Akron Public Schools officials held a termination hearing Monday morning for a suspended Firestone High School teacher accused of posting racist comments on his personal Facebook page.
Officials will use the information gathered at the hearing to make a recommendation to the Akron Board of Education, which will render a final decision, APS spokesman Mark Williamson said.
The board’s next scheduled meeting is Dec. 9.
Music instructor David Spondike, 51, has been on paid leave in the aftermath of his social media posts in late October that used the N-word and contained other inflammatory comments. The posts were made after Spondike said he witnessed a black teen urinating outside his Copley Township home on the day the township held its treat-or-treating, Oct. 27.
The posts were copied and anonymously sent to school officials and the media the following morning. Spondike was removed from the classroom Oct. 28.
Five days later, Spondike went on YouTube and denied writing the posts. He indicated that the son of a family friend had accessed his Facebook page without his knowledge and had posted the comments.
In other videos, Spondike criticized the media for “lying” to the public and failing to get his side of the story. He also told viewers he was not racist and had many black friends.
On Nov. 21, however, Spondike reversed course and said it was he who posted the comments. His admission, in a letter to school administrators, came on the day he was to appear at an investigative hearing, which he then opted not to attend.
In the letter, Spondike said he had sought counseling for anger management in the hopes of one day returning to the classroom. He also defended his right to make the slurs, contending they were written off school time.
Spondike repeatedly has declined to comment on the case.
Williamson said Spondike attended Monday’s meeting to tell his side of the story to members of the APS human resources department and chief legal counsel. Spondike made the same points during the 45-minute meeting, which was closed to the public and area media, as he did in his Nov. 21 letter, Williamson said.
Ed Meyer can be reached at 330-996-3784 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.