An Akron, Ohio music teacher is suspended on leave pending an investigation into racist comments he allegedly posted on Facebook.
Images of the rant were shared by parents of students attending Firestone High School.
Parents and community members became outraged and reported a posting on Spondike’s Facebook page that referred to African- American trick-or-treaters in his neighborhood by a racist slur, and the posting also said they come from the “ghetto.”
Just after 1 p.m., Akron schools released the following statement:
“Akron Public Schools has put a veteran music teacher on paid, administrative leave as it now conducts an investigation into postings he made on Facebook. Fifty-one-year-old David Spondike posted comments on his personal Facebook page last evening following a night of trick or treating by children visiting his neighborhood. He has been employed by APS since August of 1998.
“His comments were unprofessional and unbecoming a teacher,” said Superintendent David W. James. “Regardless of whether he was on his own time and own account doing this, he is a teacher; and his actions influence children. This is serious.”
Spondike’s racially insensitive comments appeared to reflect his anger over the actions taken by young people trick or treating and, according to his Facebook writings, urinating on or near his property and in front of his children.
His comments have been removed and his account deleted. Spondike did offer this, after removing the comments and prior to deleting his account, saying he was sorry “to those who are sincerely offended.” He added that his comments on Facebook were directed at the teen who exposed himself in front of young children.
Spondike, who has been teaching for 15 years, has a history of misconduct. In 2007, he was accused of choking a student. He was later cleared by police saying the accusation was unsubstantiated.
In 2001, a colleague complained that Spondike reprimanded him for “not doing anything to a student with very baggy pants.”
Channel 3 also obtained his personnel file, which details several reprimands. In March of 2007, he was accused of choking a student at Goodyear Middle School. Police and children services cleared him, saying it was unsubstantiated.
The Akron School board will hold a hearing regarding the case.
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