More disturbing news out Ohio: This time, a science teacher in Cincinnati faces suspension for telling an ambitious African American student that the United States simply “does not need another black president.” The student was advised, instead, to chose a different profession, and goal for when he grows up.
The school, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer, was Fairfield Freshman School, located in a mostly white district, right next to the largely African American city of Forest Park. Fairfield has long been known for prevalent attitudes of racism, according to neighboring Forest Park residents we spoke to.
The school district is taking a stand this time, with Superintendent Paul Otten telling the Journal-News that suspension of the teacher, Gil Voigt, without pay is simply their first step toward an almost certain termination of the teacher.
Fairfield City Schools Board President Dan Murray explained that Voigt “was talking to some students and said some things that were racially insensitive. We take diversity in our school district very seriously with tolerance of people who are different. We just felt this teacher had crossed the line.”
Voigt was reprimanded for four other inappropriate comments in the past several years, including a 2008 write-up for yet another “inappropriate racial comment.”
In spite of his poor track record, this 13-year Freshman School teacher has been making a publicly-funded salary of $73,566, more than $33,000 higher than the average Ohio public school employee.
Otten concluded that the school district is “disheartened to have this situation with any of our staff members. It’s not something we’re proud of, and it’s something we must not tolerate.”
How many more districts have teachers like Voigt who are on their second, third or fourth write-up for such comments, before they are finally seen as having “crossed the line”?
(Article by M.B. David; image via PBSpot, from Badin, Hamilton Ohio School files)