FAIRFIELD, Ohio (CBS Cleveland) — A high school teacher has been suspended without pay for allegedly telling a black student “we do not need another black president” after the student said he would like to become president.
Gil Voigt, a Fairfield Freshman School teacher, is facing dismissal from the school since the Fairfield Board of Education suspended him after allegedly making the racially insensitive statement to a student earlier in December.
A report from Assistant Superintendent Roger Martin stated that the incident happened Dec. 3 in front of several students according to Cincinatti.com. Martin said that four students were interviewed who confirmed that the incident occurred.
“This is a rare occurrence. This is the first time I’ve faced it since being named assistant superintendent (in 2011),” Martin explained to Cincinatti.com.
The student’s parents complained to the school and the teenager was removed from Voigt’s class, Martin said.
A disciplinary hearing about the incident against Voigt, who is white, was conducted by Martin. Voigt has 10 days to request a hearing before the school board or a referee.
“We intend to uphold board policies and to hold teachers accountable for the essential functions of the teacher job description,” Martin said to Cincinnati.com.
Voigt is accused of violating board policies related to staff ethics, staff-student relations and harassment, Cincinnati.com reported.
The science teacher, who has been teaching at the school for 14-years, has been disciplined before several times in the past.
In 2008 he received a verbal warning for making an inappropriate racial comment. Voigt also received another verbal warning for improper use of school technology that same year. In 2012, he was verbally warned for allegedly calling a student “stupid” and then belittling him. Last month, Voigt received a written warning for failure to use the adopted curriculum.