Tuesday, June 30, 2009

John Freshwater Wanted Hearing To Be Before School Board

One year ago today, John Freshwater requested that the school board hear his case instead of taking it to a referee. “I request the hearing be a public hearing before the school board,” Freshwater wrote in a letter dated June 30, 2008.

Mount Vernon City School District Board of Education voted on June 20, 2008 to start the process of firing Freshwater. By law, Freshwater had ten days from receiving receipt of the board’s resolution to request a hearing. His attorney, R. Kelly Hamilton, said that Freshwater received the notice by certified mail “on/or about June 24.”

Ohio revised code 3319.16 states that a teacher may request the hearing to take place before the school board.

The board elected to have the hearing take place before a referee—with the board being able to make the final decision on retaining Freshwater after receiving the referee’s recommendation.

Attorney for the board, David Millstone, did not respond to a request for comment.

Freshwater spoke to the board during their meeting on August 4, 2008. In his comments to them, he responded to their choice to have the hearing before a referee. “Why not you?” Freshwater asked. “I want you, I don’t want a referee. That’s who should hear it, not a referee, not someone we don’t even know.”

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