Teachers accused of bullying atheist
POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- Two teachers are under investigation after they are accused of sprinkling a colleague with holy water.
Blanche Ely High School teachers Leslie Rainer and Djuna Robinson, who profess that they are Christians, are accused of sprinkling holy water onto fellow teacher Schandra Tompkinsel Rodriguez because she had expressed her atheist beliefs.
"As a Christian and as a parent there is a time and place to profess your faith to somebody," said concerned parent Lina Lucente.
According to students, during third period on March 11, Rodriguez expressed her beliefs on religion. "Ms. Rodriguez was saying that she's an atheist and that she doesn't believe in God," Toni Calloway said.
Rainer and Robinson overheard a conversation Rodriguez was having with students. "Ms. Rainer, she was trying to tell her not to say that she doesn't believe in God in front of students, like don't talk about religion in front of the kids," said Calloway.
"There was a discussion and one of the kids said, 'Ms. Rodriguez is an atheist.' She concurred, 'Yes, I'm an atheist.' Then, one of the kids said, 'We should sprinkle her with some holy water,'" the Teachers' Attorney, Johnny McCray, said. "There was no dousing. There was no attempts to douse nor faking as though I am going to douse. Nothing whatsoever."
Officials said the two teachers grabbed what they called holy water and sprinkled it on the self-professed non-believer. School officials said they have an ongoing investigation into the incident and cannot comment. However, both teachers have been reassigned.
Parents are disturbed by what happened. "I think it's up to the parents, to you know, give their kids direction on what religion and their beliefs," Jaime said.
Both Rainer and Robinson are Blanche Ely High School alumni and have been teachers for 20 years.
Rodriguez was not available for comment.
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