This past week, Project Veritas released a video of an interview between one of its undercover journalists and Jeremy Boland, an assistant principal at a Connecticut public school. In it, Boland boasts about how his school, and presumably his district, is able to instill a progressive culture without anyone noticing.
First, they do this by hiring younger teachers, who generally lean left. Boland tells the journalist, “I need younger [teachers] … but if they’re older, I’m not allowed to do that. I can’t tell them, ‘I’m not interviewing you because you’re older.’ I just don’t interview them.” Second, they will ask questions meant to gauge an applicant’s political leanings: “I’m not allowed to ask their political leanings and they’re not allowed to ask me. So it just comes down to the questions.” An easy way to do this is asking about their philosophy behind transgenderism.
Consequently, Boland is able to put together a staff of young progressive teachers who are ready to indoctrinate the students in leftist ideology. And it won’t even feel like indoctrination because the values they’re passing on and modeling are ones they personally believe in and live by. Moreover, this mindset is reinforced by an employer that rewards adherence to a leftist agenda rather than actual competence. Even if it’s unlikely (though not impossible) that teachers would be fired for taking a conservative stance, they will easily lose any chance of moving up in the system and be blackballed for the rest of their career.
As with many Project Veritas bombshells, the real shock is not that this happens, but that someone goes on record actually saying it. It’s already well-known among us teachers why certain people are hired and why some are not. I’ve seen impressive candidates with graduate degrees, great ideas, and decades of experience get passed up by a first-year teacher fresh out college who’s still finishing an alternative certification program.
In those rare moments when the principal is asked why he hires the less qualified candidate, he will always offer some nebulous, deflective response: “She had good energy, put out great vibes, and it really seemed like she would fit the culture and share our values. I really think our kids will like her.” Translation: She will cost the district less money and she will not challenge the status quo. And he should know since he probably became an assistant principal on the same basis.
How Progressive Culture Is Created at Schools
This practice goes a long way in explaining why schools in otherwise conservative areas have faculties that lean heavily leftward. All it takes is one leftist administrator to bring in others, and create a faction that will keep promoting each other as they climb the administrative hierarchy. Within a decade, this faction will occupy each level of authority in the district, from the superintendent all the way down to the grade-level team leader. Also, in that time, the school board could be infiltrated by leftist activists, as Luke Rosiak documents in his book “Race to the Bottom,” making the problem worse. That’s why it becomes nearly impossible to change anything, even if there ends up being a shakeup in the school board, or a throng of angry parents calls for changes in policy.
The leftist prejudice in hiring and promoting also explains why people’s complaints about the many scandals is so often laughed off as kooky paranoia. Conservatives make the mistake of thinking this is all intentional and that there’s a greater goal in mind, imagining a great cabal of teachers union leaders, leftist activists, and billionaire George Soros all conspiring to bring down Western civilization through some great leftist brainwashing scheme. In reality, so much of this is unconscious and happens without much planning at all. Leftists are generally intolerant and want to work with more people who think like them. They don’t think this is discriminatory or unfair, because they’re convinced that conservatives are genuinely bad people.
Extremes Become the Norm
All the same, unconscious or planned, schools will continually shift leftward when conservatives are shut out. After all, “personnel is policy,” and this leads to extremes becoming the norm. Even for most politically moderate Americans, things like critical race theory, sex ed for young children, gender ideology, and pornographic books in the school library are clearly outside the bounds of what’s age-appropriate and educational. For leftists in an echo chamber, these things are just part of learning. They are fundamental components of what they see as good teaching, not radical ideas that threaten social order and individual wellbeing.
Of course, none of this is fair at all, nor is it good for students. Ideas have consequences, and the systematic purge of conservatives from faculties has taken a toll on the quality of schools — much like they have in universities, which were already seeing this decades ago. The leftist pursuit of equity has all but destroyed the academic and behavioral standards of so many campuses, and the leftist dogma of intersectionality has led to bestowing privilege and shame to various racial and ethnic groups, regardless of merit or truth.
A Path for Reform
Yet, as frustrating as this revelation is, it fortunately reveals a path forward for genuine reform. It’s not enough to play whack-a-mole with each and every loony leftist teacher making stupid TikTok videos, or to terminate the buffoon who was a little too candid on camera. Parents and politicians need to start taking a closer look at the people being hired and promoted at their public schools. Is there evidence of ideological discrimination, with qualified candidates mysteriously being left out of application pools and never called back for interviews? Are certain viewpoints being completely left out of leadership committees, professional trainings, and policy referendums?
If so, an investigation should be conducted and action taken against the people perpetuating this injustice. Such discrimination is illegal, corrosive to teacher performance and school morale, and betrays the people the school is meant to serve. Only by making sure conservative educators have a seat at the table will schools finally have the necessary mix of professionals who could improve the experience for students and faithfully recognize and incorporate the values of the community.
Or, better yet, politicians could start creating more educational options for parents so they’re not held captive by the public schools in their area. It’s hard to imagine school administrators like Boland speaking so complacently about discriminating against conservative applicants if they knew that parents had the choice to enroll their children elsewhere. So, if nothing else, this incident should serve as one more reason to adopt the school choice model and let public funds follow students. Not only would this would help break up the public school monopoly, but also end the leftist groupthink once and for all.