A hearing before a state-appointed officer has been scheduled for mid-January to decide whether Firestone music teacher David Spondike, now on unpaid leave, should be terminated for posting racial slurs on his personal Facebook page in October.
The officer will hear the case and is expected to make a recommendation to the Akron school board within four to six weeks of the hearing.
The board may then choose to act on the officer’s recommendation.
Spondike 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 trick-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.
The Akron school board voted Dec. 9 to terminate his contract opening the door for the hearing before the state-appointed referee.