Bronx principal let go over racial remarks

August 2, 2011 8:40:42 AM PDT
A school principal accused of making racist remarks in the past has been relieved of his duties Tuesday.

Frank Borzellieri is no longer the principal of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School. School officials say the decision was reached following a thorough internal review of Borzellieri's opinions and beliefs as expressed in his books and columns, and a discussion with Borzellieri himself.

Borzellieri has written controversial books, including "Don't Take It Personally: Race, Immigration and Other Heresies," in which he declares that "diversity is a weakness" and that America's rising black and Hispanic population will lead to "a new dark age."

The decision to let him go was reached by Father Eric Rapaglia, pastor of the parish, in consultation with the Office of the Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese. Joseph Zwilling, the Archdiocese's director of communications, released a statement saying many of the opinions expressed by Borzellieri in his writings were found to be incompatible with the philosophy and practices of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, and with Catholic schools throughout the Archdiocese.

Borzellieri's views have gotten him face time on national talk shows, including ABC'S 20/20.

"Well, here we are in the multicultural heartland and everything is in Spanish here," he said in the interview. "I don't even feel like I'm in the United States. I feel like I'm in the middle of Latin America."

Zwilling went on to say that the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese pride themselves on serving a diverse student population, without regard to a student's religion race, or background and that the schools have a proven track record of success of welcoming all students.

Borzellieri's writings, Zwilling wrote, indicate that he did not truly support that mission.

The superintendent will assist the parish in hiring a new principal to lead Our Lady of Mount Carmel into the new academic year.