Florida teacher who can't speak Spanish sues over not getting job that includes teaching Spanish

A Florida teacher is suing her school district after she said she was denied a teaching position because she didn’t know how to speak Spanish.

Tracy Rosner, a third-grade teacher at Coral Reef Elementary in Miami-Dade County, filed a federal lawsuit last week after she claimed that she was denied a position that required knowledge of the Spanish language, the Miami New Times reports.

According to her attorneys, her school separates students into three tracks: college preparatory, gifted and extended foreign language. In May 2015, Rosner requested to be reassigned to the third track where students are taught English and one hour of another language a day.

Rosner claims her principal “had an unfair policy” that required the foreign language teachers to speak the language they were teaching, Miami New Times reported.

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Rosner claimed she was “otherwise fully qualified” for the position and that this “policy is discriminatory,” the news sites continued. In her complaint, she said that “the school could have given her the job and then had someone else teach the foreign language component for one hour per day.”

"As a direct and proximate result of the retaliation against Ms. Rosner, and the violation of her rights ... Ms. Rosner was provided a less desirable position and has damages including emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, [and] loss of enjoyment of life," the lawsuit stated, according to the Miami New Times.

The lawsuit states that non-Spanish speakers in Miami-Dade County are a minority, and hiring only Spanish speakers "disproportionately affects" Rosner, according to the Miami New Times.  

Rosner claims her principal responded by “doubling her workload” and having her teach other subjects that weren’t reading or language arts. The New Times added that Rosner complained to the superintendent and filed a formal complaint to the school district’s Civil Rights Office.

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