AKRON, Ohio (WKYC) -- An Ohio teacher is on paid administrativeleave while the Akron Public Schools investigate racist comments heallegedly put on his Facebook page.
APS Spokesman Mark Williamson confirmed to our sister station WKYC Channel 3 News that Firestone High School teacher DavidSpondike was put on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of theinvestigation.
Parents and community members became outraged and reported a postingon Spondike's Facebook page that referred to African- Americantrick-or-treaters in his neighborhoodby aracist slur, andthe postingalso said they comefromthe "ghetto."
Spondike's LinkedIn profile says he has been a teacher for the AkronSchools for 15 years.He teaches music theory, music history andorchestra.
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 postingshe made on Facebook. Fifty-one-year-old David Spondike posted commentson his personal Facebook page last evening following a night of trick ortreating by children visiting his neighborhood. He has been employed byAPS since August of 1998.
"His comments were unprofessional and unbecoming a teacher," saidSuperintendent David W. James. "Regardless of whether he was on his owntime and own account doing this, he is a teacher; and his actionsinfluence children. This is serious."
Spondike's racially insensitive comments appeared to reflect hisanger over the actions taken by young people trick or treating and,according to his Facebook writings, urinating on or near his propertyand in front of his children.
His comments have been removed and his account deleted. Spondikedid offer this, after removing the comments and prior to deleting hisaccount, saying he was sorry "to those who are sincerely offended." Headded that his comments on Facebook were directed at the teen whoexposed himself in front of young children.
Channel 3 also obtained his personnel file, which details several reprimands. In Marchof 2007, he was accused of choking a student at Goodyear Middle School.Police and children services cleared him, saying it wasunsubstantiated.
In February of 2001, a fellow teacher complained Spondike reprimandedhim for "not doing anything to a student with very baggy pants."Spondike apologized to the teacher.Also that month, Spondike spit onthe floor because a student fell asleep in his class. He wasreprimanded.
In December of 2000, Spondike threw a chair across the room andyelled 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.