A series of undercover videos exposing incidents of corruption and child abuse by representatives of the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) were discussed at a May 31 New Jersey State Senate hearing.
The videos, filmed by Project Veritas, a non-profit specializing in undercover journalism, include candid admissions by members of the NJEA union that they covered up sexual and physical abuse of children, and also worked with accused teachers to reduce the perceived weight of such crimes.
After viewing the videos, State Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D) said during the hearing, “It is some of the most disturbing conversation that in my entire life I have had to be witness to.”
— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) June 4, 2018
She noted the videos include union representatives referring to students as “scumbags,” making derogatory comments about groups such as Hispanic children, and making similar objectionable statements.
The videos include union members stating that incidents only “happened” if there was a witness, Ruiz notes, and union members also give directions on how to cover-up incidents. She adds, “even when asked what will it take to remove a teacher from a classroom, someone refers to blood or even rape.”
NJEA Executive Director Ed Richardson issued a rebuttal at the hearing, claiming that the undercover journalists gained access to the local NJEA offices using “false pretexts” and made false allegations. He also claimed that there were “dishonest tactics” used to edit the videos.
Ruiz responded, stating “That this group came in disingenuously and [was] set up, I cannot accept that.”
As an example, she pointed to a video where an NJEA representative presented a file to the undercover reporter, stated on video that it was of a teacher that had sex with a student, and told the undercover reporter, “You’re not going to jail. You know what this file is about? It’s about whether you’re going to keep your pension.”
Richardson noted the NJEA has commissioned an independent review.