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Published: Tuesday, 1/11/2011

School board fires teacher accused of marking students with crosses

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — An Ohio science teacher accused of burning the image of a cross on students' arms says he's disappointed school officials voted to fire him.

The Mount Vernon school board decided Monday night to accept a state official's recommendation to terminate John Freshwater. The Columbus Dispatch reports the firing took effect at midnight.

In an e-mail to The Associated Press on Tuesday, Freshwater registered his unhappiness but did not say whether he'd appeal the firing.

He had appealed an earlier move to dismiss him after an internal investigation found he preached Christian beliefs in class. He also was accused of using a scientific device to mark students with a cross and of keeping a Bible on his desk.

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