Teacher May Have Branded Students

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A public school district in Ohio has hired an independent investigator to look into allegations by parents that a teacher used an electrostatic device to burn crosses on to students' arms.

The Mount Vernon City School District said Tuesday it has assigned an administrator to monitor the classroom of eighth-grade science teacher John Freshwater until the investigation is over.

It's the district's latest run-in with Freshwater, who last week refused to obey an order to remove a Bible on his desk from view of students.

Freshwater also is accused of handing out Bibles to students and teaching the meaning of Good Friday and Easter.

School district officials say they are required by the U.S. Constitution not to promote religious beliefs.

No one answered calls made to Freshwater's home on Tuesday afternoon.

Mount Vernon is about 40 miles northeast of Columbus.