Submitted by Gail Lauridsen
On Tuesday, August 30, 2022, Project Veritas released a story – the result of an undercover sting operation – on the discriminatory hiring practices of one of Greenwich Public Schools Vice Principals. I’ve watched with interest how public reaction to this story has been sharply divided along lines of political ideology. Our more left-leaning citizens ignore the crime, but loudly decry the method of uncovering Mr. Boland’s crimes; with terms such as “hidden-camera video” and “gotcha journalism”. Conservatives are torn between anger at the crime, and jubilant to finally have proof of what they believed all along to be true. No longer can people call them “fringe conspiracy theorists”. It’s not a conspiracy theory when it is in fact a proven conspiracy.
Ultimately our community suffers as a result of the Project Veritas revelation. We are now all aware of the comments Mr. Jeremy Boland made freely and proudly; seemingly trying to impress the undercover journalist with whom he appeared to be on several dates. Without hesitation I can say I believe Mr. Boland does not represent, and has in fact damaged, the town of Greenwich. The town which, by the way, is still paying his salary. At a minimum, the Board of Education should take a public vote to make his leave unpaid, effective immediately. Not one more dime of taxpayer money should be put into his pockets.
Mr. Boland brought to light a practice of indoctrination that fundamentally does not belong in schools, and which is not surprising to parents and townspeople who have been speaking out at BOE meetings for the past two years.
Board members, it’s time to open your ears. Ignoring your constituents has resulted in townwide embarrassment. For the first time in my life I am compelled to say: “THIS IS NOT WHO WE ARE”. Going forward you may be tempted to believe it’s enough to accept a statement that says: “Discrimination and political indoctrination are not our policy”. Please resist that temptation. Such a statement is not good enough; we’ve reached a point at which we need assurances. We need to see that enforceable action is taken to require our teachers to teach fundamentals. They are not paid to fill our children’s heads with personal ideology.
Furthermore, the content of our school’s curriculum must be carefully scrutinized and approved by the board as required by Connecticut law. All controversial, racist, sexualized, and frivolous content must be replaced with academics. With nearly 60% of our students performing below grade level, the status quo is unacceptable.
This is a wake-up call to parents who think Dr. Jones is doing a good job. In some ways she is, but in light of record poor student performance and a nation-wide administrative embarrassment, all is not ok. How can any thinking person just blindly accept that no challenge is necessary?
Dr. Jones is compensated in the neighborhood of $400k per year. Parents should not feel the need to circle her protectively, but to ensure she does the things she claims to be doing and to demand transparency. Multiple instances of “rogue” infractions in the last 18 months are not acceptable. The very fact of those infractions is even more evidence that all is not ok. We can no longer accept words alone. It’s time for true accountability.
Only a truly independent, unbiased, uncompromised investigation will be acceptable. The problems must be eliminated for the protection of our children, and ultimately for the protection of our town.
Board members, change only comes from those who demand it and don’t give up. We elected the eight of you to do right by our children and this community. Do not fail us by sweeping this under the rug as you did when it was discovered that second-grade curriculum in the district included a picture of a man with an erect penis, and when a district administrator attempted to eliminate “Mother” and “Mother’s Day” from class vocabulary.
Finally, I want to acknowledge the many excellent teachers in this district, who do wonderful things for children on a daily basis. Their efforts are made more difficult by some disgraceful people among them. I urge all parents to please give those teachers a lot of love daily.
These are my own thoughts and words, not representative of any committee or organization. -GL