New Dorp High School Assistant Principal Deborah Morse-Cunningham is still facing intense scrutiny, and some activists are calling for her to be fired after a rant perceived as racist on Facebook went viral.
The assistant principal in New York City is not out of the woods yet. Morse-Cunningham shared a lengthy message on Facebook, in which she reflected on sensitive topics such as racism and how some of the students were more privileged than others.
In the lengthy statement, which was later removed, the high school employee expressed her opinion on what privilege was, as she wrote, “Privilege is wearing $200 sneakers when you’ve never had a job. Privilege is wearing $300 Beats headphones while living on public assistance”.
The educator went on to criticize privileged people for having the opportunity to have as many children as they wanted without even considering their employment status and without paying for their daycare or school.
However, Morse-Cunningham later faced waves of backlash after a parent noticed her post and demanded that she be fired from the Staten Island high school administration.
According to the concerned parent, who even created a petition for the removal of Morse-Cunningham, the assistant principal was using her position and social media accounts to “post anti-Black messaging during this time.”
The educator was also criticized for influencing the learning environment of the children via her statements, and her behavior was “troubling and problematic” since she was “responsible for the tutelage of our youth.”
Following the controversy, the matter was brought to the attention of the New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who stated that he was “very concerned.”
He added: “No one in a position of authority should use racially insensitive language, especially someone who’s an educator and kids look up to.”
The Equity Alliance of Staten Island put out a statement that read: “The post by Morse-Cunningham further deepens the divide between Black, Latinx, and White, rich and poor communities and bears naked the problem Staten Island schools face.”
DOE press secretary Miranda Barbot 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.”
The 48-year-old woman was pictured smiling outside of her home as the investigation goes on. Her backers say that it is important to protect free speech, while others say that uniforms could fix some of the problems she brought up in the rant.