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Florida temporarily bans teacher after disparaging comments

The former middle school teacher cannot teach in Florida until at least next summer.
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For the latest news and information, go to tampabay.com. [ TMCCARTY | times staff ]
Published Dec. 21, 2020

BOCA RATON — A former Florida middle school teacher has been banned from teaching in the state until at least next summer after being accused of making disparaging and anti-immigrant comments to students.

The Education Practices Commission suspended the license of Susan Oyer, 54, last week for remarks she made to students at Boca Raton Middle School, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

Oyer is accused of telling students that she was going to “call immigration on you,” and that she was surprised their parents “haven’t thrown you to a wall,” according to the report.

If Oyer wants to teach again, she must pay a $1,000 fine and complete a course on classroom management.

It was not immediately known whether Oyer has a lawyer representing her. She worked for the Palm Beach County school district from 1998 until last spring.

Superintendent Donald Fennoy recommended that the School Board fire her March 18, although the School Board never voted on it.

“The matter was resolved by way of a settlement agreement allowing Ms. Oyer to resign and agree that she is ineligible for reemployment with the district,” spokeswoman Julie Houston-Trieste told the newspaper.

The district began investigating in October 2019, after Boca Middle School Principal Peter Slack reported that parents were complaining about Oyer’s comments. A district report said students and parents found the teacher’s comments “offensive, insulting or embarrassing.”

It was not the first time Oyer has been accused of inappropriate comments, the newspaper reported.

During the 2012-13 school year, she was accused of telling students that then-Gov. Rick Scott should be “kicked out or assassinated.” In 2012, a female student said Oyer told her that her pants were too tight and she shouldn’t look like a “hoochie missy,” the newspaper reported.

In 2013, when a female student said she was traveling to Mexico with her father to get ingredients for his restaurant, the report said Oyer replied in front of the class: “Ingredients for what? A bomb.”

The state report also said Oyer insulted Black students who did not know the answer to a test question was Soul Train, a 1970s TV dance show. She called the students “a disgrace to their race,” the newspaper reported.

In the previous cases, Oyer reached a settlement agreement that required her to accept a letter of reprimand, a $750 fine and probation for three years, the newspaper reported.