Deborah Morse-Cunningham Staten Island assistant principal being probed after Facebook post leads to New Dorp High School educator being accused of being racist.
A Staten Island assistant principal is under investigation by NYC’s Department of Education after a Facebook posting musing on ‘what is privilege’ led to the educator being accused of being racist.
In her post, since removed, New Dorp High School assistant principal Deborah Morse-Cunningham, questioned how ‘people living on public assistance were still able to wear $200 sneakers.’
Posted the educator, ‘Privilege is wearing $200 sneakers when you’ve never had a job. Privilege is wearing $300 Beats headphones while living on public assistance.’
Continued Morse-Cunningham, ‘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.’
A ‘concerned parent’ saw the post and started an online petition to have Morse-Cunningham removed from her job, where, according to city records, she makes more than $130,000 a year.
Post facilitates ‘vicious stereotypes and racial profiling directed at the Black community.’
The creator of the petition said the alleged post details ‘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 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.
The school’s minority enrollment is 49 percent, but 60 percent of its students are economically disadvantaged, according to U.S. News and World Report.
In a statement, 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 according to the nypost.
‘Teachers and staff have a responsibility to uphold those values, and the principal reported this incident for investigation,’ Barbot added.
As of early Monday afternoon, there had been over 6145 signatures to remove Morse-Cunningham from her teaching post. Morse-Cunningham’s Facebook page was no longer available.