An African-American teacher in south Florida has been suspended in response to claims that she called a Haitian boy "the little chocolate boy nobody wanted."
Leslie Rainer, 46, was suspended for 10 days without pay following a hearing with the Broward County School Board. She allegedly has a history of anti-Haitian comments, having told one student that she wished a "boat would take him back where he came from."
"If you allow that instructor to remain in the classroom, she's risky business," the Haitian-American Coalition's Jean Robert La Fortune told the board, arguing for Rainer's dismissal before a vote was taken.
Rainer insists that the whole affair was a misunderstanding. "I exhibit nothing but professionalism," she told school board members before the decision. "I'm very moral; I'm very stable."
She claimed that the videotape of the incident, which occurred in May 2011, had been altered and she was referring to a piece of chocolate, not the student. She also said that the student is not Haitian but a relative of her husband.
The district's head of human resources, Gracie Diaz, backed up the allegations. "It appears very clear in the video, with the anger and the tone, that it was directed at a student," Diaz told the Sun-Sentinel.