Investigation continues into Fairborn High School teacher

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Letters of support for teacher read during board meeting.

The investigation into a social media post made by a Fairborn High School teacher is ongoing, according to the superintendent.

At the Fairborn City Schools board meeting on Aug. 6, 18 statements were read about the investigation into Fairborn High School teacher and assistant football coach Mike Blandino. The majority of statements made were in favor of Mike and his wife, school board member Barbara Blandino, including statements from former Fairborn High School classmates, Barbara Blandino’s brother and Mike Blandino’s mother.

Fairborn City Schools Superintendent Gene Lolli said he had hoped the investigation would wrap up last week, but it continues.

Lorie Venable said she wrote letters to the school board and the Ohio Department of Education about the situation, asking that they take action against the Blandinos.

Fairborn resident Carol Congi read several statements for people who were not at the meeting. This is typically against board policy, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, the board made an exception. Congi read a letter from Carole Blandino, Mike Blandino’s mother.

Carole Blandino said her son has contributed to his country and his community “immensely” and with dignity.

“It was a complete surprise to me when a small group of people, including a few young 17-year-old high school students, saw a post on social media where Mike reposted a statement made by the President of the United States. Mike was exercising his First Amendment rights when doing so,” Carole Blandino said.

Carole Blandino said it seems like the Fairborn Board of Education is using Mike Blandino as a scapegoat for the atmosphere in the U.S.

Brian Livie, Barbara Blandino’s brother, said that he and his sister grew up in an Air Force family and traveled all over the country and Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. He said they met and became friends with the many diverse members of the Air Force and their children.

“Our parents taught us to treat others as we would want to be treated, no matter the color of skin or the religion they followed, nor anything else. And that lesson stuck,” Livie said. “There is not a racist bone in her body.”

Fairborn resident Julia Rang read Livie’s letter.

Barbara Blandino declined to comment.


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