Jewish Journal


October 25, 2010

Teacher drops religious discrimination lawsuit


It’s not often that a middle school teacher has a Wikipedia page. But it’s also not often that a teacher performs an experiment with Tesla coils that allegedly leaves a burn in the style of a cross on a students forearm. So was the case with John Freshwater, whom an Ohio school district tried to fire for posting copies of the 10 Commandments in his classroom, refusing to remove a personal Bible from his desk and keeping a box of Bibles in the back of class for use by a student organization.

Unless Freshwater was preaching during class, everything except for the Tesla coils seem pretty innocuous. That may explain why Freshwater had sued. But last week he dropped his lawsuit.

More from Religion Clause:

No settlement was reached between the parties in the case, but apparently Freshwater has run out of funds and is now hoping to prevail when a referee issues a decision in his administrative appeal of his firing. The referee heard 38 days of testimony. Referring to the fact that the school board has not paid anything in settlement to him in exchange for his dropping the case, Freshwater said: “We have already spent our life savings and have pledged our farm to get to the truth. It is better to leave the money on the table than to take the Bible off of my desk.”

Well, when you put it that way ...

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