James O’Keefe, president and founder of Project Veritas, released a powerful and troubling new video today showing the former Majority leader of Oregon’s House of Representatives exploiting children in Oregon’s public educational system in her climb to political power.
In this new video, O’Keefe conducts a multi-year investigation into the Oregon public school education. During his investigation, O’Keefe specifically focused on Oregon’s service learning program, which is “aligned with common core standards and Oregon’s new graduation requirements.” Thus, every public school student in Oregon is required to complete community service hours in order to graduate. Project Veritas found operations like the Bus Project, which transform the classroom into a political operation designed to re-elect candidates and convert the community service curriculum by presenting itself as a volunteer run democracy. O’Keefe presented himself as a Bus Project volunteer and filmed their efforts to help re-elect Democratic Oregon State Representative candidates, specifically Val Hoyle.
In the video, Val Hoyle is seen collaborating her political activities with then Oregon Superintendent of Public Schools, Susan Castillo. “I think it’s absolutely critical that we are all here today to help Val Hoyle be very, very successful in her election campaign for the Oregon House. What I love is the connection with you, with the youth in our state. And how important it is that the bus project has been so incredibly effective at mobilizing young people, to help young people understand, how important it is to be politically active, And to get into action, get on the bus and to really work to try to get good people, effective people into political office,” said Castillo.
As the Superintendent of Oregon’s Public School System, Castillo was effectively asking high school students to help re-elect a particular candidate, which is highly unethical given the fact that her job requires her to remain objective. Not only was Castillo verbally encouraging students to support Van Hoyle and other Democratic candidates, but, students were receiving community service credit towards their mandatory curriculum for their campaign activity. When students expressed concern over canvassing for candidates they didn’t support, they were told they could not have information about the opposition candidates.
Student: “I have a question. Is there any way we can learn about the other candidate, because I just don’t want to like blindly support this person. Cause, I can see her views here, but I don’t know—her opposition.”
Bus Project staff member: “Ok so, we are only given the opposition, okay I don’t know other than opposition, it doesn’t, no one else is listed.”
While on the bus, O’Keefe spoke with Hoyle about her intentions with the students. “I know the bus reaches out to high schools and colleges. For us, we just have the lane bus, so that’s more (inaudible), metro, so we outreach to high schools there, youth bowl, and community college to help young people get involved and organized and activated and help get the vote out at the campus level,” said Hoyle.
“Our video exposes how unethical and morally base both Val Hoyle and the Oregon Public School systems are. They used community service, which is supposed to be used for community betterment, and they used it for their own selfish political gain at the expense of children. The public school education system is broken and this is yet another example of how the Common Core curriculum has allowed for underhanded political deals to contribute to the unraveling of America’s educational fabric,” said O’Keefe.