. However:
Freshwater’s attorney declined to cross-examine Zachary and his mother, Jenifer, explaining that he needed time to investigate new information he read in today’s Dispatch.
For the moment, Zachary’s testimony is unchallenged. The trial will continue, and so will we. Stay tuned.
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