An assistant principal at New Dorp High School in Staten Island is being investigated after she was accused of posting a rant to Facebook in which she referred to racist stereotypes aimed at Black people.
Deborah Morse-Cunningham reportedly makes $130,000 per year working at the local school. But after a concerned parent noticed the post, they started a petition to remove Morse-Cunningham from her position. The petition received nearly 10,000 signatures, Daily Mail reports.
‘What is privilege?’ Morse-Cunningham asked in the post, which has now been deleted. ‘Privilege is wearing $200 sneakers when you’ve never had a job. Privilege is wearing $300 Beats headphones while living on public assistance.
‘Privilege is living in public subsidized housing where you don’t have a water bill, where rising property taxes and rents and energy costs have absolutely no effect on the amount of food you can put on your table.’
The NYC Department of Education has now launched an investigation with Mayor Bill de Blasio saying he is ‘very concerned’ by the post.
The lengthy status continued:
‘Privilege is having as many children as you want, regardless of your employment status, and be able to send them off to daycare or school you don’t pay for’.
The post was spotted by a parent who then started a Change.org petition to have her removed from her position as assistant principal.
‘Deborah Morse-Cunningham, a longtime educator and assistant principal at New Dorp High School on the South Shore of Staten Island, has decided to use her platform and social media presence to post anti-Black messaging during this time,’ the petition stated.
‘She recently posted a rant to her public Facebook page, detailing vicious stereotypes and racial profiling directed at the Black community. As someone responsible for the tutelage of our youth, this is especially troubling and problematic rhetoric to say the least.’
The DOE released a statement on Tuesday via press secretary Miranda Barbot and confirmed the investigation and stated:
‘The DOE stands against racism and schools must be safe and inclusive learning environments.
‘Teachers and staff have a responsibility to uphold those values, and the principal reported this incident for investigation’.
On Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he had not seen the post, but was ‘very concerned’.
‘No one in a position of authority should use racially insensitive language, especially someone who’s an educator and kids look up to,’ he stated.