Parenting

Calif. Teacher's Union Rep Suspended After Admitting He Hit a Kid — and Got Away With It

YouTube screenshot, San Francisco union rep Antonio Mankini in a Project Veritas sting video.

A teachers’ union representative was caught on camera admitting he hit a student and got away with it. Worse, he was offering tips on how teachers can hurt kids without consequences. He has been suspended pending an investigation.

“I clotheslined a kid in class one time, you know and of course I was pretending I was pointing at the kids and the kids saw the kid went down,” a man identified as Antonio Mankini said in a sting video made by Project Veritas. Mirriam Webster dictionary defines “clothesline” as a transitive verb: “to knock down (as a football player) by catching by the neck with an outstretched arm.”

Mankini later added, “that one still bothered me … because I crossed a line. I know, I mean, I made it look like an accident and all the witnesses would have said, no, he ran into my arm.”

The union rep also admitted to “grabbing a kid” and “throwing a kid up against a locker.” After mentioning such attacks, he added, “Not that I’ve ever done that, okay once, maybe twice.”

Mankini explained why he knows how to get away with abusing children: “I spent 17 years working with law enforcement so I know ways to … It’s like I told them, I could hurt you and never leave a mark.”

The union rep advised the person recording the video — who he thought was a teacher — that “elbows are awesome weapons, too.” He suggested that, if there were no witnesses to an act of abuse, “just keep it that way. Seriously. If there weren’t any witnesses, it’s your word against the kid’s.”

“Kids f*ckin’ lie. Seriously,” Mankini declared. “I mean teachers have smacked kids before. And sometimes they’re still working.”

Mankini is a math, science, and technology teacher on leave from James Lick Middle School who more recently served as treasurer of United Educators, San Francisco — a union which represents all of the California city’s educators.

“I can only speak to the comments on the video. When we do our investigation, if we determine it’s accurate we will take action as necessary,” the union’s communications director, Matthew Hardy, told CBS Local.

The undercover video was shot by Project Veritas, the outlet founded by James O’Keefe which releases sting videos, most prominently revealing violence planned at Trump rallies, Democrat voter fraud schemes, and documenting CNN’s liberal bias. This video is part of another years-long investigation looking into several teachers’ unions across the country.

The video came out Tuesday morning, and United Educators has since put him on administrative leave. It also launched an investigation into the video’s contents.

“We are going to get to the bottom of it,” Hardy promised. “We are deeply committed to students’ safety. And we will act as swiftly as we can once we have the full information.”

“We have grave concerns about the behavior Mr. Mankini references and encourage any former students, staff or family members who may have experienced mistreatment from Mr. Mankini or any other district employee to report their concerns immediately,” San Francisco Unified School District spokeswoman Blythe Gentle declared in a statement.

After sting videos from the Center for Medical Progress revealed that Planned Parenthood employees had sold baby parts for profit, the abortion provider hired FusionGPS, the firm behind the Trump-Russia dossier, to investigate the videos. Interestingly, Fusion GPS admitted that there was no “widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation,” but the report was compiled in a misleading way, inferring the videos to be false.

Conservatives might not be surprised to see United Educators engage in similar tactics, to discredit the videos as somehow fake and manipulated. Then again, Project Veritas did go after ACORN in 2009, and misleadingly edited the videos exposing the community organizing group. O’Keefe himself apologized to an ACORN employee who had been fired after the video’s release and agreed to pay $100,000 in a settlement.

United Educators should indeed conduct an investigation, but they should keep a wide berth of Fusion GPS. Antonio Mankini seems like a very bad actor, but the verdict remains out. One thing is for certain, this video does not look good.