A hearing is being held for a suburban Cincinnati teacher who was suspended after allegedly telling a black student with White House aspirations that the nation doesn't need another black president.
Teacher Gil Voigt told The Cincinnati Enquirer as he walked into the closed hearing, which he requested, that Fairfield school officials are trying to end his career. The hearing before a labor referee could last for days.
School officials said the white teacher at Fairfield's freshman school told a black student who said he wanted to be president that the country doesn't "need another black president." Voigt told school officials that he was misquoted, and that he had said he thought the country "couldn't afford another president like (Barack) Obama, whether he's black or white."
He said his comments didn't have anything to do with skin color. The veteran teacher was suspended in December.
The school board president said Voigt had been "racially insensitive." School officials in the northern Cincinnati suburban district said Voigt received a verbal warning in 2008 for an inappropriate racial comment and had recently received a written warning for failure to use adopted curriculum. He has taught in Fairfield schools since 2000.
If Voigt is fired, he could appeal to a Butler County court. The Ohio Department of Education would investigate the case to decide what to do about his teaching license.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.