Tales Of The Self-Righteous And Incompetent: Lawyer/Teacher Malik Leigh And His Donald Trump Exam Question

Malik Leigh

Malik Leigh is an attorney who teaches in Palm Beach Lakes High School’s pre-law academy. He submitted an exam for review, as the school requires of all tests, that included this question:

“If Donald Trump becomes president of the United states, we are:

A.) Screwed

B.) Screwed

C.) Screwed

D.) Screwed behind a really YUGE wall that Mexico pays for.”

In another question on the same test, this lawyer—and I’m still trying to get my mind around that embarrassing fact— asked

“When performing an opening statement, it is best to:

A. Wink at the Judge

B. find the hottest person on the Jury and focus your words on them

C. Speak to them as if they are cordial friends.

D. Treat them like the MORONS they are.”

Leigh was suspended.  The letter he received from Principal Cheryl McKeever announcing the suspension stated that the questions contained “inaccurate content, irrelevant material, unprofessional use of language, inappropriate use of language.”

That was putting it far too politely. The Trump question was an attempt to indoctrinate students in the teacher’s political views, and it is fair to assume his teaching in class embodied the same attitude. Such a teacher should be fired. How will a student who has different ideas about Donald Trump’s virtues, as a student has every right to have, be able to feel that he will be respected and fairly treated in such a class? As for the jaw-dropping opening statement question, how are aspiring lawyers to acquire a proper understanding of legal ethics and their future duties to the justice system when a test trivializes inappropriate courtroom conduct and refers to jurors as “morons”?

It may not surprise you, since Leigh thought even for a nanosecond that questions like this could be appropriate in a high school exam, that the teacher is unapologetic and defiant. “There isn’t a single question on there that’s inappropriate,” he told the media. “If anyone gets offended, well, you kinda had to be there,” Leigh said. “You’re just upset you weren’t in on the joke.”

It’s a test, not a joke, and he is a teacher, not a political satire comedian.  The school’s complaints were professional in nature: it is improper for a teacher to dictate attitudes about a political candidate, or mock him (“Yuge”) in an exam, or to endorse the use of “screwed,’ particularly in a course about a profession where use of that word in a brief or in court may lead to serious negative consequences. The fact that Leigh acknowledges none of this makes him an untrustworthy teacher.

Leigh is claiming that his suspension is thinly-veiled retribution for his active role in opposing  the school’s previously announced decision not to rehire him and several other teachers next year. What really happened is that he vividly demonstrated the wisdom of their decision, at least in his case.

In an interview, Leigh labelled the suspension an attempt to silence him as he defends teachers  losing their jobs for what he called largely “political reasons.” “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the exam,” he said  “They’re just grasping at straws at this point.”

I wonder if he’s less competent at lawyering or teaching? Based on the website of Watson Leigh,  the”non-profit law firm” he operates with one partner, I have concluded that he needs a third line of work. This embarrassing mess is on the home page of the firm’s website; my favorite parts are in red:

On, May 18, 2016, Watson Leigh’s Malik Leigh was officially suspnded from teaching law at Palm Beach Lakes citing a complaint from the Principal.

Claiming a problem with his final exam and a claimed conflict with the curriculum that he sets, Malik was handed a paid suspension by the office of Professional Standards. The real reason the District took this move was to again retaliate for attending the March 16, 2016 with his law students demanding adequate education in their Math examIn an ironic twist, his classes will be overseen by……SUBSTITUTES!!

Sadly, the students are langushing in classes where no education is even being attempted; they are only watching movies. The district, who claim that they have a specific curriculum, is ignorantly, unable to produce this nonexistent curriculum to give the children something to do.  This action is against almost all Florida Statutes regarding the full and equal education of all students.  

Here, then, is another reason to fire Malik: he can’t spell, construct a sentence, punctuate, or proof-read. A brief that read like his firm’s website would be thrown in the trash. How do teachers like this get hired in the first place? I’ll bet his resume was as bad as his website.

Here’s  my question:

How can students learn from teachers who are poorly educated themselves, and not only don’t know it, but are arrogant and defiant about their ignorance?

A. They can’t.

B. They can’t.

C. They can’t.

D. They can’t.


Sources: WESH, Palm Beach Post

8 thoughts on “Tales Of The Self-Righteous And Incompetent: Lawyer/Teacher Malik Leigh And His Donald Trump Exam Question

  1. Jack,
    I’m not exactly sure what “irony” he sees in a class being taught by substitutes when the teacher in unavailable — that’s not even verbal irony or poetic justice — it’s how the education system works.

      • They had no teacher the WHOLE YEAR. They were never given one and it was February when they told the school district. And they finished without a perm teacher, yet expected to take an end of course final and college credit exam without any knowledge of the subject.

        What would you do? My students wanted to go to college, and without this classes and that education, they blow their SAT/ACT and cant get into the schools they really want to go to. So, how are you bemused? Are you thinking that it was just a day or 2 that they went without an actual certified upper level advanced Pre-AICE geometry teacher? try over 100+ days without a certified teacher. Oddly enough, the area superintendent could have hired one, but they didn’t because she was from a different sorority.

        But you people know all of this. As an attorney that deals in Civil rights myself, and hearing this from my own students…..what would you think I should do? The exam stuff was retaliation. Students and teachers daily came to my room to tell me of the issues going on, and they did that to remove me from the school so I wouldn’t learn more. the US DOJ and DOE are also on this case….(didn’t know that did you) for many violations that we exposed. That I exposed. That my students exposed.

        Bemused now?

  2. I’m going to take a wild guess that Malik Leigh, Esquire is raging against the white machine.


    Based on the above web page, I suspect he’s teaching at a magnet program targeting the district’s black students and he feels they’re getting the short end of some stick. He seems to have fallen into to the “ends justify the means” trap.

    • I wasn’t there then. I was only there for a year. And got the highest observation a teacher could get ALL year. And I practiced full time.

      We did, however, assist in the Corey Jones case. AS A CLASS.

  3. Well, its kind of late, but let me address some of your ignorant assumptions.

    1. The Trump “jokes” were not mine, they were from a student. Those words were HIS words.
    2. A law class is a political class. Law is politics. We discussed the election and the respective campaigns all year because that was what was in the news, AND because none of those students could vote (age).
    3. Yes, it was a magnet CLASS, but their Geometry Class was supposed to be a college level course. Many classes routinely did not have certified teachers. And you cannot teach math by substitutes playing you-tube videos when they cannot answer any questions. Then the crime was that all of the kids failed their mid terms, but the school was trying to hide it by giving them all passing grades, and telling their parents something different.
    4. No, I’m not raging against the white machine. That is just ridiculous.
    5. That exam only had a few new questions. It was an unadministered exam. the students had not received it. AND 2 days before, I subpoenaed the principal and vice principals to come to court for another matter (this exam thing was retaliation for that. The questions were previously approved. And the writer of the post article is the one that created this controversy)
    6. What I dont understand is why you are not upset at the fact that these kids went without teachers?
    7. The perception out is that I was trying to indoctrinate my class to my political viewpoint. Oddly enough, i wanted Trump to win! Not that I think he is great…but for my own reasons. But, my students discussed everything. It is a law class…that is what you do. TALK IMMIGRATION AND DISCRIMINATION and stuff.

    So, in the end….All of the racists and trump people who didn’t know the actual story, ran with a black guy who seemingly has a political agenda against their candidate. The Palm Beach Post writer didn’t write that it was from a student or print the context. And you all got mad. I dont care really, because my students were powerful and they made the district jump!

    Learn the whole story before you accept a single account of things JUST because if fits a narrative you may have. But, I figured I’d help you out.

    Take care and have a good holiday.

    Malik Leigh, Esq.

    (my apologies for any typos)

  4. Have you done no research behind Malik Leigh. That in now way or form was he doing anything wrong but simply making a lighthearted joke with students during a very stressed out time in high school. And that prior to that he was already being prosecuted by the county for simply wanting to help us students. He is a good man and teacher and this site is a disgrace for not looking fully into what really occurred.

    • From your comment, I believe that you must be a student of this guy. I count seven grammatical, syntax, spelling, structure and punctuation errors. I think, rather than making inappropriate and biased jokes, your teachers should be teaching. And if your handle suggests it took five of you to compose this, the whole school should be closed.

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