A NJ GOP video targeting the state teachers union has been restored to YouTube after a protracted battle.
Conservatives have been fighting New Jersey’s new K-12 school curriculum guidelines, which feature information and topics that make many parents uncomfortable. The NJ GOP Assembly House is at the forefront of that battle. The New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), the state’s largest teachers union, created a commercial painting parents who oppose the liberal curriculum as fanatical extremists.
The Assembly Republican Office responded with a YouTube parody video, titled “If the NJEA was Honest in its Commercials.” It was removed by the platform a day later, following a complaint from the NJEA alleging copyright infringement. The GOP called it a joint effort by the NJEA and YouTube to censor criticism of the NJEA.
“Instead of being willing to have a conversation, the NJEA would rather completely shut down people who are concerned or disagree. This is why parents are so irate. The NJEA pushes controversial policies and ideology on our children, and when there is pushback, they bring out the censorship police,” Assembly Republican Leader John DiMaio (R-Warren) said.
A man from Georgia, whose photo was used in the NJEA ad, also complained that his photo was used ‘out of context’ in their video portraying ‘extremist parents.’ The man, Ron Tripodo, said he was very concerned for his own personal safety, due to the use of his picture.
YouTube has since restored the parody video. Assembly Republicans had submitted a legal counter to the NJEA’s copyright claim. After a two-month review, YouTube released the video and removed the copyright strike against the @NJAssemblyGOP channel.