A white Cincinnati-area teacher has been suspended for allegedly telling an African-American student that “we do not need another black president” after the student said he would like to become president, the Cincinnati Inquirer reports.
The Fairfield Board of Education suspended Fairfield Freshman School science teacher Gil Voigt after he allegedly made the comments with several students present earlier this month, according to a report from Assistant Superintendent Roger Martin, who conducted a disciplinary hearing on the matter, the Inquirer reports.
Voigt, who has been teaching at the school since 2000, has 10 days to request a hearing before the school board, but this isn’t the first time he has been disciplined.
According to the Inquirer, which reviewed the teacher’s disciplinary documents, he received a verbal warning for making an inappropriate racial comment in 2008. That year he also received a verbal warning for improper use of school technology, and last year he received a verbal warning after allegedly calling a student “stupid.” He received a written warning last month for failure to use the adopted curriculum.
“This is a rare occurrence. This is the first time I’ve faced it since being named assistant superintendent [in 2011],” Martin said. In his report, Martin said that he believed the four students who were interviewed and corroborated the account of the incident as the student reported it.
The black student was removed from Voigt’s class after his parents complained.
“We intend to uphold board policies and to hold teachers accountable for the essential functions of the teacher job description,” Martin said.
Voigt was not present at the meeting and could not be reached by the Inquirer for comment. According to the report, Voigt said that the student was a troublemaker and not a very good student and that his statement had been misquoted.
Read more at the Cincinnati Inquirer.