New Dorp High School Assistant Principal Deborah Morse-Cunningham remains on the job and has not been suspended by the Department of Education after she used racist stereotypes to disparage people living in public housing and on government assistance in a viral rant on social media about “privilege,” the DOE said Monday afternoon, reports SI Live.
“Privilege is wearing $200 sneakers when you’ve never had a job. Privilege is wearing $300 Beats headphones while living on public assistance,” Morse-Cunningham allegedly wrote in a Facebook post which has since been deleted.
“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,” she continued.
“Privilege is the ability to go march against, and protest against anything that triggers you, without worrying about calling out of work and the consequences that accompany such behavior. 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,” she added.
This is the Assistant Principle at New Dorp High School. This is the person that edits the curriculum and says if teachers are affective (good) or not. 🙄
(This post is from Facebook, but fb don’t know how to get people booted like twitter does. So do y’all ting) pic.twitter.com/fDr6iSolTY
— T a n a j e a (@SusieDaGem) June 20, 2020
A “concerned parent” saw the post and started an online petition to have Morse-Cunningham removed from her post, where she makes more than $130,000 a year.
“As someone responsible for the tutelage of our youth, this is especially troubling and problematic rhetoric to say the least,” the petition reads, calling the statement “anti-black.”
“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, especially Black youth,” it adds.
According to U.S. News and World Report, the school’s minority enrollment is 49 percent, but 60 percent of its students are economically disadvantaged.
The New York City DOE said the post was reported for investigation.
“The DOE stands against racism and schools must be safe and inclusive learning environments,” press secretary Miranda Barbot said in a statement.
“Teachers and staff have a responsibility to uphold those values, and the principal reported this incident for investigation,” Barbot added.