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  • Writer's pictureFrantz Alcema,

Teacher of anti-Haiti remark has retired

A Palm Beach Gardens High School math teacher who was accused of making a derogatory comment to a Haitian student chose to retire before his recommended dismissal, according to a Palm Beach County School District spokeswoman.

Keith Tillman submitted his paperwork to retire on May 24 and the retirement was effective May 25, according to the spokeswoman, Julie Houston Trieste.

His health benefits will not continue after retirement, she said.

A cellphone video of the early May incident shows Tillman warning students not to walk out of a classroom before class ends.

The teacher then addresses a girl in the classroom, asking if she understood his instruction.

“It’s called a door,” said Tillman, 61. “Let me show you how it works. Now I don’t know where it works where you’re from, down some Third World island country where they don’t got. ... Let me show you what it’s like in America.”

The remarks led to a protest outside the school. Protesters said they wanted an apology from Tillman but did not call for him to resign or be dismissed.

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