True story.

Back when I was in Nazareth HS in 1967, my Spanish teacher, Brother Russell, used to take fiendish delight in breaking the chops of the Italian American kids in the class.

There was one kid whose darker skin caught Brother’s sarcastic wit, saying he dripped of “Mazola oil!”
I remember that clear as day.

That was in 1967; and we didn’t think too much of it then.

However a few stories caught my eye recently.

One where a former student at Sayreville HS filed a lawsuit against the Sayreville Board of Education, claiming a teacher made racist comments and hurled threats at him during his senior year in high school.

The student, now out of the school, claimed that the teacher called him a “gangbanger” during the past school year and also said, “You steal cars in Newark” and “You’re going to be dead before you’re 21.”

Another involved a teacher at private school in Shreveport, Louisiana caused a 12-year-old student to sob after allegedly calling her a, ‘sassy slut.’

And now this:

An Ohio teacher was fired for allegedly telling student ‘We don’t need another black President!’

According to this story in the NY Daily News:

Science teacher Gil Voigt was fired from Fairfield Freshman School after allegedly telling the young man that “we do not need another black President.”


Voigt claims the student who snitched on him was a troublemaker.

He told officials that the student misquoted the Dec. 3 encounter and that he had actually said, “I think we can't afford another President like Obama, whether he's black or white."


After a careful review by officials of Voigt's record, it seems as though he has a few other transgressions on his file, including 2 incidents that could be deemed racially insensitive. Voigt is claiming his innocence throughout and he believes he is the victim.

He said/he said?

Sounds to me like there’s a quite the paper trail on this guy, and if true, he has to go. Unlike what went down in Brother Russell's Spanish class in 1967.

However the larger question looms – could a teacher make a seemingly disparaging comment about a student’s or person’s race/ethnicity/sexual orientation without getting suspended or fired?

One comment can be disputed - but if the teacher's paper trail goes back a few years or more, he or she will have to go.