John Freshwater (born June 22, 1956) is a science teacher at Mount Vernon Middle School in Mount Vernon, Ohio, USA. He is currently suspended without pay pending the outcome of his challenge to the school board's decision to dismiss him on the grounds of his conduct and teaching materials. His dismissal involves a debate on creation and evolution in public education, and his use of a tesla coil to mark students' arms, which parents of the students have alleged is symbolic of Christianity.
Freshwater has a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Ohio University and an Associate's Degree in Recreation and Wildlife from Hocking College. He is married and has three children.
In April 2008, Freshwater publicly claimed he was told by school adminstration to remove a Bible off his desk, but refused. On April 18, 2008, some students held a rally in support of Freshwater refusing. However in response, the school released a statement the following week, in part, "The allegations against Mr. Freshwater are very serious. This is not about his personal Bible on his desktop. It is about the totality of his conduct." He was under investigation for preaching his religion to his students, teaching creationism, encouraging prayer and branding students with a Christian cross from machine used to show characteristics of gases.