Akron Firestone H.S. music teacher's vulgar Facebook rant lands him on paid administrative leave
Cassandra Nist, newsnet5.com , Bob Jones, newsnet5.com
11:07 AM, Oct 28, 2013
8:27 PM, Oct 28, 2013
AKRON, Ohio - An Akron Firestone High School music teacher is on paid administrative leave after posting a racially-charged rant on Facebook directed at trick-or-treaters in his Copley neighborhood.
The teacher, 51-year-old David Spondike, described the trick-or-treaters who came over from the "ghetto" by using the 'N' word two times. The post used other vulgar words while describing individuals urinating on a telephone pole in front of the teacher's front yard.
Akron Schools Superintendent David W. James said, in a news release, "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."
James also called the comments "offensive and ridiculous" and said the teacher could face disciplinary action up to and including termination.
"This is a school teacher for heavens sakes in a school with a 50 percent minority population," James said.
Late Monday morning, the Facebook posting had been taken down.
Before deleting his account, Spondike apologized "to those who are sincerely offended," according to the news release. The district said his comments were directed at a teen who exposed himself in front of young children.
"He did apologize to the principal this morning. I know that, so again, he'll have his right to due process. We'll investigate," James added.
The superintendent also said that evidence will be forwarded to the Ohio Department of Education, which will determine whether Spondike violated the teacher's code of behavior.
A woman, who would not give her name, answered the door at Spondike's home, identified herself as a nanny and said the teacher "didn't want to make a statement."
"It's a witch hunt. He's an amazing teacher with an amazing record," the woman said.
Parents outside of Firestone High School were angry about the Facebook post.
"That could have been an undertone used in the classroom. At what point is a child no longer a child and become the 'N' word?" said Andrea Smith.
Rounyell Montiere, a senior at the high school, said Spondike cursed at times when she had him as a teacher last year.
"He needs to be fired because I don't think it's a good look for our school to come back after a big situation like this," Montiere said.
Spondike was hired by APS in 1998. His personnel file reveals he was investigated for using the "F" word, throwing a chair in the classroom and spitting on the floor. He was given a written reprimand in 2001.
In 2007, he was investigated for allegedly assaulting a middle school student, but was cleared of any wrongdoing by Akron police.
His resume also shows Spondike worked as an assistant director for The Jerry Springer Show form 1991 to 1992.
James expects the district will hold a hearing for Spondike within a week.
NewsChannel5 is following this story closely today. Check back for a full report.