The city Department of Education is investigating widely circulated screenshots of anti-white texts purportedly written by Staten Island’s black superintendent, officials told The Post.
The inflammatory texts vowing to get rid of white principals and “clean up this island” are attributed to District 31 Superintendent Marion Wilson.
The screenshots were sent in emails to Chancellor Banks and other DOE and city officials from the encrypted email address [email protected]
A message sent there got no response.
The screenshots, which two principals forwarded to the Post, are troubling.
“No more white principals on my watch!” says one text under Wilson’s name.
“I need to clean up this island,” another text reads. “White folks need to recognize this is not the boys club anymore. A strong black woman runs this bitch now, and they can either get on board or get out. If they don’t get out, I’m going to take them out one by one. They’re not gonna know what hit them. Gonna be fun.”
A third text says, “Chris’s white ass is G-O-N-E. It’s happening.”
It is an apparent reference to Christopher Anzalone, a former executive director of District 31 who moved to District 23 in Brooklyn as executive director of school support and operations.
“I agreed to take CL … She’ll keep the white folks off my back,” the text continues, apparently referring to Christine Loughlin, who was removed by Chancellor Banks as superintendent of District 3 in Manhattan.
Loughlin, who is white, now serves as executive director of school support and operations in District 31.
Another screenshot purports to show someone texting Wilson about two white Staten Island principals, David Cugini of Susan Wagner HS, a nephew of the late Christy Cugini, a former District 31 superintendent, and Nicholas Mele of IS 51:
“LOL Mele and Cugini better play nice. They’re first up on the chopping block,” it says.
After an NYPD officer was accused of punching a girl near IS 51 on Jan. 3, Wilson sent Banks and a team of DOE supervisors to walk through the school to check on the wellbeing of students.
The review found the building safe and without serious problems, but sources believe Wilson was cracking down on Mele.
Wilson, 52, did not return a request for comment.
After the DOE press office alerted her to the emails, she denied writing the texts, contending that enemies are trying to smear her, officials told The Post.
The DOE told the Staten Island Advance Friday that the texts are “fake,” and that the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools is probing their origins — a claim the SCI flatly denied in a statement to The Post.
An SCI spokesperson said they received a complaint about the texts, but referred it to the DOE “for appropriate action.”
SCI confirmed it has an open investigation on a related matter, but would not discuss it.
The SCI also blasted DOE spokesman Nathaniel Styer’s statement that “SCI is not investigating [Wilson]. SCI is investigating fake texts and spoofing.”
The SCI spokesperson countered: “That is not an SCI statement, and DOE should know better than to speculate on confidential investigations being conducted by SCI.
Regardless, DOE’s press office does not speak for SCI. SCI’s statement was that we do not confirm or discuss matters that are pending.”
A Staten Island parent who has a child in the public schools was concerned after seeing the screenshots.
“It’s disturbing. There’s got to be an investigation,” the parent said. “If it’s true, you don’t want somebody like that running the show in the district. If it isn’t true, somebody should be held accountable for that. It needs to be transparent.”
One Staten Island official recalled, in Wilson’s defense, that she appointed a white principal, Brandon Chall, at PS 56, after his predecessor died last year.
But Wilson has spoken openly about seeking to hire more “BIPOC” – black, indigenous, and people of color – to work in Staten Island schools, the parent said.
Local black educators were honored at a Black History event last month at the College of Staten Island hosted by City Councilmember Kamillah Hanks and state Assembly Assistant Majority Leader Charles D. Fall.
“I wanted you to understand how incredible it is, through the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Marion Wilson and our Chancellor David C. Banks, that we are now looking at 14 black principals on Staten Island,” Hanks said.
A Brooklyn principal cited complaints by colleagues: “Many assistant principals and principals have voiced comments made by the District 31 superintendent about hiring only black administrators for vacancies. Many administrators with tenure who live in Staten Island have left for other districts.”
The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, which represents principals, did not respond to a request for comment.
State Assemblyman Michael Reilly of Staten Island would not discuss the screenshots, but said, “In her two years as superintendent of District 31, I have only known Dr. Wilson to be an ally for our public schools and an advocate for students, parents, and teachers.
She is a reliable public servant who has always interacted with me and my staff with the utmost professionalism and respect.”
Staten Island has the highest percentage of white students of any district — 40.3%, compared to 14.7% citywide, DOE data show. The racial makeup includes 29.8% Hispanic, 14.2% Asian, and 12.8% black.
Wilson, who joined the DOE in 2006 as a principal, was named District 31 Superintendent in September 2021, after serving as deputy superintendent for two years and previously as an administrator in Manhattan’s District 5.
Chancellor Banks reappointed her to the top Staten Island post in June.