A Cincinnati-area high school science teacher allegedly told a student, “We do not need another black president.”
The teacher, Gil Voigt, is white, reports The Cincinnati Enquirer. The unidentified student is black.
The incident occurred on Dec. 3 at Fairfield Freshman School in suburban Cincinnati.
Afterward, the student was removed from Voigt’s class at the request of his parents.
A report submitted by an assistant superintendent, Roger Martin, indicates that at least four other students were present and heard the statement. Witnesses say Voigt made the statement after the student said he wants to become president of the United States one day.
On Monday, the Fairfield Board of Education suspended Voigt for 10 days without pay. Additional penalties may be forthcoming as well. According to the Hamilton Journal News, the suspension is likely the first step in a process that will end in the termination of Voigt’s employment.
Voigt has taught in Fairfield for 14 years. His previous run-ins with school administrators include a badly chosen racial comment in 2008.
In 2012, Voigt allegedly insulted a student, calling him “stupid.”
He has also been chastised for using school technology improperly and for failing to the school district’s mandated curriculum.
In his own defense, Voigt told the assistant superintendent that the whole thing is a big misunderstanding and that he has been misquoted, according to the Enquirer. He also asserted that the student who said he wants to be president is troublemaker who is not serious about academics.
All of his teaching evaluations have been “satisfactory.”
Whatever the case, Voigt has 10 days from the date of his official notification to request a hearing. Apparently, this official notification has not yet occurred.
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