On Wednesday, a video of an elite Chicago private school’s dean was secretly recorded by a conservative group, Project Veritas. It was uploaded and went viral, prompting the school to increase security and disable its Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Project Veritas, the New York-based organization that created the viral video, uphold this goal in their website, “creating an army of guerilla journalists.” Their strategy us to use fake identities and record conversations to shame and discredit progressive organizations and media outlets.
The video was recorded by an operative disguised as a conference attendee at the National Association of Independent Schools last week.
— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) December 10, 2022
It shows the dean discussing last week’s visit of an LGBTQ health organization to Francis W. Parker School. They discussed queer sexual health with high school students, which the right-wing group secretly recorded and edited before posting it on social media sites.
The video was viewed over 5 million times on Thursday afternoon and circulated among various social media accounts and news sites. #ExposeGroomers trended on Twitter today, and Fox News picked up the story this morning.
Parker leaders issued a letter saying, “we are heartbroken that one of our colleague’s words have been severely misrepresented for a malicious purpose.” The letter expressed strong support for their faculty and staff and the school’s “inclusive, LGBTQ+ affirming, and comprehensive approach to sex education.”
The letter further discussed, “Parker administrators and the Parker Board of Trustees support Parker’s programming, the strength and inclusivity of our curriculum, and the dedicated and talented faculty and staff who teach it.”
— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) December 8, 2022
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The school is offering mental health check sessions to students and will hold an assembly on Thursday to discuss the news.