Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

Florida Public School Teacher Referred To Haitian Students As Trash And ‘Chocolate That Nobody Wanted’

Posted on  

"Florida Public School Teacher Referred To Haitian Students As Trash And ‘Chocolate That Nobody Wanted’"

Share:

google plus icon

Most teachers across the country are dedicated civil servants, committed to the success of their students. Broward County (Florida) public school teacher Leslie Rainer is not one of them.

Rainer is a teacher at Blanche Ely High School who is being investigated for the third time by the Broward County School Board in South Florida. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting that Rainer is accused of referring to one of her Haitian students as “little chocolate boy,” and a “chocolate that nobody wanted.”

Rather than deny the allegations, Rainer is defending herself with an unusual—and probably ineffective—argument:

[She] said her use of “chocolate” was taken out of context. She said “chocolate” is an endearment in the black community. She said her husband, the Rev. Willie Rainer of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Pompano Beach, calls her “Sweet Chocolate.”

Rainer has an alarmingly long history of insensitive and flat-out offensive remarks. In March 2010, as students discussed the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Rainier allegedly explained to her class that Haiti was suffering because the country made a pact with the devil, echoing an incredibly offensive remark that made national headlines when Pat Robertson first said it on his weekly television program. To emphasize the point, Rainer reportedly instructed another Haitian student to stand by classroom trash cans because, she said, “that’s where they belong,” according to the formal complaint filed against Rainer last month.

And it gets worse. Another teacher, who is an avowed atheist at the same Broward County public school, alleges that Rainer and another teacher proceeded to sprinkle what they described as holy water on her when she discussed her disbelief in God.

That incident was reported to the Broward School District’s Professional Standards & Special Investigative Unit, but charges were ultimately dropped after local churches—including the one where her husband is a reverend—pressured the district.

Amazingly, even after this latest incident, Rainer will still have a job teaching in Broward County’s public school system. The district superintendent is recommending a three day suspension without pay and attendance at a diversity training course, after which she will presumably resume her teaching duties.

« »

By clicking and submitting a comment I acknowledge the ThinkProgress Privacy Policy and agree to the ThinkProgress Terms of Use. I understand that my comments are also being governed by Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policies as applicable, which can be found here.