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Southampton High School assistant principal who appeared in rap video reassigned, school officials say

Southampton High School assistant principal Esther Adler-O'Keefe, pictured

Southampton High School assistant principal Esther Adler-O'Keefe, pictured here at right, appeared in a video which features wild partying and details a rapper's sexual encounter with two women. Credit: YouTube

A Southampton High School assistant principal who appeared in a rap video in September has been reassigned, a district spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Esther Adler-O'Keefe received criticism from the Southampton school district after the release of rapper J.R. and R&B singer Trey Songz's raunchy music video, in which she played a minor role.

Superintendent Scott Farina wrote in an email sent to parents earlier this month that Adler-O'Keefe had been assigned other duties within the district starting Oct. 19.

"Ms. Adler-O'Keefe will oversee a variety of academic support services throughout the district," Farina wrote in the email.

Intermediate school assistant principal Susan Wright will take over as assistant principal at Southampton High School, the email said.

Adler-O'Keefe, with the district since 2010, did not respond to a request for comment.

The video for the song "Best Friend" was released Sept. 14.

In it, Adler-O'Keefe plays a woman going on vacation with her husband. J.R. has been hired as the house sitter, but proceeds to throw a large party featuring alcohol, drugs and bikini-clad women splashing and dancing in the pool.

Adler-O'Keefe appears again at the end of video, when she and her husband return to find J.R. asleep on their couch surrounded by women. Adler-O'Keefe wakes him up by throwing a beach ball at his head.

Following the video's release, officials declined to comment on whether Adler-O'Keefe faced disciplinary action, citing personnel protections. In a statement at the time, Farina said the district was unhappy with Adler-O'Keefe's participation.

"It has recently come to our attention that a member of our administrative staff appeared in a music video. The video in question showcases behaviors and language use that is not promoted by the Southampton School District," Farina said. "In fact, we actively teach our students the importance of good character and making smart choices. Additionally, this is not representative of who we are as a district nor of our students and staff."

After the video's release, Adler-O'Keefe didn't respond to requests from Newsday for comment, but in an email to the website, she said she was unaware of the song's "vulgar" language and said she wouldn't have participated had she known.

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