** UPDATE - Teacher FIRED - Teacher to student with Presidential aspirations - "We do not need another black president"
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."
Ohio Teacher Fired Over Comment on Black President
An Ohio teacher has been fired after a black student who said he wanted to become president claimed the teacher told him the nation didn't need another black commander in chief.
The Fairfield Board of Education voted 4-0 on Thursday night to fire science teacher Gil Voigt from Fairfield Freshman School, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer ( http://cin.ci/1kIkFmQ ).
"The district felt that the evidence was sufficient to support the termination of Mr. Voigt's employment," Superintendent Paul Otten said in statement.
Voigt did not immediately return a call seeking comment Friday but has said the student misquoted him.
Voigt, who is white, told school officials that what he actually told the teen was that he doesn't think the nation can afford another president like Barack Obama, "whether he's black or white."
A state referee investigating Voigt found that explanation was not credible.
The referee also found Voigt had made other offensive comments in class over the years, including an accusation that in 2008, he trained his laser pointer at a black student and said he looked like "an African-American Rudolph."
Voigt told school officials that he was only repeating what another student had said but later acknowledged his conduct had been inappropriate.
In 2012, Voigt was accused of calling a student stupid and implying that he and some of his classmates were gay.
In that incident, Voigt denied making any insulting comments to students and told school officials that a group of students in his class were colluding against him.
The state referee found Voigt's explanation for those two incidents to also be not credible.
"Voigt repeatedly engaged in conduct that is harmful to the well-being of his students," the state referee wrote in an April 11 report given to the board of education. "He has made race-based, culturally based and insulting comments to students over a period of years. He was warned on multiple occasions that if his behavior continued that he would be subject to termination. Unfortunately, for both Voigt and his students, he did not alter his conduct."
Voigt may appeal his firing to a Butler County court. The Ohio Department of Education will investigate to decide what to do about his teaching license.
Voigt taught in Fairfield schools since 2000. He had been on unpaid leave since December following a parent's complaint about the Obama remark.