Teacher In Westchester Fired For Mock Slave Auction Hired In Mount Vernon

Cecil H. Parker Elementary School
Cecil H. Parker Elementary School Photo Credit: Google Maps

The Westchester teacher who was fired earlier this year after holding a mock slave auction with students in a private school in Bronxville has reportedly been hired to teach in Mount Vernon.

Rebecca Antinozzi, a former fifth-grade teacher at the Chapel School in Bronxville, made national headlines earlier this year when a parent accused her of staging mock slave auctions. The parent alleged that African-American students were placed in imaginary chains and were bid on by other students.

Antinozzi was fired in March from the Chapel School. According to reports, she was hired last week to teach at the Cecil H. Parker Elementary School with a salary of more than $77,000 annually.

In a statement released regarding Antinozzi’s hiring, school officials said “the Mount Vernon City School District is investigating the hiring process and background of a new elementary school classroom teacher. The district does not comment on personnel matters.”

Before being fired, Antinozzi said that the lesson that led to her termination lasted less than two minutes.

"I said, 'OK, how many of you are African-American?' They raised their hand," Antinozzi stated. "I said, 'OK, go line up the door for me please.' So they lined up by the door. I said, 'If you were living during this time, you would be treated unfairly and brought to the new world against your will, and forced to work. And basically what would happen is they would say, OK, let's bid $10, $20, $30, $40, $50 -- OK great, males sit down, you're working in the field; females, sit down, you're working in the domestic household.' -- And that was literally under two minutes.”

After her firing, a lawyer for Antinozzi said “Ms. Antinozzi loves her students and is beloved by them. To the extent anyone took offense to a small portion of the overall lesson that day that was used solely to emphasize the tragic injustice of slavery, it certainly was never intended.”

The mock slave auctions also led to an investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office.

In a statement following the investigation, James said, ”the investigation found that the teacher’s reenactments in the two classes had a profoundly negative effect on all of the students present — especially the African-American students — and the school community at large.”

Antinozzi was reportedly told not to come to class on Monday, Sept. 23. 

"I support the investigation on the hiring process and background of a new elementary school classroom teacher, Rebecca Antinozzi," Mount Vernon Mayor Andre Wallace said. "A Mock Slave Auction in a classroom with African- American students posing as slaves is racist and has no place in our schools and no place anywhere."

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