A Fairborn City Schools teacher and assistant football coach has been placed on administrative leave and is under investigation after recent comments posted to social media.
Some community members have now called for Mike Blandino to be fired. They are also calling for his wife, school board member Barbara Blandino, to resign from the board, according to public records received by the Dayton Daily News.
Fairborn City Schools Superintendent Gene Lolli said the district has hired a Columbus area attorney to investigate the incident. The investigation will likely be finished before the start of the school year, Lolli said.
Mike and Barbara Blandino couldn’t be reached for comment.
Mike Blandino reportedly responded to a Twitter post stating that President Donald Trump “called black people ‘thugs’” by tweeting back, “Just because he speaks the truth you all can’t stand it. Take your blinders off.” Mike Blandino also tweeted from the Fairborn High School yearbook club’s Twitter account about former President Barack Obama.
Several community members have also called for Barbara Blandino to resign from the Fairborn City Schools Board of Education, saying she violated the board’s code of conduct with a social media comment on a Black Lives Matter post.
The records reviewed by the Dayton Daily News contained over a dozen emails to school officials from current students, parents and other community members from the past month. Many were complaints about the social media posts, but others were in support of the Blandinos and their right to express their opinions.
One anonymous letter stated: “I do not agree with what Mr. Blandino wrote. That being said, why is he not allowed to express his unpopular opinion …?”
Another said: “How you all going to fire someone over their own opinion on their own page?”
Over 30 students, alumni and community members spoke at the June 4 school board meeting where some speakers called for Mike Blandino to be fired.
Fairborn High School senior Amya Channels, who is Black, said she experienced racism at Fairborn schools from her peers and teachers, reported it and nothing has ever been done.
“I would love the school to take action,” Channels said. “I should feel safe in the classroom.”
At that board meeting, the district hired the Columbus area lawyer. Lolli said the lawyer will strictly be looking at the comments made on Twitter and Facebook.
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