A high school teacher with the Lake City Michigan school district was allowed to retire and received six weeks of pay plus a $50,000 stipend after a report accused him of sexually assaulting one of his students when she was younger. But that is only half of the story. The American Federation of Teachers Union (AFT) and the school district do not want the story getting out and filed for a restraining order against Project Veritas (PV) to keep them from releasing their undercover piece. The order was granted last year, but was recently lifted by District Court Judge Linda Carter, who also denied another emergency request to stifle the conservative group’s news.
Carter said that AFT “cannot show that its commercial interests are more fundamental” than the First Amendment rights of Project Veritas.
Union president Randi Weingarten was not happy with the decision and said they would continue to fight “unethical and unlawful smear campaigns against educators.”
Undercover Project Veritas reporters obtained records and information regarding the alleged misconduct. The teacher, who is unnamed, since no chargers were ever brought against him, dated the mother of the student several years prior, which is when the incident reportedly happened. It wasn’t until the student entered high school and had him for a teacher that she claimed to have memories resurface.
PV spoke undercover with Johnny Mickles, a field rep for AFT Michigan. Mickles told the reporter that the teacher was terminated, but they allowed him to resign without pressing charges. The teacher can still teach elsewhere if he wants since charges were not filed and his credentials were not confiscated.
“He knows what he did,” Mickles told PV. “If he did something inappropriate, he knew it came back on him, he wanted to run.”
The teacher obviously says the claims are false, and set up his conditions for ‘retiring’ from the school district:
“I said, ‘I’ll retire,'” the former educator said. “‘And here’s the conditions: I want this much pay until this date.’ And I went to the attorney, for the school’s attorney, the teacher’s union attorney, and they said ‘we’ll pay you to this date and we’ll each go our own way.’ I said ‘that’s fine.'”
While PV kept the identity of the teacher obscured because he was never officially charged, they did get a chance to meet with the man. “Oh Lord, you know what I taught?” the teacher told a PV reporter. “I taught health. You know what that means? I taught sex-ed, dude, to middle schoolers. I’ll tell you what, as a male… I had other teachers that – Better you than me. Because, man you gotta be careful.”
If this teacher is guilty, he has gotten away with it. In either case, the school district does not want even a hint of what happened getting out – paying off an alleged child molesting teacher. James O’Keefe, the founder of PV, was happy with the recent decision regarding the restraining order denial and said this in a statement:
“This decision, following the suspension of two [New Jersey Education Association] presidents, is a victory for both journalism and for the First Amendment. Why exactly has Randi Weingarten and Michigan AFT worked so hard — using both legal threats and ad-hominem attacks — to silence journalists at the expense of parents and families who deserve to know what’s really going on in their school districts?”
Weingarten also released a statement in response to the court decision, defaming PV and claiming the non-profit organization is lawless an unethical:
“It’s ironic that on national Teacher Appreciation Day, while the AFT is in Puerto Rico as part of our Operation Agua work delivering water filters to ensure that thousands of children and families have safe, reliable drinking water, Project Veritas is promoting its work to try to smear teachers and their unions. We are disappointed in this ruling, but we’ll keep pursuing every possible legal avenue to protect Michigan students and teachers from Project Veritas’ unethical and unlawful smear campaigns against educators. While the group notorious for doctoring videos continues to promote footage of our teachers that it gained in direct violation of Michigan law, we’ll continue fighting for the safe, well-funded classrooms that Michigan’s kids deserve.”
Michigan kids deserve to be safe from their teachers as well. If this teacher is guilty, the school did a severe injustice to the student. At the very least, they should have charged the teacher and let the decision be made in court. However, mainstream media would rather focus on PV’s “unethical” approach to obtaining news, claiming they make up stories, lie and defraud the public instead of concentrating on what this female student is going through now that her alleged abuser received money and is still free to teach other students.
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