A teacher at Fairfield Freshman School in New Mexico was suspended without pay earlier this week for racially-insensitive comments.
According to reports, Gil Voigt told an African-American student to forget his dreams of becoming president of the United States one day because “we don’t need another black president.”
“He was talking to some students and said some things that were racially insensitive,” said Board President Dan Murray. “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,” Murray said.
This isn’t the first time Voigt has been reprimanded for racially-charged remarks. Journal-News reports he was given “a verbal warning in April 2008 for an ‘inappropriate racial comment,’ another in November 2008 for ‘improper use of school technology’ and a third in December 2013 for ‘inappropriate comments to students.’ He also received a written warning last month for ‘failure to use adopted curriculum.’”
Superintendent Paul Otten said it is “very disheartened to have this situation with any of our staff members.”
“It’s not something we’re proud of, and it’s something we must not tolerate,” he added.
There were no reports on when Voigt will return to teaching or if he’ll exercise his right to an appeal.