After calling a Haitian-American student ‘little chocolate boy’ and ‘chocolate nobody wanted,’ a reading teacher could face suspension without pay.
BY LAURA FIGUEROA
A Blanche Ely High School teacher once in hot water over “holy water” now finds herself facing disciplinary action again after a Haitian-American student complained that she called him “little chocolate boy.”
Reading teacher Leslie Rainer, 46, could be suspended over the complaint filed with the school district in January. In it, a Haitian-American student complained that she called him “little chocolate boy” and “chocolate that nobody wanted” last May.
The student, listed only by his initials in the complaint, captured some of the comments on his cellphone video camera.
“[Rainer] has had a history of inappropriate conduct towards her part-Haitian, minority descent students,” the complaint notes. “Respondent made a statement to a student that, ‘I wish they would put you in a boat and send you back where you came from.’ ”
The complaint also says Rainer once told a student to stand in the corner near a garbage can because “that’s where he belongs.”
Rainer has been in trouble before. In May 2010, an atheist colleague accused Rainer and another teacher of pretending to sprinkle her with “holy water” in front of students. Though initially removed from their teaching posts, the two were later cleared of any wrongdoing and returned to the classroom.
Calls to Rainer’s home phone number Thursday went to voice mail, which was too full to leave a message.
The Broward County School Board is scheduled to vote on a recommendation to suspend Rainer for three days without pay at its Feb. 7 meeting. She still has the opportunity to appeal and request a formal hearing.
District officials are also recommending that she complete diversity training.