Last week, a Southhampton, NY high school vice principal was under fire after appearing in a music video with rapper R.J. and R&B singer Trey Songz for the song, “Bestfriend”. Esther Adler-O’Keefe herself is doing nothing wrong in the video. However, several people felt she did not use good judgment by appearing in it. The song refers to women as bitches, talks explicitly about sex and features several scantily clad women partying around the house. Oh, there’s also drugs and alcohol. This one is a hard one because it’s not what Mrs O’Keefe did, it’s about what the video and song promote. I personally think she should have passed on this one. I don’t care for the video or the song. I think both of them are in bad taste. I know some people will never get tired of looking but half-naked women gyrating everywhere have appeared in thousands of videos and it’s so played out for me. I need directors to come up with something more creative.
The truth is O’Keefe may not have even known what the song was fully about when she agreed to make the cameo. It’s not uncommon for actors and extras to be told what they themselves will be doing but not really given the context of it all or maybe she knew and didn’t think it was that serious. However, the video most certainly does not promote behaviors any school would condone and that is precisely why the school district issued this statement after O’Keefe’s actions were brought the their attention.
“The video showcases behaviors and language use that is not promoted by the Southampton School District,” the school district’s Superintendent Scott Farina told a local media outlet “In fact we actively teach our students the importance of good character and making smart choices.”
O’Keefe may have gotten props from her students but the district for which she works—not so much. At this point, what is done is done. It appears that she may have been fired and if so, I think the school board went too far. I think they should use this as a teachable moment for the students. Why not hold a discussion about why the behavior exhibited in the video shouldn’t be emulated? I once had to have a similar discussion at my church about why twerking isn’t appropriate behavior for young ladies after one of them made the statement during Bible Study that, “Twerking ain’t bad.” If she is as good an educator as many parents and students coming to her defense have said then firing her could cause more damage than good. Great educators are priceless.
What say you my friends? Should O’Keefe be slammed because she appeared in the video? Should she have been punished? If so, what kind of punishment would you issue?
Here is the video so you can judge for yourself. She is the Caucasian woman featured in the opening and end as one of the home owners.