A suburban Cincinnati teacher has been fired after making a racist remark to a black student.
Gil Voigt had been teaching science at Fairfield Freshman School since 2000. He has been on unpaid leave since December when he told a black student who had stated that he wished to follow in President Obama’s footsteps that “we do not need another black president.”
“There is good and just cause to terminate the teaching contract,” a state referee said Thursday in a letter to the Fairfield Board of Education. The board voted 4-0 with one board member absent to end his employment with the Butler County school system.
Voigt declined to comment but previously said the student, whom he has described as troublesome, misquoted him in the Dec. 3 incident.
He later told Fairfield officials that what he said to the teen was “I think we can’t afford another president like Obama, whether he’s black or white.”
A review of Voigt’s personal file showed a history of inappropriate comments made towards black students. In 2008, he was accused of calling a student an “African American Rudolph” while aiming a laser pointer at the student. He also received a verbal warning last year after allegations that he called one student “stupid” and others “gay,” and in December he was warned verbally for failing to use the adopted curriculum.
The Fairfield City School District has about 9,500 students. Almost 1 in 6 is black. The department’s investigation will determine whether Voigt will have his teaching license limited, suspended from one day to up to five years or revoked entirely.
Voigt has 30 days to appeal the ruling.
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