Teachers union boss suspended after hidden camera captures him saying he's there to 'defend even the worst people'
The Hamilton Township Superintendent, Scott Rocco, released a statement saying he called the district authorities after he saw the video and suspended "the individual."
An employee of Hamilton Township school was suspended after a hidden video camera captured him allegedly saying that he would not report an incident of a teacher beating a student and would downplay the entire situation, according to reports.
The video identified the employee as president of the Hamilton Township Education Association, David R. Perry. The clip was released on YouTube on Wednesday by Project Veritas.
The New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) , however, said that the organization used "illegal tactics to fabricate false stories." Project Veritas, run by activist James O'Keefe, records undercover audio and video encounters with figures and workers in academic, governmental and social service organizations.
"Project Veritas cannot be trusted as a source and should not be dignified with coverage or response, other than to note that it is a political advocacy organization with a history of using dishonest and illegal tactics to fabricate false stories," the NJEA said in a statement. "Nothing is more important to NJEA members than the safety and well-being of the students they are privileged to educate. NJEA members go above and beyond every day to ensure that students are safe, healthy and well educated."
Reports state that the Veritas employee, who posed as the sister-in-law of a fictitious middle school teacher, used a made-up scenario between a teacher and a student to get Perry to talk about the steps he would take if the student reported the assault, NJ.com reported.
The Hamilton Township Superintendent, Scott Rocco, released a statement on Wednesday stating that he called the district authorities after he saw the video and suspended "the individual." An internal investigation has reportedly been opened in the case.
Rocco said: "The true beliefs and values of this school district are not represented in this video and are not aligned with who we are as faculty, staff, administration, and community."
Perry, in the video, can be seen saying that the teacher should approach him and tell "the truth" about what happened. He also added that he would later change the date of any records he maintains, in an attempt to make it appear that the incident was reported the day after it occurred, hence, downplaying the incident.
"I need to know the truth, so that we can bend the truth. If nobody brings it up from (the) school, I don't say boo," Perry adds in the video.
"I'm here to defend even the worst people," he later says on camera.
When O'Keefe confronts Perry about the undercover video, in a second video, the teachers union president, says: "I said, what we do is we help people. And what they do wrong, they deserve their punishment."