NYC School Official Exposes Prejudice in Hiring Practices to Project Veritas

NYC School Official Exposes Prejudice in Hiring Practices to Project Veritas
Todd Soper, grade K–4 assistant principal, Neighborhood Charter Schools Harlem, speaks to undercover Project Veritas reporter in video released Sept. 6, 2022. (Screenshot via The Epoch Times)
Caden Pearson

Project Veritas on Tuesday released a video of a New York City education official admitting to hiring practices that discriminate against teachers who don’t align with far-left or progressive values.

Todd Soper, an assistant principal for grades K–4 at the New York City Department of Education’s Neighborhood Charter School in Harlem, unwittingly divulged information about the city’s hiring practices to an undercover reporter from Project Veritas.

“We have very specific questions ... if people don’t answer that question right, they are just an automatic not hire,” Soper told the undercover reporter.
The video is the third in a series called “The Secret Curriculum,” which sets out to expose efforts to indoctrinate children with socialist ideology.

A teacher who makes a “well intentioned” statement that they are “colorblind” or who believes all men are equal “wouldn’t get hired,” according to Soper.

“If they [candidates] say that diversity is about—if they say something that lends itself to be colorblind, which could happen, like, ‘Oh, it’s like, you know, like everyone is equal.’ Those things that are well-intentioned statements, but they’re missing the depth of understanding of how the intersections of our identity live out in the world. So that person wouldn’t get hired,” Soper said.

One teacher, who left a school because she “didn’t want to teach Black Lives Matter” ideology to her students, “would’ve probably been fired eventually just based off of mindset,” according to Soper.

“Our students’ lives matter based on the color of their skin, and how that intertwines into the context of the world,“ Soper said. ”So, if you’re not willing to embrace fully that aspect of our students—and that means talking openly about race and talking about injustices in the world—then I don’t know if you’re going to be able to fully fulfill your [teacher] responsibilities.”

‘Conversations Deepen as the Kids Get Older’

The apparent teacher hiring prejudices extend to viewpoints on gender and sexuality.

Soper described the department’s “way to start” instilling concepts valued by progressives into the minds of 5- and 6-year-old children, such as LGBT and gender ideology.

“We have always and will continue to embrace diversity on all levels. So, the same way we embrace identities that are based off of ethnicity, skin tone and gender, we also embrace orientation,” Soper said.

“Like for kindergarten, for Pride month, we got—every kid had a mirror and we talked about—a read aloud about an animal, or about a boy that said he wanted to be a mermaid. It’s a way to start, like, ‘You should be whoever you feel like you should be.’ That was kind of the message of [the] read aloud.”

The classroom instruction starts off simple when children are aged 5 or 6, but teachers will facilitate deeper discussions once children are in the fourth grade, the NYC school official noted.

“It’s delicate, right? So, in kindergarten and first grade, they are 5 and 6—but I think we start with the umbrella theme of: ‘Embrace who you are. You have to love who you are, and each part of you is beautiful, whatever you feel,’” Soper said.

“As kids get older and the idea of gender becomes more salient, which happens more towards fourth grade … the conversations deepen as the kids get older.”

On Sept. 2 Project Veritas released a video which showed a Manhattan private school administrator complaining to an undercover reporter about “horrible” white students who have been pushing back against the leftist ideology she has been using her position to promote.

At the end of August, the outlet exposed another assistant principal, from Greenwich, who said that Catholic teachers would never be hired, while current liberal staff were sneaking “a Democratic message” into their lessons.

The Epoch Times contacted Soper for comment.