Speaks on Hidden Camera About Cover-Ups, Lies and Defending the Worst People
David Perry, the President of the Hamilton Township Teachers Association and school employee has been suspended after a hidden camera video appeared to depict him saying he would downplay and not report an incident of a teacher beating a student. Perry was also caught in the video explaining how he works to cover up any type of ill deeds by teachers.
The video is the first in a series by Project Veritas, a conservative group founded by New Jersey native James O’Keefe, is known for using undercover video to embarrass and expose public officials that have been released on an expose of the New Jersey Education Association.
Project Veritas has been and criticized in the past for controversial reporting tactics for using hidden cameras and subjective editing.
‘I’m here to defend even the worst people…. I got people who are on drugs…she was fired 5 times and I got her job back 5 times’
The video has sparked outrage throughout Hamilton and the entire nation as news of the video spread like wildfire on social media and making national cable news.
Perry insists that he will not report the teacher to the authorities or school officials, even though state law and school anti-bullying regulations require school officials to immediately report instances of possible abuse or harassment.
Instead, he outlines some methods that the union supposedly uses to protect teachers in these situations.
“But I’m gonna let you know right now he came in the day after. Even though he didn’t, I would say he did,” Perry says.
“If the kid’s gonna turn around and say ‘Well he threatened me….’ I can say, ‘No. No no no. On March 22, the day after the incident, Mr. Smith came over to me and told me this is what happened.’ And we just wanted to put it on record so that nothing more would come about it.’”
“It covers the teacher because he came in and reported it right away and that he was afraid.”
Dragging out the process so that surveillance video would be erased
“That’s why I would never wanna bring it up. The longer we wait, the longer there’s no, there’s no camera.“
Instructing teachers not to discuss the incident
“The teacher needs to not tell anybody a thing. ” Perry says.
“Now if you go to the Hamilton Board of Education and report this, they’re gonna call the police and they’re gonna call parents and all that shit.”
“We don’t do that. We don’t do that here. I’m here to defend even the worst people … It’s almost like being a priest. It’s my job to protect.”
Instructing teachers on what to say:
“So when he comes in here- I’m going to tell him what to say, basically.”
Misrepresent the student’s account:
“In other words, if you threatened the kid, you didn’t threaten the kid. You said ‘Knock it off or else.’”
“If the teacher actually said ‘knock if off or I’ll kill you,’ or ‘I’ll beat the shit out of you’ or ‘I’ll hurt you’ or ‘I’ll hurt your family,’ we don’t say that. It’s a mistake. It was out of the emotions. We don’t even log that in.“
On Wednesday, Superintendent Scott Rocco issued a statement that once he was aware of the video the district called authorities, suspended “the individual” and opened an internal investigation. “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,” Rocco said.
The event also drew the reaction of Hamilton elected officials:
“I viewed the video and was quite frankly disturbed by it. There is no place in our school system for this philosophy. I trust this matter will be dealt with by a very capable Superintendent and Board of Education.” – Hamilton Mayor Kelly Yaede
“This is very disturbing and an insult to every honest, hard-working teacher. As a mother this sickens me, children deserve much better than this. I am appalled that the NJEA and the HTEA would condone this type of behavior. I would like to see the full transcripts and if this is true Mr. Perry must step down immediately. But that alone won’t fix this problem if this is how the NJEA and HTEA are choosing to operate.” – Hamilton Councilwoman Illeana Schirmer, via Facebook
The NJEA offered up a soft statement, not exactly admonishing the behavior or even acknowledging it instead they attacked the source of the video
“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.”
Perry confronted by James O’Keefe