A science teacher in Fairfield, Ohio, was officially fired Thursday after facing accusations that he told a black student the nation did not need another black commander in chief, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
According to the news site, Gil Voigt, who had been on unpaid leave since December, was fired after his termination was recommended at a labor hearing.
“There is good and just cause to terminate [Voigt’s] teaching contract,” the state referee’s decision read, which resulted in the Fairfield Board of Education voting 4-0 late Thursday—one member was absent—to end Voigt’s contract.
“The district felt that the evidence was sufficient to support the termination of Mr. Voigt’s employment. The referee recommended such termination, and the board has concurred,” Fairfield Superintendent Paul Otten said in a statement on Thursday, according to the Enquirer.
Back in December, Voigt’s story became the subject of national scrutiny after he allegedly told a black student who said he wanted to follow in President Obama’s footsteps that “we do not need another black president.”
Voigt defended himself, saying that his words were misinterpreted, and what he really said was, “I think we can’t afford another president like [Barack] Obama, whether he’s black or white.”
He also went on camera to talk about the accusations, but the board was not swayed. The Ohio Department of Education is next in line to determine Voigt’s future, the Enquirer notes. According to the news site, the department will lead its own investigation to determine whether his teaching license should be limited, suspended (for up to five years) or completely revoked, which would ban him from teaching in the state.
Voigt has up to 30 days to decide whether to appeal the decision.
Read more at the Cincinnati Enquirer.