Susan Oyer repeatedly mocked the intelligence of her students at Boca Middle, education officials said.
The Palm Beach Post | by Andrew Marra | December 22, 2020
A former middle school teacher and longtime Boynton Beach activist had her educator license suspended this month over allegations that she regularly insulted her students, including mocking their intelligence and threatening to have one deported.
As a social studies teacher at Boca Raton Middle School, Susan Oyer repeatedly hurled insults at students, both during the 2017-18 school year and again two years later, according to the state Department of Education.
The veteran teacher’s insults routinely targeted students’ nationality and intelligence, a state affidavit shows.
In one instance Oyer reportedly said of a student, “Oh look, Ms. I’m-Not-Even-American talking.”
“I’m surprised your parents haven’t thrown you into a wall,” she said another time, according to the state affidavit.
One time, education officials said, she threated to call immigration authorities on a child.
The problem continued in the 2019-20 school year, to the point that several parents requested that their children be removed from her classroom, records show.
In one instance, officials say she told an eighth-grade student there was a “special” school for students like him and openly discussed other students’ poor academic performance.
Oyer, 54, had worked for the school district since 1998. She has also served as a member of Boynton Beach’s planning and development board and has been recognized for her historical preservation efforts.
The school district moved to fire her in March, but her termination was never approved by the school board. Records show she no longer works for the school district.
Instead, she reached a settlement with the state Department of Education in which her license is suspended for six months. During that time she cannot teach for a public school in Florida but can return to teaching afterward.
The settlement was arranged in January, but was approved by the state’s Education Practices Commission Dec. 10, records show.
Her license will remain on probation for three years after her suspension ends. She must also pay a $1,000 fine and take a classroom management course.
Oyer did not deny the allegations but was not required to admit fault as part of her settlement. She did not respond to a message seeking comment Monday.
Photo: Susan Oyer (center) pictured in 2019 at the Boynton Beach Senior Center. Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post