NJEA Youtube Sensation

NJEA is considering legal action against James O’Keefe (late of ACORN fame) for releasing the video “NJEA Teacher Unions Gone Wild.” According to the Star-Ledger, Steve Wollmer, NJEA spokesman, called the video a “complete fabrication.” With 177,372 hits on youtube, it’s circulating widely and purports to catch in action attendees at the NJEA Leadership Conference in August at a bar in the East Brunswick Hilton.

There’s actually three videos. The first and most popular is 6 minutes of apparently drunk NJEA leaders boasting about how hard it is to fire a tenured teacher, even if a teacher shouts racial epithets at students. There's also lots of chanting, like "Let’s have a whiskey and get a little misty. Join me now and slander Chris Christie!" In the second, an actor posing as a parent calls Assistant Superintendent of Passaic City Schools, Lawrence E. Everett, to complain that his child was called the “n-word” and Everett explains that the teacher won’t be fired because “that’s not usually how it works.” The third has NJEA Associate Director Wayne Dibofsky discussing alleged voter fraud by NJEA during the 1997 Jersey City mayoral election.

From the Star-Ledger: “Wollmer said teachers paid for conference attendance themselves, or were sent by their local unions. No public money was involved, he said.”

Really? How about the fees – somewhere between $700-$1,000 a year – that teachers pay in union dues? Didn’t some of that go towards expenses for the 1,500 members who attended the August conference? The 200,000 NJEA members might have something to say about the appropriate use of their hard-earned money.

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