Assistant principal Jeremy Boland of Cos Cob School in Greenwich, Connecticut, was recorded on camera by an undercover Project Veritas reporter in July claiming that he rejected Catholics, conservatives and older applicants out of hand during the hiring process in favor of younger, more left-leaning candidates.
Discrimination based on religious creed is illegal under Connecticut General Statutes Title 46A and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Boland has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Outrage exploded after Boland was recorded in a Project Veritas sting making comments suggesting that he conducts illegal hiring practices. Project Veritas' undercover reporter asked Boland, "So then what do you do with the Catholics? If you find out that someone is Catholic, then what?"
Boland replied, "You don't hire them."
Later in the sting, Boland explained, "Because if someone is raised hardcore Catholic, it's like they're brainwashed. You can never change their mindset. So when you ask them to consider something new, like a new opportunity, or 'you have to think about this differently,' they're stuck — just rigid."
Boland's remarks sparked considerable controversy over his views on indoctrination. During the sting, he said he prefers younger teachers because "the open-minded, more progressive teachers are actually more savvy about delivering a Democratic message without really ever having to mention politics."
The Connecticut attorney general, William Tong, gave a scathing statement to the press on Sept. 1, pledging, "Discrimination, hate, bigotry against any person and against any religion, or on the basis of age or otherwise, is reprehensible and wrong. This video is disturbing, and if teachers, school staff, or applicants for education jobs have been illegally discriminated against for any reason, I will take action."
The Connecticut Department of Education is conducting its own investigation into the matter. If Boland is found guilty, he may lose his educational credentials.
Boland has received intense criticism across the political spectrum in Connecticut. The Democratic governor, Ned Lamont, said discrimination "is not aligned with our Connecticut values."
Joe Kelly, a Republican serving on Greenwich's board of education, stated, "I am a Catholic, not practicing, but I am Catholic. I am old. I am 59 years old. According to what we saw in that video, I wouldn't qualify to work at Cos Cob School because I'm too old for that, and I'm a Republican."
The first selectman of Greenwich, Fred Camillo, commented, "To think that Roman Catholic applicants may have applied for teaching positions and not received proper consideration due to their religion seems like something from a bygone era, not 2022."
But not all institutions have been critical of Boland's comments. Kate Dias, the president of the Connecticut Education Association, issued the following statement in an email obtained by National Review: "We have been alerted that Project Veritas has dropped a hit piece using an administrator in Greenwich. While a teacher was not used (so far), the narrative is that of hiring liberal teachers to indoctrinate students; so it is not kind to educators."
The missive directed teachers and administrators not to speak to "unvetted" reporters, to keep meetings closed to everyone but official members and warned against being a "victim" of a "hit piece." Dias elaborated, "We know that Veritas uses this tactic to trap educators and union members into making incriminating statements. Don't feed the beast."
Constitution State Educators, an advocacy group for teachers seeking alternatives to unions, criticized the CEA's response to the incident in its own statement:
Teachers might hope that the union, to which they pay $800–$1000 in dues, would condemn what's happened in Greenwich, but what does the CEA do instead? It defends a school administrator who openly admits to discriminating against teachers. How much more backwards and upside down can the union get? It's no wonder so many teachers have sent in their letters to leave the union this summer, and it's why you can bet a whole lot more will be writing those letters now.
Connecticut is currently in the midst of a gubernatorial race, and it remains to be seen if this story will have an impact on the election. In 2022, a scandal involving what was being taught in Loudoun County, Virginia, tilted the governor's race there in favor of Republican Glenn Youngkin.