Fairfield teacher fired for alleged racist remarks speaks out

FAIRFIELD, OH (FOX19) - A Fairfield teacher is fired for allegedly making a racist remark in class.

That teacher lost his job after allegedly telling a student who said he wanted to become president that the nation didn't need another black Commander-in-Chief.

Gil Voigt was a science teacher at Fairfield Freshman school and defended himself to FOX19 on Friday.

"It's been a sickening situation for something that probably could have been handled in the principal's office that next day," said Voigt.

Voigt says he's smart enough to not make those kinds of sensitive remarks, and wants everyone to know exactly what he said.

"The comment I made was that we can't afford another president like Obama, whether he's black or white we need different leadership in The White House. As a matter of fact I had a witness say the exact statement I said," said Voigt.

This isn't the first time Voigt has found himself on the hot seat. During one incident in 2008, the school looked into allegations that Voigt called a student an "African American Rudolph." Then two years ago, Voigt allegedly called a student stupid and gay. Voigt says, again, both remarks were taken completely out of context.

"I'm not sorry for saying it, because I didn't say anything wrong" said Voigt.

A state referee said during a labor hearing that "Voigt repeatedly engaged in conduct that is harmful to the well-being of his students." When asked if he thinks those incidents had anything to do with his firing, Voigt says absolutely.

"I think they put all three of them together but the first two I only got verbal warnings. They went from ground floor, verbal warnings to termination. Does that seem fair to an educator that's been around 25 to 30 years," said Voigt.

On Thursday, the school board voted to unanimously terminate Voigt's contract with the Butler County School System and Voigt says he will not receive a severance package. Voigt says this whole situation has turned his life around, and he wants everyone to know the truth.

"I'm a good teacher. I've been teacher of the year once. I've done a number of things in Fairfield City Schools that I think are positive, but yet we've got some people out there that think I'm a racist. I'm far from it," said Voigt.

Voigt is planning on appealing his firing to a Butler County Court. The Ohio Department of Education will ultimately decide what happens to his teaching license.

In our commitment to balanced news, superintendent Paul Otten says the district felt the evidence was sufficient to support the firing.

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