‘Privilege is wearing $200 sneakers when you’ve never had a job or $300 Beats headphones while living on public assistance’: Assistant principal at Staten Island high school is being investigated after penning ‘racist’ rant on Facebook
- Deborah Morse-Cunningham is employed as Assistant Principal at New Dorp High School
- The educator – who reportedly makes $130,000 per year – is accused of posting a rant to Facebook in which she referred to racist stereotypes
- A concerned parent noticed the post and has started a petition to remove Morse-Cunningham from her position; the petition has nearly 10,000 signatures
- The NYC Department of Education has now launched an investigation; Mayor Bill de Blasio says he is ‘very concerned’ by the post
The New York City Department of Education has launched an investigation into a troubling Facebook post penned by an employee of a Staten Island high school.
Deborah Morse-Cunningham, who serves as the Assistant Principal of New Dorp High School, is still at work despite sharing a lengthy status update in which she pondered the nature of privilege by referring to a number of racial stereotypes.
‘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.’
Deborah Morse-Cunningham, who serves as the Assistant Principal of New Dorp High School, is being investigated by the New York City Department of Education over a Facebook post she purportedly posted to her account over the weekend
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’.
According to Staten Island Live, Morse-Cunningham’s Facebook status 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.’
Morse-Cunningham reportedly makes around $130,000 in her current role at New Dorp High School. The school reportedly has a minority enrollment of 49 percent
A portion of the post purportedly penned by Morse-Cunningham. It has now been deleted
The parent’s petition – which now has more than 9,900 signatures – then states: ‘This leads me to question what kind of practices she’s instilled in the culture at New Dorp High School, and what kind of environment our children are learning in’.
The New York Post reports that Morse-Cunningham makes around $130,000 in her current role at New Dorp High School.
The school reportedly has a minority enrollment of 49 percent. Nearly 60 percent of its students are economically advantaged.
In a statement on Tuesday, DOE press secretary Miranda Barbot confirmed the probe 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.
According to Staten Island Live , Morse-Cunningham’s Facebook status was spotted by a parent who then started a Change.org petition to have her removed from her position as Assistant Principal