Teaching Profession

N.J. Teachers’ Union Gets ACORN Treatment

By Anthony Rebora — November 15, 2010 1 min read
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The right-wing activist-slash-videographer who was behind the infamous ACORN sting videos in 2009 has reportedly turned his undercover cameras on teachers’ unions. James O’Keefe, whom you may remember as the “pimp” in the ACORN videos, has released a series of videos titled “Teachers Gone Wild.” The videos were taken at a week-long New Jersey Education Association conference in August and, needless to say, attempt to show teachers in a less than flattering light.

A veteran special education teacher—who, as it happens, once threw herself in front of a moving van to protect her students—has been suspended and had her pay docked for remarks she was caught making on the video. The teacher apparently fell prey to an O’Keefe operative who bought her drinks at a bar and secretly videotaped their conversation, in which she used the ‘N’ word and joked about how hard it is to fire teachers.

The videos come at a time of heightened tensions between the NJEA and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has characterized teachers’ unions as greedy and blamed educators for the problems of the state’s schools. Christie praised O’Keefe’s videos for showing examples of “how the teachers’ union leadership is out of touch with the people and out of control.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.