‘Holy water’ accusation affects teachers
Bill Bumpas – OneNewsNow – 5/27/2010
Some local ministers in Florida are coming to the defense of two teachers who have been removed from their classrooms and are under investigation for allegations they offended an atheist colleague.
Rev. O’Neal Dozier, pastor of the Worldwide Christian Center Church in Pompano Beach, hosted a meeting on Monday with local clergy to discuss the accusations against two Christian teachers at Blanche Ely High School. Leslie Rainer and Djuna Robinson are accused of sprinkling “holy water” on fellow teacher Schandra Rodriguez, an avowed atheist, who was expressing her lack of belief in God with students.
Dozier tells OneNewsNow that the March 11 incident was blown out of proportion. “This was no more than a friendly, joking discussion that was taken to a higher level,” he states.
The pastor says one of the Christian teachers did take out a perfume bottle from her purse. “And she held it up and she said ‘I think you need to be sprinkled with holy water,’” he acknowledges. “Now she didn’t sprinkle her; she sprinkled no one.”
Rodriguez filed a complaint with the Broward County School District, which resulted in the two teachers being escorted from their classrooms — in the presence of students; and prompted an investigation — to the displeasure of Rev. Dozier.
“The mishandling of this particular case has prompted a violation of these two teachers’ first amendment constitutional rights — namely freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” he argues.
In the meantime, the two Christian teachers have been reassigned to administrative jobs within the school district. According to the South Florida Times, Rodriguez has been allowed to remain in the classroom.