A new undercover video by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas shows New York teachers union officials advising fraud as well as violations of workplace rules all in order to cover up charges of child abuse by a Yonkers teacher and union member.
The video depicts union officials, who didn’t know they were being filmed, appearing wholly unconcerned over the charges of child abuse leveled against a teacher in their union and more interested in safeguarding that teacher’s career. At one point an official even made the absurd suggestion that the teacher should tell school officials the teacher was in Mexico because the teacher was trying to find a kidnapped family member.
Project Veritas leader O’Keefe said his group was given a tip that union officials would go to “extraordinary lengths” to cover up any wrongdoing perpetrated by their members.
The video shows several members of Project Veritas consulting with union chief Paul Diamond, an official with the United Federation of Teachers. The Veritas crew peppers Diamond with questions on how teachers should deal with abuse charges and Diamond replies with a variety of schemes to help said teacher skirt around such charges and get off scot-free.
Diamond advised that if a teacher were to be confronted with charges of child abuse they should stonewall any investigation into the incident.
“And the teacher should not participate in any interview or any investigation,” Diamond told the videographer. “And should say the phrase, ‘I feel this can become disciplinary. I want someone from the union office.'”
Also in the video, union president Patricia Puleo got very creative with her advice on how to skirt the rules.
One rule for New York teachers is that they need written permission to be away from school for more than three days during the school year. Posing as a tenured teacher in the video, Veritas chief O’Keefe told Puleo that he had run off to Mexico for two weeks after being accused of abusing a child.
Puleo laid out a strange scenario in order to help a teacher get around the three-day notice requirement. She suggested he write a letter to the school board explaining that he went to Mexico because of a “horrific event” for his family that he needed to address there. She went on to insist that the teacher push the false story saying it was so traumatic “it consumed your entire being.”
“When confronted with it, you are falling on your sword and just admitting that there was … such a mind-blowing, grave, numbing that it consumed your entire being, and if they need to know what it is, look up family medical leave, we probably can give you a copy here,” Puleo added. “And, you know, you had reached out to the union office as if what to do, but, ‘Goddamn those people, they didn’t call me back. I didn’t know what to do, I was dealing with this situation.'”
The pair had several more strange suggestions on how to avoid investigations and charges of child abuse. Like Diamond, Puleo also insisted that no teacher should talk to investigators. She said teachers should not “fu**ing tell anybody anything.”
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