Nothing is more important to NJEA members than the safety and wellbeing 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. They are members of a union to be supported in that work through our joint advocacy for safe, healthy schools for every student. The educators of NJEA take their obligation to students very seriously.
NJEA does not, in any instance, condone the abuse or mistreatment of children or the failure to properly report allegations of abuse. That is the antithesis of what NJEA members stand for as professional educators. To ensure that appropriate practices are followed, we are commissioning an independent review of the practices of our local affiliates and staff. The purpose of that review is to ensure that every staff member and local affiliate leader understands and clearly communicates the responsibility of all school employees to report any suspected abuse of children. Based on that review, NJEA will undertake appropriate training to ensure that takes place in every local and in every instance. There is no place for any ambiguity about the responsibility of every adult, in every position within our public schools, to protect the wellbeing of all students.
With regard to the videos recently released, the source of the videos in question deserves careful scrutiny. Project Veritas is a political organization with a long history of releasing deceptively edited videos that later prove to have been dishonest and misleading. The founder of Project Veritas, James O’Keefe, in 2010 pled guilty to charges related to his illegal tactics. O’Keefe was sentenced to three years’ probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine.
Project Veritas sends secret operatives, using false identities, to lie to other individuals while secretly recording them. It is very important to note that the operatives are not speaking about real individuals or incidents. Their false allegations are entirely fabricated for the purpose of creating a false narrative. They then deceptively edit those videos for political purposes, with no regard for truth or honesty. For those reasons, NJEA will not comment on any allegations made by Project Veritas.
NJEA will continue its unfailing advocacy for students and public schools. Our members remain committed to providing a safe, healthy learning environment for every student in their care, so that every student has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.