Djuna Robinson and Leslie Rainer, Pompano Beach high school teachers accused of sprinkling holy water on a fellow teacher who is allegedly an athiest.
Two South Florida High School teachers accused of sprinkling holy water on a colleague better hope God's on their side as they now face a criminal investigation for causing "mental injury" to students.
Leslie Rainer and Djuna Robinson, 20-year veteran teachers at Blanche Ely in Pompano Beach, are being investigated for allegedly making comments in a classroom that disparaged Haiti, according to the South Florida Times.
“There is an active Child Protective Services investigation,” Mike Jachles, BSO's spokesman, told the Times. “That’s all we can say right now. We don’t do administrative investigations. That’s not us.”
Rainer and Robinson were reassigned after a March 11 incident in which the two teachers, devout Christians, were accused of sprinkling a fellow teacher, an atheist, with holy water.
The atheist teacher, Schandra Rodriguez, had been talking to her class about the January earthquake that struck Haiti, when the discussion turned towards God's wrath being exacted on the island.
One of the students, Robinson and Rainer say, stood up and jokingly said “it sounds like someone needs some holy water.”
The bottle of the perfume came out, and the trouble hit the fan.
The two denied the incident, claiming it was only a bottle of spray perfume and that they were nowhere near the teacher they're accused of spraying.
The teachers were cleared of the holy water accusation on Thursday, but apparently the Haiti talk has them in hot water now.
On Wednesday, the two teachers met with members of the Broward School District's Special Investigations Unit to give sworn statements.
“They are now admitting no holy water was ever sprayed,” the teachers' attorney, Johnny McCray said about school officials. “SIU told us the atheist teacher never complained of holy water, but that’s not what my clients were told from the outset by the principal, and three different SIU investigators.
“My clients never sprayed any holy water on anyone, and they never made any comments about Haiti, period,” McCray said. “It was the students who discussed Haiti with the atheist teacher, not my clients.”
Local religious leaders said they're worried the teachers are being targeted for their beliefs.
“The criminal investigation furthers our concerns these teachers are being singled out and targeted,” Rev. Mathes Guice told the Times. “We now have even more questions that need answering.”
Broward School District officials will be meeting with members of the clergy to discuss the incident Friday afternoon.
McCray said he's perplexed at the new allegations regarding Haiti.
“I’m preparing letters to BSO, because none of it makes a lot of sense,” McCray said. “Who determined there were mental injuries, and what is the basis for their investigation?”