Broward School Board Votes to Suspend Teacher For Comment

Leslie Rainer can appeal by March 28.

The Broward County School Board voted Tuesday to suspend the Pompano Beach high school teacher accused of calling a student "little chocolate boy."

Leslie Rainer will be suspended without pay for 10 days, according to a school board official. The decision was made by a majority of the nine member school board during a meeting. Rainer, who was also present, will begin her suspension on March 29.

According to the complaint, the incident happened on May 6, 2011, when Rainer aimed a pointer at the student's face "in a threatening manner" and said, "look little chocolate boy."

Rainer also told the student he was "chocolate that nobody wanted," and warned him, "you got one time, chocolate," according to the complaint.

Rainer said that she did nothing wrong.

“I’m a very stable person. I’m professional," she told the school board. "I know my role as a teacher in Broward County. I know my role in the community."

The board said that Rainer can file an appeal before March 28, which includes writing a letter to Superintendent Robert Runcie.

The letter would be referred to a school board attorney and then to the Division of Administrative Hearings.

The suspension would be held until the outcome of the case, which could take several months, the official said.

Rainer was in hot water in 2010 when she and a colleague allegedly sprinkled holy water on an atheist teacher at the school.

She also came under fire in 2008 when she told a student, "I wish they would put you in a boat and send you back where you came from," according to the complaint.

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