White Supremacist Running Bronx Elementary School

The New York City school is largely attended by Black and Latino students, raising concerns from parents and faculty.

Posted: 08/01/2011 05:03 PM EDT
Filed Under racism, education

(Photo: Book Cover, "Don't Take It Personally: Race, Immigration, Crime and Other Heresies," Cultural Studies Press)

A white supremacist is running a Bronx, New York, Catholic school where the majority of the students are Black and Latino, the New York Daily News reports.


Frank Borzellieri, 48, was named principal of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in 2009, despite having a history of controversial writing and campaigns. While serving as school board member in Queens from 1993 to 2002, Borzellieri tried to ban literature he labeled "anti-American," including a biography on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Borzellieri called for the removal of an openly gay teacher and gay-rights activist from the classroom and has called for a resolution that would teach students that U.S. culture is superior. Borzellieri is also a contributor to several known white supremacist publications.


Writes the Daily News:


In 2004, Borzellieri wrote the book "Don't Take It Personally: Race, Immigration, Crime and Other Heresies," in which he declares "diversity is a weakness" and says the rising Black and Hispanic populations in America will lead to the "New Dark Age."


He has also written frequently for the white supremacist publication American Renaissance, with which he is still "intimately involved," the non-profit Southern Poverty Law Center says.


Borzellieri declined to comment to the newspaper’s report.


Mount Carmel pastor, the Rev. Eric Rapaglia, said he didn’t "see any cause for concern" when he hired Borzellieri to run the 200-student elementary school, drawing concern from parents, many of whom did not know of Borzellieri’s past. A teacher who worked with Borzellieri at another Bronx Catholic school said she alerted the Archdiocese of New York in 2007 that students had complained Borzellieri was using them as "research" for his books, but the teacher never got a response.


"A lot of his ideas would actually benefit minorities," Rapaglia added.


Archdiocese spokesman Joe Zwilling said there is no record of a complaint against Borzellieri, but said the matter is under review. An overhaul of the hiring process for parish principals went to effect in 2009 after Borzellieri was already hired.