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NEW YORK CITY (LifeSiteNews) – The Big Apple uses “diversity, equity, & inclusion” (DEI) questioning to screen conservatives out of education jobs, an education official responsible for overseeing K-4 charter schools revealed in a conversation captured by an undercover journalist.

On Tuesday, Project Veritas released video of a conversation with Todd Soper, an Assistant Principal for the New York City Department of Education, who manages neighborhood kindergarten through fourth-grade charter schools. Soper was quite open about how the department handles job applications from people not aligned with left-wing orthodoxy.

Asked by an undercover Veritas journalist whether they would hire a conservative, Soper answers, “No …We have very specific questions, and ultimately our Diversity-Equity-Inclusion question, our DEI question is – it’s very telling if somebody has done a lot of work within themself, within the profession […] if people don’t answer that question right, they are just an automatic not hire.”

For instance, he explained that a statement that “lends itself to be colorblind,” such as “everyone is equal” would be disqualifying, because while “well-intentioned” it is “missing the depth of understanding of how the intersections of our identity live out in the world.”

Soper then shared the example of a teacher who was reluctant to talk about Juneteenth or Black Lives Matter in class, which was taken as a sign that she was “not willing to embrace fully that aspect of our students” including “talking openly about race and talking about injustices in the world.” 

“So, she was just kind of like, ‘I mean, it’s not that big of a deal. Like, I love kids, so it’s fine,’” Soper said. “I was like, ‘Well, no, you have to love all of it. So, you have to acknowledge that there is the potential for them to experience discrimination.’” She eventually left on her own, but “would’ve probably been fired eventually just based off of mindset.”

The official went on to share an alarming example of what the department’s policy to “embrace diversity on all levels” means in practice.

“Like for kindergarten, for Pride month, we got, every kid had a mirror and we talked about, a read aloud about an animal, or about a boy that said he wanted to be a mermaid,” he said. “It’s a way to start, like, ‘You should be whoever you feel like you should be.’ That was kind of the message of [the] read aloud.”

“It’s delicate, right? So, in kindergarten and first grade, they are five and six, but I think we start with the umbrella theme of, ‘Embrace who you are,” Soper added. “You have to love who you are, and each part of you is beautiful, whatever you feel.’ As kids get older and the idea of gender becomes more salient, which happens more towards fourth grade … the conversations deepen as the kids get older.”

The report is the third in a series of videos Project Veritas has done on left-wing bias and proselytization in education. The first concerned a Connecticut elementary school administrator who admitted to subtly fostering liberal values in children and refusing to hire Catholics and older applicants in order to limit the number of teachers with conservative views.

The second exposed a student activities director at a New York private school who “keep[s] trying to disrupt wherever I can” to promote left-wing agenda items, and who exploits her position to exclude right-of-center perspectives from campus.