Gil Voigt, the Ohio teacher who told a young African-American student that America didn’t need to have another Black president, has been fired after a unanimous vote by Fairfield’s Board of Education.
The board voted 4-0 on Thursday, with one member absent, to finally fire Voigt who has been on unpaid leave since the incident in December.
When one of Voigt’s Black students told him that he wished to be president one day, he allegedly responded by saying, “We don’t need another Black president.”
Voigt has been a teacher at Fairfield Freshman School since 2000, and over the course of those 14 years he has allegedly tossed around racially charged insults, insensitive remarks and mocked students he believed were unintelligent.
According to Voigt, however, he has never done anything wrong. Instead, he claims, a group of students banned together and swore to get him fired from the school by constantly misquoting him to their parents and school officials.
Voigt says that he actually said to the student: “I think we can’t afford another president like Obama, whether he’s Black or White.”
Given the context of the situation, however, Fairfield’s Board of Education wasn’t buying it.
The board reviewed Voigt’s records and discovered a significant number of similar incidents and violations.
In 2008, one student told school officials that Voigt pointed a red laser pointer at another student’s face and called him an “African-American Rudolph.”
“I have a laser pointer,” he explained. “I point to my notes and my smart board and so forth. I asked the young man two or three times to get up and he wouldn’t get up. I put the laser pointer on top of his nose for about a second. The kid who was sitting next to him says, ‘Aww man, he looks like an African-American Rudolph.’”
Voigt claims he merely repeated what the student said, and therefore he should not be held accountable for the remark.
His record also included several warnings about calling students “stupid” and “gay.”
“Voigt repeatedly engaged in conduct that is harmful to the well-being of his students,” the state referee wrote in an April 11 report. “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.”
Now it is up to the Ohio Department of Education to decide on the status of his teaching license.
Voigt said he isn’t going to apologize for any of the incidents and he is irritated that people are making a big “stink” about what happened.