A veteran Florida teacher could be reinstated to the job she lost in February after students accused her of using racial slurs and profanity in the classroom.
Joyce Quiller was terminated after students complained in January that the math teacher called them stupid and ignorant, reported WJXT-TV, along with other derogatory names.
“You are all some lazy n*ggers for coming to class late,” one student accused Quiller – who is black – of saying.
Another student said Quiller berated him for forgetting to bring a pencil to class. “What is the point in coming to the mother*cking class if you do not bring materials?” the student claimed the teacher asked him.
Quiller’s attorney denied she used the racial slur, and he said the school board did not follow proper procedure for terminating the 21-year veteran teacher.
“The School Board skipped step three and went directly to termination even though, if the allegations were true, they would have amounted to what is considered a minor offense,” said attorney Reginald Luster. “Not some type of severe misconduct on behalf of Ms. Quiller. It does not warrant the termination.”
A judge agreed, ruling last month that the Duval County School District violated the progressive discipline provision in Quiller’s contract that establishes a three-step system of punishment.
The 21-page ruling found Quiller should have been suspended without pay, as her contract stipulates.
Quiller has been reprimanded three times since 2001 for using inappropriate language with students, but her attorney said an administrative judge had found most of those allegations were not credible.
Luster said his client was eager to begin teaching again, but it’s not clear whether the school board will approve the judge’s recommendation.
A hearing will be scheduled on Quiller’s future with the district.
Watch this video report posted online by WJXT-TV: