Teachers’ union official, ‘I’ve had teachers in physical altercations, sexual altercations, verbal altercations…’
Three teachers’ union officials, current and former, in Ohio have been captured on recorded interviews by Project Veritas, admitting they protected teachers who have abused students.
The scenario is relatively straightforward, their undercover journalist tells the union official his imaginary brother has had a violent altercation with a student. Once again, we hear encouragement that the brother will more than likely get away with the assault. The undercover video shows Bill Siegferth, Tom Schmida, and David Romick – all current or former teachers union presidents – admitting that they have protected and defended union members that have abused students.
“This is not new, I mean I’ve had teachers in physical altercations with kids, sexual altercations with kids, verbal altercations with kids, violating the professional standards rules and other ways that don’t involve kids and it’s, s— happens. You know?”
Those are the words of Bill Siegferth, a former president and current consultant for the Akron Education Association, which is affiliated with the National Education Association.
He explains how unions have defended all sorts of abusers.
The video, which includes comments from two other officials, is part of a larger nationwide investigation by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas. The organization previously released four videos, including those exposing two New Jersey Education Association presidents who admitted they would “bend the truth” and protect abusive teachers.
This is the fifth in the series, videoed April 25, 2018, in offices across Ohio.
Project Veritas said Siegferth assured the undercover journalist that he would not report any abuse he discovered during their conversation.
“You know I have an obligation to him as a union rep, I’m not going to turn around and call the schools and call CSB (Children’s Services Board) and say this guy … I have reason to believe he abused a kid. If that’s a concern. I don’t even know if you guys have thought of that. But that’s not going to happen,” he said.
The undercover journalist continued, “It’s definitely a concern.”
“But from here that would not be the case,” Siegferth said.
Journalist: “So, if he came in and told you the story about smacking a kid and getting his nose bloodied and cleaning him up and sending him home saying, you know, keep your mouth shut you would not report that?”
Siegferth: “Oh no, no, no.”
“This was not an isolated incident,” Project Veritas said. “On the same day in the AFT-affiliated Cleveland Heights Teachers Union, former union president and current consultant to the president Tom Schmida met with an undercover journalist as well.
“The journalist explains to Schmida that a teacher may have ‘injured’ a student. After learning that the teacher hadn’t apologized to the student, Schmida says ‘Ok, that’s probably a good thing.’”
Schmida continued, “At this point now, the only concern would be that if he did apologize to the kid … it’s an admission and we don’t want that right now.”
The report said a similar encounter in Dayton, Ohio, occurred when an undercover journalist spoke to David Romick, union president at the NEA-affiliated Dayton Education Association.
Romick explains he has dealt with cases of physical contact between a teacher and a student at least 80 times in his career.