October 16, 2015


Rap Video Cameo Gets High School Principal Fired

A month ago, Esther Adler-O’Keefe, the assistant principal of New York state's Southampton High School, had a little fun in "Best Friend," a music video by St. Louis artist J.R. featuring Trey Songz. Unfortunately, that fun cost her a job.

"Esther Adler-O’Keefe will take on new responsibilities with the district," superintendent Dr. Scott Farina wrote in an email dated Oct. 13 to district parents. "Ms. Adler-O’Keefe will oversee a variety of academic support services throughout the district."

It's pretty shocking news considering the nature of Adler-O'Keefe's performance. She appears in the video's opening, pre-mayhem scene as a homeowner who, with her partner, leaves the house to J.R. for the night. After they exit, a textbook rap video commences—twerking, bikinis, grinding and slippery pool party hedonism. The next morning the owners (remember, Adler-O'Keefe is one) return to find a half-smoked joint, a saucy set of Polaroids and, oh yeah, a ton of zonked out women in bathing suits.

It looks like an unlucky case of wrong place/wrong time for Adler-O'Keefe. The song features lyrics—again, performed in her absence—like, "I got two bitches twerkin,' screamin, 'That's my best friend'" and "It's looking like tonight I'm fucking best friends / She eyeing me but kissing, fucking on her best friend" and "Go best friend and take that dick."

At the time of the video's September release, 27East got a statement from the now-former assistant principal:

“Speaking as a private individual and not in my professional capacity, I wish to state for the record that, when I agreed to participate, I was completely unaware of the content, lyrics, and title of the video and song. Had I known of such content or lyrics, I certainly would not have participated in any fashion. I find the lyrics and content of the music video vulgar, offensive, and demeaning." 

The same article contained comments from Farina like, "This is not representative of who we are as a district, nor of our students and staff" and "we actively teach our students the importance of good character and making smart choices."

Upon the "Best Friend" release, a local ABC affiliate interviewed Southhampton High School parents (watch below). "Obviously it's not appropriate for the children of the school to be watching and seeing their assistant principal do this," said a father. One mother opined, "Esther is awesome. She is absolutely awesome, as a person, as an administrator—she's an amazing woman. And she has the best interest of the kids at heart."

Another mom said Adler-O'Keefe is "a good principal" who "cares about the kids" before calling the appearance a mistake she will regret for the rest of her life. Watch the local news report here: