NEA Seeks to Strip Christians’ Religious Freedoms
The National Education Association union has long promoted special privileges for those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning. NEA members seem thrilled about the recent decision by five Supreme Court justices who overruled state laws in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in all states, even those where citizens voted against legalization.
In fact, on the first day of the NEA convention in Orlando, all business was halted, in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order. Union President Lily Eskelsen García called “a very special Personal Point of Privilege,” so a female delegate could ask another female delegate to marry her.
Not yet satisfied with their social justice progress, the NEA union now wants to assure that the Constitutional rights to freedom of religion, free speech, and free association are taken away from Christians. At the July union convention in Florida, delegates adopted a Board of Directors-initiated New Business Item, NBI A, which seeks to strip religious freedoms from Christians who don’t wish to participate in gay marriages. The union used pejorative wording to describe those who simply wish to back out of the equation, accusing Christians of wanting to “discriminate” against gays and lesbians.
NBIA, the first one addressed and adopted by the assembly of 6,897 delegates, states:
“The NEA will develop educational materials for its state affiliates and members about the potential dangers of so-called ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Acts’ or RFRAs, which may license individuals and corporations to discriminate on the theory that their religious beliefs require such actions. The materials will describe the current legal landscape at the federal and state level, provide model state legislative amendments to modify existing laws to prevent such discriminatory applications, provide talking points for advocacy, and link to existing resources for members and state affiliates to use in efforts to prevent the use of such laws as a license to discriminate.”
The union will devote $16,200 to this effort.
NBIA claims that Religious Freedom Restoration Acts are a means to “discriminate” against gays and lesbians. The truth is that RFRAs are a way for Christians to try to live out their beliefs and to protect themselves from lawsuits. It is actually the NEA that wishes to discriminate against Christians.
Although the union has a Resolution about religious freedom, it apparently doesn’t apply when the religion is Christianity. NEA Resolution I-33, Freedom of Religion, states:
“The National Education Association believes that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. The Association also believes that choice of religion is an intensely personal decision.”
The Religious Freedom resolution continues:
“The Association further believes that schools should teach the rights and responsibilities associated with the freedom of religion, the religious heritage and diversity of the United States, respect for the beliefs of others, and the historical and cultural influences of various world religions.”
The NEA claims to respect the beliefs of others, yet the NEA wishes to abolish the rights of Christians who do not want to officiate at gay marriage ceremonies, or to provide cakes, flowers, photography, or venues for such ceremonies. The NEA wishes to force full participation in ceremonies that are antithetical to Christians who believe marriage is an institution blessed by God and to be engaged in by one man and one woman.
The rationale and background statement for NBI A that was provided to delegates states:
“So-called ‘RFRAs’ are being considered and/or passed by state legislatures across our nation, giving license to discriminate based on personal religious beliefs. Continuing our tradition of social justice advancements, NEA affiliates and members need resources to prevent these attempts.”
But Christians aren’t seeking to discriminate. They simply don’t wish to participate. RFRA laws are needed to protect Christian individuals and businesses.
NEA will fight ‘Institutional Racism’
New Business Item B, introduced by the NEA Board of Directors and passed unanimously at the Orlando convention, claims that the nation, and particularly its schools, are places of “institutional racism.”
Union delegates voted in favor of “partnering with a broad coalition of national stakeholders on campaigns and actions to eradicate policies that perpetuate institutional racism in education.” They will join “campaigns and actions on critical social justice issues impacting students and their communities.” This will include providing grants to “programs aimed at improving school climate and culture” and expanding partnerships “in the areas of cultural competence, diversity, and social justice in order to address institutional racism.”
The NEA plans to spend over $275,000 on this effort.
The irony and disturbing truth is that the union opposes every opportunity for students to escape underperforming public schools in order to obtain a better education and thereby ensure a more fulfilling future. The NEA actively opposes vouchers, tax credits, or savings accounts that might allow students to move to superior private schools; they oppose trigger laws that allow parents to force improvement at failing schools; they oppose parental choice plans; and they oppose homeschooling.
There are also many NEA provisions that make public schools worse than they would be if reasonable rules were put in place. One is Resolution D-22, which states: “The NEA believes that competency testing must not be used as a condition of employment, license retention, evaluation, placement, ranking, or promotion of licensed teachers.” How can students receive a quality education when the union refuses to allow criteria for eliminating incompetent teachers?
‘Institutional Racism’ vs. Bigotry
The term “institutional racism” is controversial. Black conservative activist Star Parker says, “Institutionalized racism is racism that a society officially endorses. It is present when there is a legal framework that supports it.” Racial bigotry is in the hearts of some Americans, both white and black, but it is not endorsed by the law. Bigotry within the soul of an individual won’t be cured by government intervention. It can be lessened through appropriate education and by teaching morality.
Parker continues, “Institutionalized racism existed in the United States prior to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Social realities and laws that permitted racial discrimination of various kinds were made illegal by those acts.”
Parker criticizes politicians who seemed to use the tragic murders of innocent citizens in Charleston, South Carolina for their own purposes. Many of those who spoke out are the same liberals who have contributed to racial divisions.
P a r k e r says, “The plethora of government programs driven by the pretense that government can go beyond just protecting citizens to become an active tool for creating a more just society have worsened the very problem they pretend to address.” These would historically include “forced integration” and “mandated quotas.”
Parker continues, “Liberal policies have forced ongoing and increased racial consciousness and division in the country.” She says that “by taking government where it does not belong, trying to solve a moral problem it cannot solve, they have made the problem worse and sharpened, rather than eased, racial tensions.” (Townhall, 6-24-15)
On the first day of the NEA convention, board members came to the stage, one by one, and each told something about one of the nine victims of the shootings by a deranged man in Charleston. The last speaker, the president of the South Carolina teachers union affiliate, broke down. No one would question her heartfelt response, but some may question why a ceremony for the church members was held at a teachers union convention. If the shooting had taken place at a school it would have made sense, but as it was, it seemed political, heartless, opportunistic, and out of place — like much of NEA policy.
NEA Embraces Transgenderism
Having fairly well succeeded in their attempt to normalize lesbian and gay lifestyles, the National Education Association is now focused on doing the same for transgender individuals. Several New Business Items having to do with changing the conversation about transgender people were adopted by delegates in Orlando.
New Business Item 30 ensures that transgender students have “access to the facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.”
New Business Item 31 is about “gender inclusive spaces,” which are to be provided at all schools in compliance with guidance provided by “organizations such as Gender Spectrum and the Trans Youth Equality Foundation.” As always, the NEA is aligned with radical organizations. Gender Spectrum’s website says:
“Western culture has come to view gender as a binary concept, with two rigidly fixed options: male or female, both grounded in a person’s physical anatomy.”
Gender is the complex interrelationship between an individual’s sex (gender biology), one’s internal sense of self as male, female, both or neither (gender identity), as well as one’s outward presentations and behaviors (gender expression) related to that perception, including their gender role.
The Gender Spectrum website explains that “privilege comes from being part of the ‘norm’” and that those who don’t fall into the male/female binary “face innumerable challenges.”
“The Trans Youth Equality Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation that advocates for transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex youth ages 2–18,” according to their website.
The NBI 31 Rationale and Background section for union delegates states: “We must include the integration of gender inclusiveness efforts within a larger district framework around social-emotional learning, anti-bullying, and other school climate improvement programs.” There are the words to watch. Children at schools are indoctrinated into acceptance of whatever the union decides is normal. Programs supposedly meant to prevent bullying are actually meant to bully children into compliance. Social-emotional learning means children must learn what radicals think they must learn, regardless of what their family belief system may be. School climate, another catch phrase used by the education bureaucracy, means subjecting students to whatever radical philosophy educrats are currently promoting.
NBI 42 states that “NEA will post a link to a guide on the NEA website for educators to use called ‘Know Your Rights! A Guide For LGBT High School Students on lambdalegal.org, by the American Civil Liberties Union on aclu.org, that clearly states how to protect LGBT students.”
The Know Your Rights website tells students, “It’s important for you to learn about your rights and what you can do if your school isn’t treating you fairly!” The website provides guidance for children in all sorts of situations, from bullying at school to what to do if the school wants to tell parents that their student is gay. The ACLU-run website encourages students to contact the ACLU about any issues they encounter.
LGBTQ Counseling Only Goes One Way
Original language of NBI 86 condemned those who would seek to counsel LGBTQ students using “conversion/reparative therapies.” It originally called such help “fraudulent and torturous practices . . . by means of brainwashing.” It was amended and, as adopted, it simply states: “NEA will disseminate to educators through existing publications current information regarding the methods and damaging effects of anti-gay ‘conversion/reparative therapies.’” The NEA will spend $57,050 on this.
It should be noted that there are NEA Resolutions and New Business Items passed every year about providing psychological counseling to LGBTQ youth. But counseling is only approved by the union if it encourages children to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer. If assistance is offered that could possibly influence a person to leave the LGBTQ community, it is considered to be brainwashing and, by definition, negative. Although embracing and mainstreaming transgenderism could be more dangerous than providing therapy to help children adjust to their biological makeup, the NEA wants to make certain such counseling is not available to children.
Adopted NBI 45 says that “transgender or gender nonconforming students” have the right to be “addressed by the name and pronoun that corresponds to their gender identity” and that students should be told there doesn’t need to be a change on their records in order to change their gender identity.
Total membership in the NEA, which includes retirees who pay reduced dues, continued to hover just below three million in fiscal year 2013-14. But active membership dwindled to 2,595,275, which is a decrease of almost 11% over the past five years. Since Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed Act 10 legislation in 2011 that allowed teachers to quit the union, half of them have.
At the Orlando NEA convention, the temporary Ballot Measure/Legislative Crisis Fund assessment increase of $10, which was instituted in 2011 and was set to expire this year, was made permanent. According to the union, the special assessment has provided over $135 million to state affiliates for ballot measure and legislative activism and over $22 million for the media fund. When the union opposes a ballot measure or other action, they use this money to fight against it.
Two New Business Items, 7 and 97, were passed at the NEA convention declaring that the Secretary of Education and other local, state, and national education leaders should have an education background. This is ironic because NEA Executive Director John Stocks had no previous education experience. He was a union public affairs officer, a politician, a community organizer, and is known as a “social justice warrior.”
To the consternation of many of its members, the American Federation of Teachers union has already endorsed 2016 presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. Although it was generally understood that the union would not endorse a candidate this early or without greater member input, union President Randi Weingarten had the board endorse her friend Hillary. Some say the early nod was meant to help stem the tide of Bernie Sanders’ popularity. The 1.6 million members of the AFT “are expected to make more than 1 million phone calls and knock on more than 500,000 doors,” according to the press release accompanying the endorsement.
Book of the Month
Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage, Paul Kengor, Ph.D., WND Books, 2015, $18.95
Paul Kengor says the enemies of communism are “morality, tradition, religion, and God.” Reading Takedown, one understands what communism has to do with traditional marriage and what gay marriage has to do with education.
Takedown traces the evolution of same-sex marriage as it became a cultural adaptation of communism’s goal to destroy the family unit and to get rid of religion. Redefining marriage became a means to a cultural revolution end, as promoted by the Frankfurt School, who were “left wing/atheistic academics and intellectuals who looked to the universities as home base to instill their ideas.”
Followers of the Frankfurt School of thought “[redirected] Marx and Engel’s economic-based communism to cultural applications, from income/class equality to sexual adaptations.” Because “communists will do whatever they need to do to destroy the family,” in past fights they’ve been on the side of abortionists and radical feminists. Getting on board with same-sex marriage proponents was a logical next step.
Teachers unions are radical. While teachers may not be an especially radical group, schools of education at colleges teach the philosophy of John Dewey, who is often called the father of modern education. Dewey made trips to Russia and admired the Bolsheviks. Columbia University graduate, former professor of education, and former leader of the radical terrorist group the Weather Underground, Bill Ayers, is another source of modern educational theory.
Further, the delegates who attend the teachers unions’ annual conventions and set policy are more radical than most teachers. Union leadership embraces the most progressive tenets of the Democratic party. Promoting the LGBTQQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning) agenda and the legalization of same-sex marriage has long been promoted by teachers unions and by education elites based at American universities.
According to Kengor, being duped is “not comprehending the deeper, darker forces at work, which you are unknowingly aiding and abetting.” He contends that some in the gay-marriage movement and many of its supporters have been duped by communists.
Paul Kengor points out the absurd situation in which we find ourselves: that those who suggest sticking with marriage between a man and a woman, according to natural law and biblical law, and relying on biology and tradition are treated as the extremists! Teachers unions were in the vanguard of the movement that led to the decision of five Supreme Court justices.
Some NEA Resolutions Passed at the 2015 Convention in Orlando, Florida
A-2. Educational Opportunity for All. The Association believes that all schools must be accredited under uniform standards established by the appropriate agencies in collaboration with the National Education Association and its affiliates.
A-6. Parental Involvement. The Association strongly opposes so-called “trigger” laws, which circumvent authentic parental and community involvement.
A-12. Use of Closed Public School Buildings. The Association believes that closed public school buildings should be sold or leased only to those organizations that do not provide direct educational services to students and/or are not in direct competition with public schools.
A-15. Financial Support of Public Education. The Association believes that:
♦Funds must be provided for programs to alleviate race, gender, and sexual orientation discrimination and to eliminate portrayal of race, gender, sexual orientation and gender identification stereotypes in the public schools.
♦ Full-day, every day kindergarten programs should be fully funded.
♦ Federal, state, and, as appropriate, local governments should provide funds sufficient to make pre-kindergarten available for all three- and four-year-old children.
A-16. Federal Financial Support for Education. The Association opposes any federal legislation, laws, or regulations that provide funds, goods, or services to sectarian schools.
A-25. Voucher Plans and Tuition Tax Credits. The Association opposes voucher plans, tuition tax credits, or other such funding arrangements that pay for students to attend sectarian schools. The Association also believes that any private school or agency that receives public funding through voucher plans, tax credits, or other funding/financial arrangements must be subject to all accountability measures and regulations required of public schools.
A-34. Federally or State-Mandated Choice/Parental Option Plans. The Association believes that federally or state-mandated parental option or choice plans compromise free, equitable, universal, and quality public education for every student. Therefore, the Association opposes such federally or state-mandated choice or parental option plans.
B-1. Early Childhood Education. The National Education Association supports early childhood education programs in the public schools for children from birth through age eight. The Association also supports a high-quality program of transition from home and/or preschool to the public kindergarten or first grade. The Association also believes that early childhood education programs should include a full continuum of services for parents/guardians and children, including childcare, child development, developmentally appropriate and diversity-based curricula, special education, and appropriate bias-free screening devices. The Association believes that federal legislation should be enacted to assist in organizing the implementation of fully funded early childhood education programs offered through the public schools. These programs must be available to all children on an equal basis and should include mandatory kindergarten with compulsory attendance.
B-12. Diversity. The National Education Association believes that a diverse society enriches all individuals. Similarities and differences among race, ethnicity, color, national origin, language, geographic location, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical ability, size, occupation, and marital, parental, or economic status form the fabric of a society. Education should foster a vibrant pluralistic society that authentically reflects diverse populations and cultural perspectives.
B-13. Racial Diversity Within Student Populations. Strategies should be encouraged to enhance equity in the education of our students. The Association believes that to achieve or maintain racial diversity, it may be necessary for elementary/secondary schools, colleges, and universities to take race into account in making decisions as to student admissions, assignments, and/or transfers.
B-14. Racism, Sexism, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification Discrimination. Discrimination and stereotyping based on such factors as race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, ethnicity, immigration status, occupation, and religion must be eliminated. Plans, activities, and programs must —
♦ Increase respect, understanding, acceptance, and sensitivity toward individuals and groups in a diverse society composed of such groups as American Indians/Alaska natives, Asians, Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Hispanics, women, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender persons, and people with disabilities
♦ Eliminate discrimination and stereotyping in curricula, textbooks, resource and instructional materials, activities, etc.
♦ Foster the dissemination and use of nondiscriminatory and non-stereotypical language, resources, practices, and activities
♦Integrate an accurate portrayal of the roles and contributions of all groups throughout history across curricula, particularly groups that have been underrepresented historically
♦ Eliminate subtle practices that favor the education of one student over another on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, ethnicity, or religion
♦ Encourage all members of the educational community to examine assumptions and prejudices, including, but not limited to, racism, sexism, and homophobia, that might limit the opportunities and growth of students and education employees
♦ Offer positive and diverse role models in our society, including the recruitment, hiring, and promotion of diverse education employees in our public schools
♦ Coordinate with organizations and concerned agencies that promote the contributions, heritage, culture, history, and special health and care needs of diverse population groups.
B-16. Hispanic Education. The Association believes in efforts that provide for grants and scholarships for higher education that will facilitate the recruitment, entry, and retention of Hispanics; involvement of Hispanics in lobbying efforts for federal programs; involvement of Hispanic educators in developing educational materials used in classroom instruction.
B-25. Education of Refugee and Undocumented Children and Children of Undocumented Immigrants. The Association supports access for undocumented students to financial aid and in-state tuition to state colleges and universities. The Association further believes that students who have resided in the United States for at least five years at the time of high school graduation should be granted legal residency status, and allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship.
B-31. Educational Programs for English Language Learners. The Association believes that ELL students should be placed in bilingual education programs to receive instruction in their native language from qualified teachers until such time as English proficiency is achieved.
B-40. Multicultural Education. The National Education Association believes that Multicultural education should promote the recognition of individual and group differences and similarities in order to reduce racism, homophobia, ethnic, and all other forms of prejudice, and discrimination and to develop self-esteem.
B-41. Global Education. The National Education Association believes that global education imparts an appreciation of our interdependency in sharing the world’s resources.
B-43. School-to-Work/Career Education. The National Education Association believes that career education must be interwoven into the total educational system and should include programs in gender-free career awareness and exploration to aid students in career course selection.
B-49. Family Life Education. The Association believes that programs should be established for both students and parents/ guardians and supported at all educational levels to promote —
♦ The development of self-esteem
♦ An understanding of societal issues and problems related to children, spouses, parents/guardians, domestic partners, older generation family members, and other family members.
The Association also believes that education in these areas must be presented as part of an anti-biased, culturally sensitive program.
B-50. Environmental Education. The Association supports educational programs that promote —
♦ An awareness of the effects of past, present, and future population growth patterns on world civilization, human survival, and the environment
♦Solutions to environmental problems such as nonrenewable resource depletion, pollution, climate change, ozone depletion, and acid precipitation, and deposition
♦ The recognition of and participation in such activities as Earth Day and Energy Education Day
♦The understanding of the value of the world’s ecosystems and of sustainable practices
♦Student preparation for careers in the green jobs sector.
B-52. Sex Education. The Association recognizes that the public school must assume an increasingly important role in providing the instruction. Teachers and health professionals must be legally protected from censorship and lawsuits. The Association also believes that to facilitate the realization of human potential, it is the right of every individual to live in an environment of freely available information and knowledge about sexuality and encourages affiliates and members to support appropriately established sex education programs. Such programs should include information on sexual abstinence, birth control, family planning, diversity of culture and diversity of sexual orientation and gender identification, sexually transmitted diseases, incest, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and homophobia.
B-53. HIV/AIDS Education. The National Education Association believes that educational institutions should establish comprehensive human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) education programs as an integral part of the school curriculum.
B-61. Education on Peace and International Understanding. The National Education Association believes that educational strategies for teaching peace and justice issues should include the role of individuals, social movements, international and nongovernmental organizations. Such curricular materials should also cover major contributing factors to conflict, such as economic disparity, demographic variables, unequal political power and resource distribution, and the indebtedness of the developing world.
B-66. Standardized Testing of Students. The National Education Association believes that standardized tests should be used only to improve the quality of education and instruction for students. The Association opposes the use of standardized tests when —
♦ Used as the criterion for the reduction or withholding of any educational funding
♦Results are used to compare students, teachers, programs, schools, communities, and states
♦Scores are used to track students
♦Students with special needs or limited English proficiency are required to take the same tests as regular education students without modifications and/or accommodations.
B-72. Conflict Resolution Education. The National Education Association supports the adoption and use, at all educational levels, of proven conflict resolution strategies, materials, and activities by school districts, education employees, students, parents/guardians, and security personnel as well as the school community to encourage nonviolent resolution of interpersonal and societal conflicts.
B-83. Home Schooling. The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used.
The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools.
NEW B. Educational Programs in Support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Students. The NEA supports appropriate and inclusive educational programs that address the unique needs and concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students. The Association also supports efforts and contributions by educators, parents/guardians, community leaders, organizations, and partners in the development of these programs. Specific programs should provide:
♦ Acknowledgement of the significant contributions of diverse LGBTQ persons in American history and culture.
♦ Involvement of educators knowledgeable in LGBTQ issues in the development of educational materials that integrate factual information about the history, social movements, and current events of LGBTQ people.
NEW B. Social Emotional Learning. The NEA believes that students must learn the social emotional skills of self-awareness, self management, social awareness, decision-making, and relationship management. The development of these competencies is necessary in the learning process to provide pathways for both academic success and achievement.
C-16. Extremist Groups. The National Education Association condemns the philosophy and practices of extremist groups and urges active opposition to all such movements that are inimical to the ideals of the Association.
C-25. Comprehensive School Health, Social, and Psychological Programs and Services. The National Education Association believes that every student should have direct and confidential access to comprehensive health, social, and psychological programs and services. The Association believes that schools should provide —
♦ A planned, sequential health education curriculum for pre-K through adult education that integrates various health topics (such as drug abuse, the dangers of performance-enhancing dietary herbal supplements, violence, safety issues, universal precautions, and HIV education)
♦ Counseling programs that provide developmental guidance and broad-based interventions and referrals
♦ Comprehensive school-based, community-funded student health care clinics that provide basic physical and mental health, and health care services (which may include diagnosis and treatment)
♦ If deemed appropriate by local choice, family-planning counseling and access to birth control methods with instruction in their use.
C-30. Student Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. The National Education Association believes that all persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, should be afforded equal opportunity and guaranteed a safe and inclusive environment within the public education system. The Association also believes that, for students who are struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity, every school district and educational institution should provide counseling services and programs that deal with high suicide and dropout rates and the high incidence of teen prostitution.
C-31. Suicide Prevention Programs. The National Education Association believes that evidenced-based suicide prevention programs must be developed and implemented. The Association urges its affiliates to ensure that these programs are an integral part of the school program.
D-8. Hiring Policies and Practices for Teaching Positions. The National Education Association believes that hiring policies and practices must be nondiscriminatory and include provisions for the recruitment of a diverse teaching staff.
D-22. Competency Testing of Licensed Teachers. The National Education Association believes that competency testing must not be used as a condition of employment, license retention, evaluation, placement, ranking, or promotion of licensed teachers.
E-4. Selection and Challenges of Materials and Teaching Techniques. The Association deplores pre-publishing censorship, book-burning crusades, and attempts to ban books from school library media centers and school curricula.
E-11. Academic and Professional Freedom. Academic freedom includes the rights of teachers and learners to explore and discuss divergent points of view. A teacher shall not be fired, transferred, reassigned, removed from his or her position, or disciplined for refusing to suppress the free expression rights of students. Professional freedom includes the teachers’ right to evaluate, criticize, and/or advocate their personal point of view concerning the policies and programs of the schools. Furthermore, teachers must be free to depart from mandated scripted learning programs, pacing charts, and classroom assessments without prejudice or punishment.
F-1. Nondiscriminatory Personnel Policies/Affirmative Action. The National Education Association believes that personnel policies and practices must guarantee that no person be employed, retained, paid, dismissed, suspended, demoted, transferred, retired or harassed because of race, color, national origin, cultural diversity, accent, religious beliefs, residence, physical disability, political activities, professional association activity, age, size, marital status, family relationship, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Affirmative action plans and procedures that encourage active recruitment and employment of ethnic minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and men in under-represented education categories should be developed and implemented.
F-2. Pay Equity/Comparable Worth. The “market value” means of establishing pay cannot be the final determinant of pay scales since it too frequently reflects the race and sex bias in our society.
F-50. Medication and Medical Services in Schools. The Association believes that education employees who are not licensed medical personnel should be protected from all liability if they are required to administer medication or perform medical services.
H-1. The Education Employee as a Citizen. The Association urges its members to become politically involved and to support the political action committees of the Association and its affiliates.
H-7. National Health Care Policy. The National Education Association believes that affordable, comprehensive health care, including prescription drug coverage, is the right of every resident. The Association supports the adoption of a single-payer health care plan for all residents of the United States, its territories, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
I-1. Peace and International Relations. The Association urges all nations to develop treaties and disarmament agreements that reduce the possibility of war. The Association also believes that such treaties and agreements should prevent the placement of weapons in outer space. The Association believes that the United Nations furthers world peace and promotes the rights of all people by preventing war, racism, and genocide.
I-2. International Court of Justice. The Association urges participation by the United States in deliberations before the court.
I-3. International Criminal Court. The Association believes that the International Criminal Court is critically important as an instrument to help end the impunity of human rights violators, provide for the rule of law, and hold accountable those who commit the gravest human rights crimes, including genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
I-9. Global Climate Change. The Association believes that humans must take steps to change activities that contribute to global climate change.
I-17. Family Planning. The National Education Association believes in family planning, including the right to reproductive freedom. The Association further believes in the implementation of community-operated, school-based family planning clinics that will provide intensive counseling by trained personnel.
I-18. The Right to Organize. The Association believes that members have the right to have payroll deduction of both Association membership dues and voluntary political contributions.
I-22. Immigration. The Association opposes any immigration policy that denies human and/or civil rights or educational opportunities to immigrants and their children regardless of their immigration status, hinders workers’ abilities to organize, or criminalizes individuals or groups who support or assist immigrants regardless of their status.
I-33. Freedom of Religion. The Association opposes any federal legislation or mandate that would require school districts to schedule a moment of silence.
I-34. Gun-Free Schools and the Regulation of Deadly Weapons. The Association believes that strict prescriptive regulations are necessary for the manufacture, importation, distribution, sale and resale of handguns and ammunition magazines. A mandatory background check and a mandatory waiting period should occur prior to the sale of all firearms.
I-47. Elimination of Discrimination. The National Education Association is committed to the elimination of discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, economic status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identification, age, and all other forms of discrimination. The Association encourages its members and all other members of the educational community to engage in courageous conversations in order to examine assumptions, prejudices, discriminatory practices, and their effects.
I-53. Right of Redress for Descendants of Slaves. The Association believes that the descendants of those subjected to slavery in the U.S. have the right to seek redress for the injustices inflicted upon their ancestors.
I-58. Linguistic Diversity. The Association believes that efforts to legislate English as the official language disregard cultural pluralism; deprive those in need of education, social services, and employment; and must be challenged.
I-61. Equal Opportunity for Women. The Association supports an amendment to the U.S. Constitution (such as the Equal Rights Amendment). The Association urges its affiliates to support ratification of such an amendment. The Association also supports the enactment and full funding of the Women’s Educational Equity Act. The Association endorses the use of nonsexist language.
NEW I. Marriage Equality. The NEA believes in marriage equality for all individuals. Discrimination and stereotyping based on such factors as race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, ethnicity, immigration status, occupation, and religion must be eliminated. The Association also believes that these factors should not affect the legal rights and obligations of the partners in a domestic partnership, civil union, or marriage in regard to matters involving the other partner, such as medical decisions, taxes, inheritance, adoption, and immigration. The Association further believes that these factors should never be used to deny any individual or couple the full rights of marriage equality.
The above text is excerpted from NEA Resolutions adopted at the 2015 NEA Convention. Much language has been omitted, but no words have been added or changed.