A teacher in Ohio was suspended this week for allegedly telling an ambitious young African-American student that the country does “not need another black president.”
According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, Gil Voigt was suspended without pay from Fairfield Freshman School on Monday, the first step necessary for termination. The teacher has 10 days to ask to for a hearing before the school board or a referee.
Superintendent Paul Otten told the Journal-News that the incident occurred while Voigt was speaking to an African-American student who had presidential aspirations.
“We do not need another black president,” Voigt reportedly said.
“He was talking to some students and said some things that were racially insensitive,” Fairfield City Schools Board President Dan Murray explained. “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 has also received four other reprimands in recent years, including one for an “inappropriate racial comment” in 2008.
The 13-year Freshman School teacher makes a salary of $73,566, which is over $33,000 more than the average Ohio public school employee.
“Obviously we’re very disheartened to have this situation with any of our staff members,” Otten admitted. “It’s not something we’re proud of, and it’s something we must not tolerate.”