John Freshwater, the Mount Vernon, Ohio science teacher who was fired for burning a cross on a student’s arm and preaching his religion on school time, in 2008, settled a civil lawsuit with the parents of the victim for $450,000. He is still waiting on his appeal of his firing.
The money, to be paid by the school district’s insurance carrier, Ohio Casualty, will compensate Stephen and Jenifer Dennis for mental pain and suffering, and their son, Zachary, for physical pain and sickness.
Zachary Dennis alleges that John Freshwater pushed his Christian beliefs in science class two years ago and burned a cross on Zachary’s forearm with an electrical laboratory device.
Included in the $450,000 settlement is an annuity of $150,000, to be paid over 13years to Zachary, now enrolled in another school district. Jones Day, the law firm that represented the family, will get $25,000, which is apart from the $450,000 settlement.
Freshwater’s appeal of his firing is in the hands of a referee who has yet to rule.