Judge upholds firing of Ohio teacher in Bible case

By the Associated Press | October 6, 2011 | 7:45 AM EDT

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (AP) — A judge has upheld the firing of a central Ohio public school science teacher accused of preaching religious beliefs in class and of keeping a Bible on his desk.

Knox County Common Pleas Judge Otho Eyster said in Wednesday's ruling he found clear and convincing evidence that the Mount Vernon school board was right in dismissing John Freshwater.

Eyster noted in his two-page decision that he reviewed more than 6,300 transcript pages from a hearing held before a state referee. That hearing officer recommended in January that Freshwater's contract be terminated, and the school board formally fired him within days.

Freshwater did not immediately respond to a message for comment Thursday.

Freshwater also was accused of burning students' arms with the image of a cross, though that allegation was resolved.