Assistant Principal Jeremy Boland of Cos Cob Elementary School is on leave in the wake of a Project Veritas (PV) undercover video that recorded his claims of how he ensures his school does not hire Catholics or conservatives in order to guarantee “subtle” left-wing indoctrination of children.
Greenwich Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones said in a statement, according to News12 Connecticut:
Late last evening, we were made aware of a video that had gone viral with a current administrator from Cos Cob School. We intend to do a full investigation and until that time, we will not make any public statements. We ask that you respect the investigation process during this time.
“We do not, however, support any opinions that promote discriminatory hiring practices based on race, religion, gender, or age in any way, and we want to remind our entire community that our curriculum policies and procedures are strictly enforced by our Board,” Jones added.
Greenwich’s first selectman said he is hiring an outside attorney to investigate Boland’s claims, as stated in the video, that he purposely seeks to avoid hiring “Catholics” and “conservatives,” and even older teachers since, he believes, they are less likely to be “progressive.”
“We want it to be a totally independent investigation to see if this is pervasive,” Fred Camillo told News12 Connecticut, “and how far it goes up, how wide it is.”
A former school board member said he approved of a wider investigation.
“It’s not just a rogue administrator,” said Peter Sherr. “If you’re around Greenwich Public Schools, you know that this culture exists inside the system.”
“People talk about diversity and inclusion all the time,” parent Christopher McCormick told News12 Connecticut regarding Boland’s statements. “I feel excluded as a result of what he did.”
During one exchange between the PV reporter and Boland in July, Boland is heard touting how he oversees the hiring process to ensure children are exposed to left-wing teachers who can deliver a “Democratic message.”
Boland: You’re teaching them [children] how to think. That’s it. It doesn’t matter what they think about. If they think about it in a logical progressive way, that becomes their habit.
PV Journalist: So, you kind of like, gear them to think in a more liberal way?
Boland: Mm-hmm. 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.
When the PV undercover journalist asked Boland to elaborate about how he ensures religious teachers are not hired, the exchange continued:
Boland: I’m not a huge expert on religion, but Protestants in this area [of Connecticut] are probably the most liberal. But if they’re Catholic — conservative.
PV Journalist: Oh, so then what do you do with the Catholics? If you find out someone is Catholic, then what?
Boland: You don’t hire them.
PV Journalist: So, would you ever hire a Catholic then?
Boland: No, I don’t want to … Because if someone is raised hardcore Catholic, it’s like they’re brainwashed. 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.
Christopher Healy, executive director of the Connecticut Catholic Conference, said in remarks in an Archdiocese of Hartford Facebook video:
The revelations that an official in the Greenwich school system discriminated against people of the Catholic faith who are seeking employment are extremely disturbing, and should be treated as a serious breach of the public trust and state laws.
“The comments regarding Catholics, as well as the indoctrination techniques of the Cos Cob elementary school assistant principal, are vile,” Healy asserted. “And they do a profound disservice to the many Catholic teachers in public schools, both in Greenwich and across the state.”
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Leora Levy held an event outside the Cos Cob school Wednesday night.
Indoctrination & discrimination! This is happening in CT & it is WRONG.
Our kids deserve to be educated & taught to think critically, not indoctrinated into Leftist ideology. This is why I’m speaking out against CRT & standing up for parental rights! https://t.co/NG3hRyquVC
— Leora Levy (@LeoraLevyCT) August 31, 2022
Levy said Boland’s comments about Catholics, conservatives, and older teachers, as heard in the video, are “un-American”:
Traveling across Connecticut, everywhere I go, I hear from parents that they are concerned about the indoctrination of their children and the interference of government between parent and child. Now, a new video of a Cos Cob assistant principal has been released, showing that he refused to hire educators who are Catholic, older or conservative, and that he championed the indoctrination of our children with Leftist ideology. This is abhorrent and wrong. It is un-American.
“These hateful, discriminatory actions should spur immediate action not only here, but in any schools throughout Connecticut where it may be happening,” Levy added, echoing the call for an immediate investigation.
“Our children go to school to learn the essentials: reading, writing, history and math, and most important of all – critical thinking,” the candidate said. “School is a place where they should be encouraged to think critically, not indoctrinated like robots.”
Governor Ned Lamont (D-CT) said in response to the video, “Discrimination of any kind has no place in Connecticut, especially in our public schools.”
“This is not aligned with our Connecticut values,” he said, according to the news report. “The Connecticut State Department of Education is aware of the incident, has been in contact with Greenwich Public School administrators, and is monitoring the situation’s progress.”
U.S. Representative Jim Himes (D) also commented on the video:
Discrimination of any kind has no place in our community or in our school system. I have full faith this matter will be investigated thoroughly by the State Department of Education and Greenwich Public Schools and that all parties will be held accountable.
A News12 Connecticut reporter asked Project Veritas Founder James O’Keefe, “What do we not see in the video?”
“Well, you’ve seen everything in context,” O’Keefe responded regarding Boland’s statements. “He said what he said. We stand by our reporting.”
O’Keefe responded to the reporter’s comments about the lawsuits Project Veritas has faced as a result of his undercover sting-type reporting.
“And I’ve won every case,” he observed, “including, most recently, against the The New York Times for defamation.”
Project Veritas’ website contains a webpage titled the “Wall of Shame,” which is described as “the place where we post retractions that these ‘journalists’ have had to print over the years about James O’Keefe or Project Veritas.”
The organization states over 300 “journalists,” to date, “just couldn’t stick to the facts in their reporting and were forced to print the glorious retractions you see here.”
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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Image “Jeremy Boland” by Project Veritas.