The southwest-Ohio teacher who allegedly told a black student with big dreams that “we don’t need another black president” is prepared to fight for his job and his reputation.
Gil Voigt has stated that he is challenging the accusations and has requested a hearing so that he may defend himself, the Associated Press reports. He has already been suspended without pay, which, according to the report, is usually the first step toward termination.
Voigt, who has been teaching in Fairfield, a Cincinnati suburb, for more than a decade, claims that he was misquoted. He said that when addressing the student’s presidential aspirations he said, “I think we can’t afford another president like [Barack] Obama, whether he’s black or white.”
“There was no way I was trying to indicate the color of his skin had anything to do with his politics,” Voigt added in a statement, according to the AP.
However, students who witnessed the exchange heard it differently, accusing the teacher of telling the black student that another black president was not needed. According to the AP, school records show that back in 2008 Voigt received a verbal warning for an inappropriate racial remark.
A hearing will be scheduled before a labor mediation referee.
Read more at the Huffington Post.