A Natomas Unified teacher and the school district are receiving threats of violence after the teacher was recorded in an undercover video talking about how he wants his students to become “revolutionaries.”
The Inderkum High School AP Government teacher is shown speaking with an unknown person in a cafe in a 12-minute video. The video was originally published by Project Veritas, a conservative activist group that often produces undercover and edited videos.
The district said in a letter to families on Wednesday it was moving to dismiss the teacher.
“As of today, this teacher was placed on paid leave because of his actions and choices in the classroom. Natomas Unified will be taking the legally required next steps to place the teacher on unpaid leave and fire the teacher,” the letter read.
The Sacramento Bee is not identifying the teacher because he has received threats and it is unclear whether he consented to be recorded by Project Veritas. California law generally requires that both parties to a conversation agree to be recorded, but there is an exception for a “communication made in a public gathering” or communications “in any other circumstance in which the parties to the communication may reasonably expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.”
Project Veritas, founded in 2010, uses secret recordings to target media organizations and progressive causes. Its targets have included Planned Parenthood and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).
According to the Project Veritas video, the group received a tip featuring photos of an antifa flag hanging in the teacher’s classroom.
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Natomas Unified received an email from someone claiming to be a Florida parent moving their child to Inderkum High. They asked to meet with one of the government teachers to determine if the school was a good fit for their progressive thinking.
“Apparently, there was then a phone call, and a meeting where the video took place at a Peet’s Coffee,” Natomas Superintendent Chris Evans said in an interview with The Bee.
The video quotes the teacher saying, “I have 180 days to turn them (students) into revolutionaries…Scare the s— out of them.”
The teacher also discusses how the antifa flag shouldn’t make students feel uncomfortable, only fascists.
“Well this (flag) is meant to make fascists feel uncomfortable, so if you feel uncomfortable, I don’t really know what to tell you,” he said in the video. “Maybe you shouldn’t be aligning with the values that this (flag) is antithetical to.”
Natomas Unified said in a Tuesday statement it had received a number of emails expressing hate and threats.
“There is sad irony in that outsiders are expressing displeasure towards the individual teacher while also using intense vulgarity, hate speech and threats of violence,” read that statement from the district.
A representative of Project Veritas is shown in the video approaching the teacher outside his home while he was walking his dog. The individual also approaches Natomas Unified staff on a school campus while recording and is asked to leave.
The teacher did not return emails from The Bee seeking comment.
“We have a responsibility to create positive learning environments for all students,” the Natomas district statement continued. “We continue to take that core responsibility seriously. We understand that parents and Natomas community members have expressed their concern about the contents of this video. We respect and recognize their expressions of concern. Natomas Unified, as always, will look into this matter and take any appropriate actions as necessary. District policy explicitly states ‘Whenever civic education includes topics that may be controversial due to political beliefs or other influences, instruction shall be presented in a balanced manner that does not promote any particular viewpoint.’ That is always the expectation.”