New Jersey's 25th Legislative District

Senator Anthony Bucco

Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio & Bucco Call on NJEA to Offer Solutions to Prevent Disturbing Conduct Seen in Hidden-Camera Videos

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Encourage Teachers’ Union to Take Active Role in Upcoming Legislative Hearings

Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Anthony Bucco urged the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) to offer solutions during upcoming legislative hearings to prevent the types of reprehensible conduct that was captured on hidden-camera videos of local union leaders.

Sens. Joe Pennacchio and Anthony Bucco urged the NJEA to offer solutions to prevent the reprehensible conduct captured on hidden-camera videos of local union leaders. (SenateNJ.com)

“I truly believe that most teachers are horrified by the hidden camera footage and don’t want their profession tarnished by the refusal of their own union to do what’s right,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “I hope those good teachers will urge the NJEA to accept a seat at the table to engage productively in the upcoming legislative hearings. They should see this as an opportunity to excise this cancer that exists among them that has led to the NJEA’s horrific policy that every teacher should be protected at any cost.”

The joint hearings of the Senate Education and Labor committees were announced following the release of a pair of hidden camera videos by Project Veritas.

In one video, a local union leader is secretly filmed telling an undercover journalist that he’s there to “bend the truth” and “defend even the worst people,” referring to teachers who admit the abuse of students to him. He explained how he would falsify records, misrepresent facts, and withhold reporting that’s required when the abuse of a child is suspected.

In a second video, another local union leader explained how the union was helping a teacher who had sex with a teenage girl to keep their pension. She explained how she would advise teachers to stay silent, respond with lies if abuse is reported, and fix grades to ensure that an abused student passes out of the teacher’s class.

In a published report, a spokesman for the NJEA seemed to indicate the union’s willingness to participate in the legislative hearings, in addition to the NJEA’s previously announced plans to commission their own independent review.

“The simple fact is that local teachers’ union officials wouldn’t act the way they do if not for tacit or direct approval from higher up,” said Bucco (R-25). “That’s why it’s imperative that the NJEA demonstrates that it’s serious about protecting students and ensuring that all allegations of abuse are reported. I encourage the NJEA to come to the legislative hearings with solutions to propose. We all know that the toxic culture that’s plainly visible in the undercover videos is wrong, so let’s work together to fix it.”

This isn’t the first time that Pennacchio and Bucco have worked together to protect students from abusive teachers. “Pass the trash” legislation that they sponsored was enacted in April. The new law makes it harder for abusive teachers to move to a new school without their potential new employer learning of prior allegations of abuse prior to hiring.

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