Alleged Cross-Burning Teacher Also Surveyed Class About Religion

An Ohio school district says a teacher accused of burning the image of a cross on students' arms also surveyed them about religion.

John Freshwater is appealing to keep his job at Mount Vernon Middle School northeast of Columbus. At a hearing Tuesday, the district introduced survey forms as evidence that officials were right to fire the teacher.

Questions on the forms included whether religion was important to the students.

Freshwater at first denied he ever surveyed students beginning his eighth-grade science class. But when shown completed questionnaires, he said it appeared the school had gone through his room.

An internal investigation concluded that Freshwater burned students' with a high-frequency generator and preached his Christian beliefs in class.