Cos Cob Elementary assistant principal placed on leave after controversial video
An assistant principal in Greenwich is on administrative leave after he claimed to avoid hiring conservatives and Roman Catholics in a secretly-recorded video.
The clip was released by Project Veritas, a conservative group specializing in undercover stings.
Jeremy Boland is the assistant principal at Cos Cob School. In the edited 12-minute video, apparently shot at an outdoor restaurant in July, an unidentified woman asks Boland about who he hires – and why.
Woman in Video: "So then, what do you do with the Catholics. How do you find out if someone is Catholic, then what?"
Boland: "You don't hire them."
Boland: "The open-minded, more progressive teachers are actually more savvy about delivering a Democratic message without really ever having to mention their politics."
The video is edited at several points. We asked Project Vertitas founder James O’Keefe what was left out.
"You've seen everything in context,” he said. “He said what he said. We stand by our reporting."
In a statement, Greenwich Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones said:
“Late last evening, we were made aware of a video that had gone viral with a current administrator from Cos Cob School. We intend to do a full investigation and until that time, we will not make any public statements. We ask that you respect the investigation process during this time.
We do not, however, support any opinions that promote discriminatory hiring practices based on race, religion, gender, or age in any way, and we want to remind our entire community that our curriculum policies and procedures are strictly enforced by our Board.”
Some parents found the video highly disturbing.
"People talk about diversity and inclusion all the time,” said Christopher McCormick, whose son is starting kindergarten at Glenville School. “I feel excluded as a result of what he did."
Project Vertias has its own controversies. The group recently paid for the rights to a diary stolen from President Biden's daughter, Ashley. The group and its founder have also faced lawsuits over its videos.
"And I've won every case,” said O’Keefe. “Including, most recently, against the New York Times for defamation."
Greenwich’s Republican First Selectman Fred Camillo is hiring an outside attorney to investigate.
"We want it to be a totally independent investigation to see if this is pervasive and how far it goes up, how wide it is,” he said.
One former school board member says it's the right move.
"It's not just a rogue administrator,” said Peter Sherr, who spent a dozen years on the board. “If you're around Greenwich Public Schools, you know that this culture exists inside the system."
The video is already turning into a political issue too. Leora Levy, the GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, is holding an event outside the school this evening.
On the Democrats’ side, Gov. Ned Lamont also denounced what he saw in the clip.
“Discrimination of any kind has no place in Connecticut, especially in our public schools. This is not aligned with our Connecticut values,” he said. “The Connecticut State Department of Education is aware of the incident, has been in contact with Greenwich Public School administrators, and is monitoring the situation’s progress.”
Rep. Jim Himes also commented on the video saying, ""Discrimination of any kind has no place in our community or in our school system. I have full faith this matter will be investigated thoroughly by the State Department of Education and Greenwich Public Schools and that all parties will be held accountable."