A volunteer firefighter in Franklin Township, Ohio has been suspended indefinitely pending a disciplinary hearing by the Board of Trustees for conduct unbecoming a township employee. He is facing these consequences because he posted a racist comment on Facebook.
Tyler Roysdon, 20, was suspended without pay when Fire Chief Steve Bishop learned about his social media post.
Township Administrator Traci Stivers said, “Fire Chief Steve Bishop immediately contacted the firefighter and directed the comments be removed.” She also said she was not aware of how the Chief found out about the racist post or how long it had been up before it was discovered.
The offensive post said that if Roysdon had to choose between saving a dog or a black man from a burning building, he would rather save the dog first since “one dog is more important than a million n*ggers.”
The steps taken to punish Roysdon are the most severe steps the Chief was allowed to take.
“This is not acceptable behavior for a township employee,” she said in the statement. “As a rule all employees are given a closed-door disciplinary hearing that gives them a chance to provide witnesses or evidence providing their innocence.”
Trustees President Brian Morris said he learned of the incident just prior to a meeting on Wednesday.
“He blatantly said on social media that he wouldn’t do that,” Morris said. “Even if you take race out of it, it still would be wrong. I’m disgusted in what he said. There is no reason for him to say that anytime, anywhere … That should never be said.”
Morris questions whether Roysdon should be a Franklin Township firefighter.
“I want people to realize this is only one man’s comment,” Morris said. “We have a great group of men (firefighters) and disgusting comments from one individual does not represent the entire fire department.”
The hearing by the trustees is set for September 27.