Interview with mother in the Freshwater cross-burning affair

The mother of the boy at the center of the Freshwater affair, Jenifer Dennis, has given her first interview to the Columbus Dispatch. Two excerpts:

Zachary Dennis, now a high-school freshman, told his mother that his eighth-grade teacher, John Freshwater, held his arm down Dec. 6 and used an electrical device used to test gases to burn a cross on his forearm during a science class demonstration.

“He said ‘Mr. Freshwater said this cross will be here for awhile; it’s like a temporary tattoo,’ “ recalled Jenifer Dennis, Zachary’s mother.


“We never intended to go in to get Mr. Freshwater in trouble,” said Mrs. Dennis. “I send my child to school and expect my child not to come home with an injury to his arm.”

I know the Dennis family, and know that they originally wanted only to assure the safety of Zach and the other children in Freshwater’s classes. Freshwater’s other behaviors at issue came to light in the aftermath of his burning the child and his subsequent publicity seeking via demonstrations outside the schools and on the Mt. Vernon public square.

The termination hearing on Freshwater resumes tomorrow (Tuesday). I’ll be there.