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Education


Akron school board decides fate of Facebook-ranting teacher
Firestone music teacher David Spondike initially denied posting a racist rant, then admitted he did it, but says he has the right to use offensive language
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
Firestone music teacher David Spondike thanks his supporters in a Nov. 4th YouTube video. In earlier videos he claimed a racial epithet-filled Facebook post was written by a teenage acquaintance. Later, in a letter to school officials, he took credit for the rant.
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The Akron school board is meeting tonight to vote on whether to fire a Firestone High School music teacher accused of posting a racist rant on Facebook.

WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports on David Spondike's evolving explanations.

LISTEN: Spondike hearing

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David Spondike, in a racial epithet-filled Facebook rant, complained of a youth urinating in his yard during trick-or-treat night in Copley. The next day the post was anonymously forwarded to media outlets, and school officials immediately placed Spondike on paid leave.

Last month, in a bizarre series of YouTube videos, Spondike denied writing the post. He claimed the teenage son of a friend visiting his house wrote it, someone he was trying to protect from media scrutiny. 

“You don’t put your friend’s son through what I’ve just been through in the past week.”

Then, ahead of a Nov. 21 disciplinary hearing, Spondike reversed his story. In a letter to Akron schools he took full responsibility for the offensive post, saying it was written in a moment of anger. Spondike also wrote that he has “the right to use such language,” and that the post was not directed at anyone in the district.  

The board decides tonight whether Spondike’s racist language, although used outside of school, violates district free-speech policies.
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