The Fairfield City School District board near Cincinnati, Ohio suspended a White teacher without pay after he allegedly made a racial remark to one of his African American students who told him he wanted to become president of the United States.
On Dec. 3 Gil Voigt, a science teacher at the Fairfield Freshman School, was accused of telling the male student, “We do not need another Black president.”
“We intend to uphold board policies and to hold teachers accountable for the essential functions of the teacher job description,” Roger Martin, assistant superintendent for the Fairfield City School District said, according to USA Today.
For Voigt, a teacher at Fairfield for 13 years, this wasn’t the first time he was confronted for a racially charged remark, USA Today reported.
In 2008, Voigt was reprimanded for two separate incidents, according to the paper’s account of his work record. In the first incident he allegedly directed a laser pointer at a student, referring to him as "African-American Rudolph," according to an April 4, 2008, letter in his file from the principal at the school that was publicized by USA Today. Another letter in his file directed him, without disclosing the details of the incident, to limit his use of school technology hardware to educational purposes, USA Today reported. In 2012, he was accused of allegedly calling a student “stupid” and belittling him, generating a written warning.
“This is a rare occurrence. This is the first time I’ve faced it since being named assistant superintendent (in 2011),” Martin said.
According to officials, Voigt violated board policies related to staff ethics, staff-student relations and harassment. If found guilty, Voigt could be fired from Fairfield Freshman School. He is now suspended without pay.
Voigt, who could not be reached for comment, is reported as saying that he was misquoted by the teenager who, he said, was not a very good student and was troublesome in class, according to news.cincinnati.com.
Prior to teaching at Fairfield Freshman School, Voigt taught for seven years in North Carolina, two years in Florida and seven years in Cincinnati.