A hidden video of an assistant principal could upend a gubernatorial race
In the video, an elementary school admin says he tries to influence students’ thinking without parents finding out
An assistant principal was placed on administrative leave after an undercover video showed him admitting to hiring practices that discriminate against politically conservative staff, Catholics and others. He also said he looks to hire teachers who know how to subtly introduce progressive ideology to students.
Jeremy Boland, assistant principal of Cos Cob Elementary School in Greenwich, Connecticut, tells an unidentified woman in the heavily edited, 12-minute video that he rejects teacher applicants who hold conservative political leanings, Catholic beliefs, are older or those who give deference to parents’ wishes.
“I can’t get past the parents anymore,” Boland says in the secretly recorded video. “The parents feel as though it’s their responsibility to shape the schools, which then shape the kids, right?”
“So, because I can’t get past the parents, do I really have as much of an influence … on the kids as I want? I try in my own way. But right now, my job is to hire the right teachers.”
“Do we work for the parent or do we work for the kid?” Boland asks rhetorically in the video. “We work for the kid.”
The video was published by Project Veritas, a controversial conservative nonprofit organization known for undercover videos revealing apparent liberal bias.
Boland says in the video that Catholics are more politically conservative. When asked what he does if a teacher applicant is Catholic, he answers, “You don’t hire them.”
“You can never change their mindset. So when you ask them to consider something new, like a new opportunity, or, ‘You have to think about this differently,’ they’re stuck — just rigid,” Boland says, reiterating that he thinks Catholics are brainwashed.
An email from Greenwich Superintendent of Schools Toni Jones to family and staff said Boland had been placed on leave, according to The Associated Press. Jones also pledged a full investigation into Boland’s comments.
“Believe it or not, the open-minded, more progressive teachers are actually more savvy about delivering a Democratic message without really ever having to mention politics,” Boland says in the viral video.
Multiple public officials have opened investigations into the matter. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong announced a civil rights investigation into potentially illegal discrimination or actionable misconduct.
“This video is disturbing,” Tong said. “And if teachers, school staff, or applicants for education jobs have been illegally discriminated against for any reason, I will take action.”
Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the conservative Family Institute of Connecticut, believes the video could have major political implications for Connecticut’s gubernatorial election. Democratic incumbent Gov. Ned Lamont will face Republican nominee Bob Stefanowski this November.
“This is a gift-wrapped present dropped into the lap of (Stefanowski),” Wolfgang wrote Aug. 31 on his Facebook page. “If he does not make the most of this, it will be a huge fail. Ever since around the time of Gov. Youngkin’s victory in Virginia, there were signs that the GOP was starting to get it. That is, that culture matters. Even the Connecticut GOP!”
Stefanowski’s campaign released a statement saying he was deeply troubled by the video. He said he is most concerned the administrator would brag about indoctrinating students and blackballing teachers who “don’t subscribe to radical ‘woke’ ideology.”
Gov. Lamont said he supports the attorney general’s civil rights investigation and that any form of discrimination has no place in the state.
Republican state legislators told the Hartford Courant that they are calling for a wider investigation through the Legislature’s education committee to ensure the problem isn’t systemic. Lamont says he doesn’t oppose the Legislature looking into it but cautions the state about Project Veritas’ intentions.
“I hate these ‘gotcha’ guys and clipping of the video trying to make political fodder out of it.” Lamont said on WTNH, a local news channel. “That said, I thought the words spoke for themselves. We’re going to investigate the words and what’s behind them.”