Greenwich Public Schools completed an internal investigation after an undercover video released by Project Veritas revealed Cos Cob Elementary School Assistant Principal Jeremy Boland bragging about alleged discrimination against Catholics, conservatives and older applicants in the hiring process, and indoctrination of children into a liberal mindset.
Chief Human Resources Officer Jonathan Budd conducted the investigation, which consisted of four interviews with Boland, 38 interviews with employees involved in the hiring process, and an analysis of emails and documents obtained from Boland.
The investigation was completed in October 2022 but details were not released to the public until June 30th, after a Freedom of Information Act was filed to obtain the results, and right before a busy holiday weekend.
The report concluded that Boland was grandstanding on his dates with the undercover reporter, and embellishing the details of his employment in order to “seem more intelligent, more capable, more of an authority figure”.
How allegations of discrimination in the hiring process makes one seem more intelligent on a date remains to be seen. Nonetheless, that's what Boland claimed.
Boland further alleged that the words he used in the video represented "ideas that he did not support and facts that were untrue." He claimed that what he said in the video did not represent his "personal or professional character." He also said he crafted answers that he thought his date wanted to hear.
Boland assured Budd that he had never seen teachers in Greenwich indoctrinating children into a liberal mindset, which seems curious in light of other issues reported in the district (e.g., the unapproved gender ideology video that was played for students, even those who were opted out of the exercise).
Budd concluded "with reasonable certainty" that the comments Boland made in the video were inaccurate, that Boland did follow the hiring process in Greenwich, and that he did not discriminate against candidates. However, it should be noted that it's "impossible to corroborate Mr. Boland's denial of his statements on the published video that he screens job applications using inappropriate criteria" due to limitations of the job application software.
Boland did, however, violate a number of Greenwich school policies, including GPS Policy 1110.1, "Communication with the Public - Parent Involvement", GPS Policy 4111/4211 "Recruitment and Selection", GPS Policy 4111.1/4211.1 "Equal Employment Opportunity", GPS Policy 4118.11/4218.11 "Nondiscrimination", GPS Policy 4118.22 "Code of Ethics" and GPS Policy 4119/4219 "Staff Conduct".
The investigation also revealed a procedural impropriety related to one hire (know as "Hire #42" in the investigation write-up).
Boland said he is "embarrassed" and "ashamed" by what has transpired. Budd indicated that he felt Boland maintained "credibility and forthrightness throughout the investigation" and that he fully cooperated at all times.
"Mr. Boland's conduct as depicted on the video has been, and likely will continue to be for quite some time, the subject of negative local, state and national media attention," Budd wrote, highlighting the thousands of phone calls, emails and in-person visits the school had received in the wake of the Project Veritas video.
“Given the enormity, the gravity, the expansiveness of the statements made by Mr. Boland, it would not seem possible that Mr. Boland could continue serving as a Greenwich Public Schools administrator, which requires that one be viewed as a credible individual expressing full support for non-discriminatory employment practices, classrooms free from political ideology, and parents as key partners in the education system,” Budd wrote.
Budd concluded that termination proceedings against Boland should be initiated under Connecticut General Statutes 10-151.
As a reminder, Budd's report was completed in October 2022.
Boland sent a letter of resignation to Superintendent Toni Jones in March 2023, indicating that he would resign effective June 30, 2023.
If Budd's investigation concluded in October 2022 that termination proceedings should be started, why did the district continue to employ Boland through June 30th, 2023, a full 8 months after the district knew Boland had violated school policies, and instead wait for Boland to submit his resignation? Why would the district knowingly employ and presumably continue to pay the salary for an employee recommended for termination for 8 months?
Two other investigations into the matter have yet to release results. First Selectman Fred Camillo indicated that the Town of Greenwich would release results from its investigation into this matter in August. The status of AG Tong's investigation is currently unknown.