Greens Farm Academy in Westport, Connecticut has placed a teacher on leave after the school was presented with a video of the teacher reportedly talking about underage students in an inappropriate manner.
Project Veritas released a secretly recorded video of the teacher allegedly making several remarks about students at the Westport school.
Project Veritas is a conservative group that frequently releases undercover videos with the aim of exposing corruption, dishonesty, waste, fraud and other misconduct “to achieve a more ethical and transparent society.”
According to Patch, Iman Rasti’s LinkedIn profile says he was an English teacher, director of the school’s writing center and dean of GFA’s middle school. He is reportedly heard in the footage speaking to a woman in a restaurant. She is identified only as a Project Veritas journalist.
During the conversation on the Project Veritas video, Rasti goes into detail about female students’ undergarments along with propositions made to him by female students. Rasti said that he has had no contact with any of his students.
In a letter to the GFA community, a copy of which was obtained by Patch, Head of School Bob Whelan explained Rasti’s termination.
“The Project Veritas story came to our attention yesterday, and in accordance with our policies, GFA immediately put Dr. Rasti on administrative leave and promptly commenced an investigation,” Whelan wrote in the letter.
“Dr. Rasti claimed that the statements in the edited video were taken out of context. Dr. Rasti’s grossly inappropriate comments are anathema to everything we stand for.”
“This incident is deeply troubling and violates the foundation of trust in our community between adults and the students in our care. Nothing in Dr. Rasti’s background check, references, or professional performance while a teacher at GFA would have led us to believe he would act in this manner,” Whelan said.
“When Dr. Rasti was hired in 2019, Greens Farms Academy completed a thorough, FBI-accredited background check and secured multiple references; in the ensuing years, we have not received a single allegation of misconduct against him or report of other concerning behavior.”
Whelan added that “We have no tolerance for inappropriate conduct by adults in our community. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a safe and supportive campus environment and to making student well-being paramount in all that we do.”
“I recognize that the trust we seek to build every day has been challenged as a result of this incident. I also have unwavering faith in our faculty and staff’s commitment to our mission and our students.”
James O’Keefe, who is the founder of Project Veritas, said that despite the video provided only being 10 minutes long, O’Keefe said that Rasti spoke for a period of 2 hours about this subject matter.
Westport Police Capt. David Wolf told the Courant said that his department is aware of the Project Veritas video. Wolf said there is no active investigation into the teacher.
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