New York City Principal uses racial slurs, fires teachers

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2013 | Workplace Discrimination

A Queens high school principal has come under fire recently due to allegedly using racial slurs about two African-American teachers and then firing them without just cause.

The school is in the Elmhurst area. The principal allegedly employed racial stereotypical slurs referring to facial characteristics of African Americans’ hair, lips and other physical characteristics. An affidavit by the vice principal alleges the principal compared the teachers’ features to those of a gorilla.

The Vice Principal also told reporters that the principal attempted to fire him after he filed the affidavit. The principal justified letting the teachers go due to poor teaching evaluations. One instructor insisted he had a clean teaching record and satisfactory evaluations from the previous administrator. When the new person came along, he felt she had targeted him from the start.

The second teacher stated she would change professions, disappointed in the way the system had treated her and the knowledge that she had not been let go due to professional or competency issues, but due to the color of her skin.

Another African-American teacher subsequently submitted her resignation when the principal cut the theatre program she directed.

As the only African American teachers in the school, the three stated the consequences went beyond racial slurs, but lamented a school population with an absence of role models. “There is no one left here on the teaching staff that looks like us.” Over half the student population at the school is black.

An investigation by the Department of Education, amidst protests, is underway to respond to the allegations of the vice principal’s affidavit as well as to the statements made by the three teachers who were let go.

The New York Public School System, as any other school environment, should be a safe haven for young people to learn. Teachers and administrators are the role models that motivate our youth to achieve academic success and go on to be productive members of society. If you or someone you know has been a victim of race discrimination, it is in your best interest to speak with an authority on this subject to keep schools safe havens for our youths.


Source:, “NYC principal allegedly called black teachers ‘nappy-headed’ and ‘big-lipped,’ then fired them” Eric Owens, Jul. 09, 2013

FindLaw Network