School's investigation done incorrectly

June 3, 2010

Expert witness Michal Molnar, in the John Freshwater hearing, described how an investigation against a teacher, accused of harming a student, should be handled.

  • Talk to parents and student and get written statement
  • Talk to student without parents if permission is given (to make sure parents are  not pressuring student to lie)     
  • Talk to teacher and get written statement
  • Talk to everyone who could have been around when the incident happened
  • At any point if it looks like the complaint was false the investigation would be dropped 
  • Contact Children's Services and they would take over the investigation
  • Give Children's Services all written statements gathered and help them in any way possible in their investigation

Molnar went on to say that while this is how he would have done the investigation, it could be done differently but that if the school considers the complaint valid they are required by law to report it to Children's Services. 

Ohio Revised Code 2151.421 states that a " teacher; school employee; school authority... who is acting in an official or professional capacity and knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect... that a child under eighteen years of age... has suffered or faces a threat of suffering any physical or mental wound, injury, disability..." is required to report it to Children's Services.

The Mount Vernon School did not follow this method in their investigation they: 

  • never talked to all of those present when the incident allegedly happened.
  • did not get written statements from those they did talk to.
  • did not contact Children's Services even though they thought that a child might have been harmed


Zach Dennis Lied Under Oath, fellow students say

April 30, 2010

Over the last two days of hearings in the John Freshwater case, ten students that were in Zach Dennis's 8th grade science class (2007-08) have said that Zach Dennis lied about several things under oath. When asked if Dennis's statement that, Freshwater had held down his arm during the Tesla Coil experiment, was true the students all said that Dennis was lying.

Other statements the students said Dennis would be lying (or said they didn't remember) if he said included;


  • Freshwater holding his han...

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New Evidence Still Being Found in Freshwater Case

April 30, 2010

Over  two years after the case started new evidence is being found, such as on Jan 14th 2010 John Freshwater received an anonymous letter that said the School Board had been hiding some of John Freshwaters things from his room and included a few photos of some of the items. As a result of the anonymous letter the School Board brought out over 14 boxes of things that had been taken from Freshwater's classroom. Freshwater explained in his testimony on April 29th that his attorney Kelly Hamilton...

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Yet Another Demonstration of Tesla Coil by Superintendent Short

April 29, 2010

Lori Hubble, the caregiver for one of John Freshwater's former students stated in her testimony this morning that Superintendent Steve Short demonstrated the Tesla Coil on a school desk.

Hubble said that in 2008 Short called her and asked to have a meeting. When she arrived Short and David Millstone were present. Short then demonstrated the Tesla Coil by showing it arc to a school desk, with her one year old baby and the students father watching.

Short went on to show them a video [The Watchmak...

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Christian Family Objects to Bible in Classroom

April 29, 2010
 Self-described as Christian, the Dennis family is suing their son’s former teacher for—among other things—having a Bible in the classroom. 

Bible on the desk

Up until five months ago, the Dennises attempted to distance themselves from the controversy surrounding the school’s order for John Freshwater to remove his Bible. The Dennis’ lawsuit in 2008 did not make mention of Freshwater’s personal Bible, instead it stated that the teacher “kept several Bibles in his classroom which w...

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Freshwater hearing to start up again

April 29, 2010

The John Freshwater hearing which has been on hold since Jan 15th will resume on April 29th. One of the reasons for the delay was 14+ boxes of items were found in the School Boards building, that had been removed from Freshwater's class room without his knowledge, and his attorney Kelly Hamilton needed time to examined them.


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Court denies Dennis family's claim

April 29, 2010

The court denied the Dennis family’s motion related to the claim of battery, and granted Freshwater’s motion as to the student’s consent for the electrical device experiment. 

Pretrial proceedings are planed for May 12 or 13; the trial against Freshwater is scheduled to begin May 24 in Columbus.


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Photographs of Missing Evidence - John Freshwater Addresses School Board

April 29, 2010
John Freshwater used his three minutes of public participation time to update the Mount Vernon Board of Education on recent developments related to his employment hearing. 

“I thought the hearing was about to end sometime last month but the proceeding changed again because somebody sent an anonymous letter containing some photographs of some items from my classroom,” Freshwater said. “Last week another anonymous delivery was made that contained..."  from 

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Freshwater hearing delayed

January 15, 2010

     At 11:16 am the hearing referee made this statement; "Even though this proceeding is not bound by the “Civil Rules of Procedure,” in the spirit of those rules it is my opinion that if we were to proceed today, it might create an unfair advantage to one side or the other. And in an effort to avoid that circumstance, we’re going to conclude proceedings for today and reconvene one week from today, 9 a.m., Friday, Jan. 22, 2010,"

     None of the attorneys would make a statement for the...

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Freshwater says Items were taken from his classroom by Administration without his permission/knowledge

December 30, 2009
During the his mornings testimony Mr. Freshwater, after examining several exhibits submitted by Millstone, stated "it is apparent you have gone through my class room..." he went on to say that apparently they did not return all of his personal items from his class, which was cleaned out without his knowledge/permission. Mr Freshwater also said that some of the documents submited by David Millstone are altered from what he had in his class or are out right forgeries....
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Levi Stickle at Freshwater Hearings

Levi Stickle -outside the Knox County Service center (the building the Freshwater hearings were being held in until April 29th 2010)

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