Natomas Unified School District Superintendent Chris Evans told Fox News Thursday that district investigators have so far been unable to locate any reports from concerned families. But he said that if they exist – that’s another problem that needs to be addressed.
El miércoles, Evans announced that Natomas Unified had begun taking the necessary legal steps toward firing teacher Gabriel Gipe as a result of an internal investigation prompted by the Project Veritas video.
“We’ve heard…a student or parent reached out to the school in the district and tried to share these concerns, but we have no such records of that,” le dijo a Fox News. “So if somebody has a copy of an email or something that’s timestamped and dated, I want to see that.”
The district’s constituent and customer service department’s phone lines are monitored around the clock, él dijo.
“I wish someone would have spoken up about this earlier, and or if they did, we need to apologize and find out how we fix that,” él dijo.
Evans said that the district’s internal probe turned up evidence of professional conduct violations going back as far as 2018. Algo de eso, él dijo, was subtle enough to avoid suspicion during classroom observations in the past. Upon closer inspection, Evans said he saw one picture that may have violated state law on political activities.
“We’re going to have to teach our administrators to walk the walls with their eyes and look for the content on the posters and not just the fact that they exist,” él dijo.
Hours after Evans announced that Gipe had been placed on leave and was facing termination, parents and concerned citizens packed Wednesday’s Natomas’ school board meeting, which was streamed live. Like an increasing number of school board meetings around the country, this one had fireworks.
Numerous parents approached the podium during the public comment session, condemning the teacher, the board, and the idea of trying to indoctrinate high school students with far-left ideology.
The board has to pause the meeting to let things cool off, and although officials could be seen exiting the building, getting into their cars, and leaving after a recess, Evans said it was him who made the decision to shut down the meeting.
“We were only supposed to give people 20 minutes to speak,” él dijo. “The board made the decision that they wanted to hear people out, and as time went on, the energy in the room increased…and then it reached the point where it was no longer safe.”
The controversy began after Gabriel Gipe, an AP government teacher at Inderkum High School, appeared in a Project Veritas video over the weekend in which he appeared to brag about indoctrinating students. He said he had a full school year with his students to “turn them into revolutionaries” and said he assigned extra credit for students who attended left-wing events and wrote about them.
He also describes himself as an active Antifa member and summarized a purported encounter with a student who told him the Antifa flag hanging in the classroom made him uncomfortable.
“Well this is meant to make fascists feel uncomfortable, so if you feel uncomfortable, I don’t really know what to tell you,” él dice.
The superintendent said the district conducted a thorough investigation in just a few days and found enough evidence that Gipe had violated the school’s code of conduct to warrant his firing. That included looking at his classroom and sifting through his district email account.
They also found rubber stamps dedicated to Kim Jong-un, Joseph Stalin, and Fidel Castro that he allegedly used to mark students’ work complete.
“It’s a free country, and people have a right outside of their professional lives to support whatever side they want,” Evans said. “You just can’t bring it into the classroom — and he did.”
As a result of Gipe’s behavior, Evans said, district teachers, administrators, and students have been receiving threats from around the country.
He read one over the phone Thursday.
“We will go to your homes and make you feel as uncomfortable as our children felt in that class, you left-wing f—— cowards,” one reads, en parte. “All of you, and I mean every single one of you, needs to resign immediately or you will not know what peace is. We want you out of our community. We want you out of Sacramento.”
It had actually been sent from Indiana, él dijo.
“The teacher’s decisions have sparked this controversy at this time in our country,” Evans said. “And what was affecting, let’s say on average, 180 kids a year for a couple of years is now affecting thousands of kids and hundreds of staff, and it’s the sad state of where our country is right now.”
A Project Veritas spokesman told Fox News Thursday that the nonprofit transparency group began looking into Gipe after a whistleblower reached out with concerns about a Mao poster and other left-wing propaganda – and found out about his alleged efforts to indoctrinate students through his own words.
Evans said that when district officials interviewed Gipe on Monday, he was open about his far-left beliefs but took issue with the quote of him saying that three other teachers in his department “are definitely like on the same page.”
Gipe claimed that he was answering a question about teachers being engaging in the classroom rather than lecturing, Evans said. The district is looking into that part of the video, whether it had been edited, and what the full context of the question was.
Project Veritas said the clip in question was a full sentence with no cuts in between.
A pesar de todo, Evans said the district moved quickly to take “decisive action based on evidence” – and start the firing process.
“Some of the things the teacher said, it doesn’t matter how it’s edited,” él dijo. “It’s totally inappropriate.”
Gipe did not immediately respond to a request for comment.