Reported By Liku Zelleke
Cincinnati, OH: A freshman science teacher has been fired from his job after racially slurring an African American student.
Farfield Freshman High School teacher Gil Voigt had been put on suspension, without pay, since December, last year.
It all started on December 3, when Voigt told a student who said that he wanted to grow up and one day become president, just like President Barack Obama, that “we don’t need another black president.”
Voigt, who has 13 years’ teaching experience, isn’t new to controversial statements, not even racial ones. He had made similar comments in 2008 and he later got in trouble for “improper use of technology.”
In 2012 he got verbal warning for calling a student “stupid”.
The teenager that was at the receiving end of Voigt’s latest slur was taken out of his class after the boy’s parents filed a complaint. Four students have corroborated the boy’s story.
A labor hearing was held on Thursday. The school decided to fire Voigt after they reached a conclusion that “there is good and just cause to terminate the teaching contract” after a 4-0 vote, with one member absent.
The school’s Superintendent, Paul Otten, also agreed with the decision. In a statement he said, “The district felt that the evidence was sufficient to support the termination of Mr. Voigt’s employment. The referee recommended such termination, and the board has concurred.”
Although Voigt has declined to comment, it has been reported that he has told The Enquirer of his plans to appeal the referee’s ruling with the Butler County Court of Appeals. He has previously argued that he was misquoted by the student whom he described as being troublesome.
He said that what he had actually said was, “I think we can’t afford another president like Obama, whether he’s black or white.”
The Ohio Department of Education will also conduct an investigation of its own to determine if Voigt should have his teaching license limited, suspended (from 1 day up to 5 years) or totally revoked.
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