“Closing the hiring gate is an act of hate,” and “Diversity means opportunity for all,” were just a few of the signs flashed during the Black Long Island Education Commission’s protest against the in-house hiring of two white male administrators in Brentwood. There was no job postings and no interview process for these positions.
The alleged two positions were administrative level positions according to the chair of the Black Long Island Education Commission and Islip Town NAACP President William King Moss III.
Moss, who is also a Brentwood resident said, “at least six recommended qualified African-Americans were not interviewed for the positions,” and “had there been a job posting, there would have been many more.”
Candace J. Gomez, one of the attorneys for the Brentwood school district, said the allegations of discrimination within the hiring process is false.
“Brentwood has been a leader in increasing the diversity of its teaching and administrative staff,” said Gomez. “These efforts include participating in multi-cultural job fairs to attract diverse candidates, changing its hiring policy to increase input from community members regarding hiring decisions, and inviting the NAACP and other community organizations to submit names of individuals that it would like to participate on hiring committees.”
Moss said there was a partnership between the school district and the NAACP in which 22 Black teachers, six of them with administrative licenses, were recommended, but none were hired.
“The physical presence of Black and brown educators serves as daily proof that everybody can be academically skilled and anybody can become a teacher,” said Moss.
Out of the 18,903 students that attend Brentwood schools, over 84% are Hispanic and around nine percent are Black.
Moss has filed a petition to the New York State of Commissioner of Education about the incident.