An associate principal at Amityville High School on Long Island has filed a complaint with the New York Division of Human Rights, claiming white school administrators stripped him of his responsibilities because he is black.
Rodney Wilkins alleges that he was "set up for failure and given no support" after being hired by Amityville schools in 2014.
According to Wilkins, this past March, he was ordered to spend his days in a school kitchen, away from his staff, with no specific duties. He remained there for two months.
"He was displayed like a piece of furniture," said Wilkins' lawyer, Fred Brewington.
Wilkins believes white Amityville administrators saw him as a "threat" to their jobs in the predominantly black school district.
When asked if he believes the district is "racist," Wilkins alleged that the district's leadership was racist.
In a statement, Amityville's superintendent Dr. Mary Kelly said in part, "the district intends to vigorously defend against this claim. The Amityville district is committed to providing a professional work environment for all staff and does not tolerate discrimination of any kind."
Hired to address racial concerns in Amityville schools raised by the New York Department of Education, Wilkins claims his bosses blocked him from pursuing many initiatives, including an open discussion of the happenings in Ferguson, Missouri.
Based on the complaint, the Division of Human Rights will now investigate Wilkins' claims, said Brewington, leading to a possible lawsuit against the school district.