AKRON, Ohio (WKYC) -- An Ohio teacher is on paid administrative
leave while the Akron Public Schools investigate racist comments he
allegedly put on his Facebook page.
APS Spokesman Mark Williamson confirmed to our sister station WKYC Channel 3 News that Firestone High School teacher David
Spondike was put on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the
Parents and community members became outraged and reported a posting
on Spondike's Facebook page that referred to African- American
trick-or-treaters in his neighborhood by a racist slur, and the posting
also said they come from the "ghetto."
Spondike's LinkedIn profile says he has been a teacher for the Akron
Schools for 15 years. He teaches music theory, music history and
Just after 1 p.m. Tuesday, Akron schools released the following statement:
"Akron Public Schools has put a veteran music teacher on paid,
administrative leave as it now conducts an investigation into postings
he made on Facebook. Fifty-one-year-old David Spondike posted comments
on his personal Facebook page last evening following a night of trick or
treating by children visiting his neighborhood. He has been employed by
APS since August of 1998.
"His comments were unprofessional and unbecoming a teacher," said
Superintendent David W. James. "Regardless of whether he was on his own
time and own account doing this, he is a teacher; and his actions
influence children. This is serious."
Spondike's racially insensitive comments appeared to reflect his
anger over the actions taken by young people trick or treating and,
according to his Facebook writings, urinating on or near his property
and in front of his children.
His comments have been removed and his account deleted. Spondike
did offer this, after removing the comments and prior to deleting his
account, saying he was sorry "to those who are sincerely offended." He
added that his comments on Facebook were directed at the teen who
exposed himself in front of young children.
Channel 3 also obtained his personnel file, which details several reprimands. In March
of 2007, he was accused of choking a student at Goodyear Middle School.
Police and children services cleared him, saying it was
In February of 2001, a fellow teacher complained Spondike reprimanded
him for "not doing anything to a student with very baggy pants."
Spondike apologized to the teacher. Also that month, Spondike spit on
the floor because a student fell asleep in his class. He was
In December of 2000, Spondike threw a chair across the room and
yelled an expletive at students who made him angry. He was reprimanded.
But repeatedly he receives glowing evaluations for his teaching and work with students.
The Akron Schools will hold a hearing on this case, and the Akron Education Association is also investigating.