In The Jersey Journal on Saturday, May 5
After the release of two videos this week that appear to show two New Jersey teachers union presidents explaining how they protect teachers who commit criminal acts, education advocacy groups have called for a state investigation into practices.
The directors of JerseyCAN and Better Education for Kids said in a letter sent to state Sen. Teresa Ruiz, D-Newark, and chairwoman of the Senate Education committee, that the videos raise questions about how easy it is to manipulate the teacher disciplinary system.
JerseyCAN and Better Education for Kids often advocate for education reforms opposed by teachers unions.
“These videos highlight that there may be weaknesses in teacher disciplinary procedures that unethical insiders can exploit to protect teachers accused of wrongdoing,” the letter says.
Project Veritas, a conservative group that produces undercover reports aimed at exposing bad behavior by groups associated with liberals, released the undercover videos of the teachers this week.
In the videos, the teachers, Union City Education Association President Kathleen Valencia, and Hamilton Township Education Association President David R. Perry, say they will protect teachers, with Perry saying, “I’m here to defend even the worst people.”
In the Union City video, Valencia references a teacher who she says had sex with a student but was not charged criminally because the student had no proof. Both teachers have been suspended.
Project Veritas has been criticized for using selective editing to create false impressions about what people in academia, government and social service organizations have said during undercover audio or video conversations.
The New Jersey Education Association dismissed the videos.
Many are saying this shows that the teachers unions will do anything they can to protect their teachers and that it’s not about the students.
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