The NEA Attacks Conservative Values
Anyone who attended the 2016 National Education Association (NEA) union convention in Washington, D.C., is aware that it is a radically leftist political organization. From start to finish, leftist policies and attacks on American culture were the rule at this NEA Representational Assembly. In fact, there was little that occurred that wasn’t of a leftist nature. The NEA is a social justice and political organization. It is not “bipartisan,” as union statements sometimes claim.
The union endorsed Hillary Clinton early in her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. Amid heavy security, Mrs. Clinton addressed the convention on July 6, the same day FBI Director James Comey announced that she wouldn’t be prosecuted for mishandling classified information.
Attack on Enforcing Immigration Policy
The keynote speech given by union president Lily Eskelsen García on July 4, included an outright attack on the Republican presidential candidate. García said, “I’m going to stick to facts. And the fact is: Donald is a racist.” She said, “He accused Mexican immigrants of being drug dealers, criminals, and rapists.” If she stuck to facts, García would have said that Donald Trump says some illegal immigrants are criminals. People who immigrate legally are not criminals and are welcome in the U.S. by Trump and by other Republicans.
García continued, “Donald is ignorant of our Constitution, saying that as president he will impose a religious test, banning all Muslims from entering the country and calling for special government surveillance against mosques.”
In her keynote address, García honored those killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. But she failed to mention that they were killed by a radical Islamic extremist. She instead said that the victims were killed because they were gay. She said, “We mourn with Orlando. And we will not begin without honoring those who lost their lives for no other reason than that they were gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender.”
No, Mrs. García, they were killed because they were the target of a radical Islamic terrorist, the sort of extremist that Donald Trump and other Republicans believe need to be monitored or denied entry into the U.S. in order to secure the safety of all Americans. Better vetting of immigrants from places that export terror and a pause until that can be achieved is necessary. García and her ilk refuse to recognize that even Obama administration officials have admitted that there is currently no way to adequately vet those entering our borders from Muslim nations.
Anti-Christian, Pro-Homosexual Agenda
Last year the NEA’s primary New Business Item was an anti-religious freedom screed that accused Christians who simply don’t want to participate in same-sex marriages of discrimination. This year the union president accused some Republican governors and state legislators of having elaborate schemes.
In her speech, García addressed state laws about trans-gender bathroom usage and laws aimed at protecting religious freedom. She said: No one claimed there was a problem; No one had ever thought they needed laws on this before. But all at once? Politicians in state after state begin filing strangely similar pieces of legislation? Gee. It’s almost like there’s a plan to drum up fear and divisiveness for political reasons. And the LGBTQ Community is their convenient target. There’s always a target. Immigrants. Women. Sexual Orientation. Race.
New Business Item (NBI) A, which was proposed by the executive committee and adopted by delegates, says: “NEA will join the national effort to counter the widespread discrimination against individuals who are LGBTQ.” NBI A consistently uses the word “backlash,” claiming that states are mounting campaigns against LGBTQ citizens. It states that the NEA will be “addressing the underlying issues that promote a culture of escalating intolerance and acts of violence.” It continues in a rant against North Carolina’s H.B. 2 (requires use of restrooms and changing rooms in accordance with one’s actual sex) and Mississippi’s H.B. 1523 (a religious freedom bill to protect the rights of citizens and businesses against forced participation in gay wedding ceremonies).
The 2016 NBI A has a discriminatory economic impact because no contractor or individual can do business with the union unless they meet the NEA LGBTQ litmus test.
No Hate Speech, Unless it’s Anti-Christian
NBI 80 states that the NEA will “disseminate information on religious hate speech that leads to verbal abuse, violence, and intolerance on school campuses focusing on the prejudice toward any world religion such as with anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Sikh.” NEA delegates reacted harshly to and defeated an attempt to remove the word “world” and to have the NBI end after the word “religion.” This would have resulted in the NBI including anti-Christian hate speech. The NEA delegates would not allow that. Violence, intolerance, and verbal abuse against Christians is apparently okay.
Counseling Only to Promote Homosexuality
A change to NEA Resolution C-13 would have allowed students “struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity” access to counselors who might help them to not be gay, lesbian, or transgender. The Resolution addresses “counseling services and programs” for LGBTQ students. A proposed amendment would have added wording that would approve of therapy for students who wish to receive conversion/reparative therapies, unless it was “against their will.” The delegate who proposed the Amendment said, “If NEA is going to allow a category for ‘Q,’
which is ‘questioning,’ why be so eager to take away professional support for that questioning?” To the NEA, psychological counseling is only acceptable if it encourages children to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. They seek to prohibit any assistance that could possibly influence a person to leave the LGBTQ community.
It’s hard to believe that delegates to the union convention are representative of most classroom teachers.
NEA Joins Rush to Judgment: Police Officers Die
On the morning of July 7, 2016, the NEA released a statement titled: “NEA President reacts to fatal police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana.” As the first order of business that day, Lily Eskelsen García read her statement to the body of the NEA convention.
García’s first words were, “Black lives matter.” She continued: “Today we mourn for the lost lives of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. Their senseless and tragic deaths have shocked theconscience of our nation.” She said that “we must sharpen our resolve to end this vicious cycle of racial violence.” García added, “As educators, it is our responsibility to our students and our communities to stand up and speak up when confronted with injustice and institutional racism wherever we see it.”
García already decided that the two shootings were unjust and motivated by NEA Joins Rush to Judgment: Police Officers Die racism. That is something she could not possibly know because the facts surrounding these two cases still have not been determined.
García said, “At the same time, we also need to make sure that those who perpetrated the fatal shootings of these men are held accountable.” The truth is that police are held accountable every time they use a weapon and any time a suspect dies in custody. Officers are immediately put on administrative leave and all incidents are thoroughly investigated. Sometimes officers are prosecuted.
García ended her statement by saying, “There cannot be a path to peace unless justice is served.” This is very close to the mantra shouted by radical demonstrators — “No Justice. No Peace.”
The same day that García’s statement was issued, five police officers in Dallas were assassinated and another nine were wounded by a man claiming to be upset about police brutality and racism. Since then, another three officers were killed and three more injured by a similarly enraged man in Baton Rouge.
The president of the largest union in the nation should not use the unfortunate deaths of citizens as political fodder. Lily Eskelsen García wasn’t the only one who chose to use reckless words that could enrage and incite at a time when caution was prescribed. The head of the largest teachers union should behave more responsibly.
Will Classrooms Become Less Safe?
The NEA believes there is a “school-to-prison pipeline,” caused by institutional racism. Institutional racism exists when racism is officially endorsed by a society or a government. There is no legal framework that supports racism in this nation.
But at the 2015 NEA union convention, delegates adopted a New Business Item aimed at fighting institutional racism and devoted $275k to the effort. A task force was convened to decide how the NEA would proceed. As a result, at the 2016 NEA convention, delegates adopted the “NEA Policy Statement on Discipline and the School-to-Prison pipeline.”
The task force’s policy report claims that a school-to-prison pipeline exists and that it is the “direct result of Institutional Racism and intolerance, and is both an education and a social justice issue.” The union report says, “Black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than white students.” The union maintains that this isn’t warranted by behavior but instead occurs because educators make racist decisions and schools take racist actions. The union says, “On average, 5% of white students are suspended, compared to 16% of black students.”
The task force finds the following policies and practices feed the alleged “school-to-prison pipeline”: harsh school discipline; policies that overuse suspension and expulsion; subjective and/or biased discipline policies; increased policing and surveillance; over-reliance on referrals to law enforcement and the juvenile justice system; and an alienating and punitive high-stakes testing-driven academic environment.
The NEA report claims data indicates “that the vast majority of school suspensions are for behaviors that are evaluated on a subjective basis and are for behaviors labeled by subjective terms — such as willful defiance, disobedience, disruptive behavior, and insubordination — that lend themselves to bias and discrimination.” The union concludes, “As a result of the highly subjective nature of school discipline systems, suspension rates appear to be determined less by the actual behavior of students than by the attitudes and beliefs of teachers and administrators.”
To combat what the union believes is unfair and “subjective” treatment of students, the NEA wants educators to undergo “comprehensive cultural competence training and professional development.” During this training, educators would attain “the ability to overcome their preconceptions about others” and learn “to interact effectively and respectfully with people from different racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds.” This training would teach them that there “are different communication codes in each culture.”
The report says, “Teachers and administrators who do not understand what their students are saying, and who do not take the time to explore what their students’ behavior reflects, can feed the school-to-prison pipeline both consciously and unconsciously.” The union quotes a study that says, “It is the failure of teachers and administrators to acquire cultural competence that leads to the labeling of black youths as out of control and violent.”
Some would say that “out of control and violent” looks about the same no matter which color of student is exhibiting the behavior. But the union wants misbehavior viewed through a veil of “cultural competence.” The union task force seems to be suggesting different standards of behavior for different races and ethnicities. Would schools be better off if when a student isn’t behaving in a manner conducive to education, that educators should look the other way or disregard bad behavior because of the student’s color?
The union claims that the decision to discipline is “subjective” and often due to “racism.” They also want to reeducate teachers and administrators because they feel the behaviors exhibited by black students or other “students of color” are misunderstood due to lack of “cultural competency.”
It is highly unlikely that educators are actually unable to determine what is and is not acceptable behavior.
The task force sounds like it consisted of a room full of people who don’t teach at inner city schools. If they’d consulted some of the educators of all colors and creeds that actually show up to work in schools troubled by gang violence and disruptive students, the union recommendations might look much different.
The changes proposed by the union could make classrooms even less safe for teachers and students. Many teachers already complain that they can no longer even send misbehaving students out of classrooms. Increased physical attacks on teachers and on fellow students are being reported. Ignoring or allowing inappropriate or improper behavior and having fewer police resource officers won’t improve the conduct of disruptive students. It will only further endanger educators and imperil those students who come to school to learn.
At the 2016 NEA Representational Assembly, the union reports that there were 7,025 delegates in attendance. There were an additional 5,585 non-delegate attendees, for a total of 12,610 people gathered at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Held over the Independence Day holiday every year, this time the union convention began on July 4 and ended on July 7.
Conservatives already worried about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) might be even more concerned now that the two senators who spearheaded the deal, Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), were given the NEA “Friend of Education Award” during a ceremony at the Washington, D.C. union convention. Senator Alexander is the first Republican to receive recognition by the union since 1984.
For the first time in years, Common Core wasn’t an issue at the 2016 NEA convention. The union must have gotten the Democratic National Committee memo that it’s not supposed to be discussed, and is considered a “third rail.” Leaked DNC documents say Hillary won’t mention CC because that only leads to trouble, whether it’s spoken of in a positive or a negative manner.
The NEA is on board with other Democrat gun grabbers that consistently attack the Second Amendment. For 2016, the union changed its gun control Resolution slightly and now calls for “common sense gun regulations.” This is new, carefully crafted terminology that’s been focus-group tested and is another attempt to make citizens into victims who are unable to defend themselves. Although the union held a moving, emotional tribute to those killed in the Orlando nightclub shooting, which they failed to identify as a terrorist attack, they are also willfully ignorant of the fact that if just one person at the Pulse had been armed, that individual might have killed the terrorist before he killed 49 people.
Book of the Month
50 Myths and Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools: The Real Crisis in Education, David C. Berliner, Gene V. Glass, et al., Columbia Teachers College Press, 2014, $26.95
Myths surrounding education persist when the public has no way to find out the truth. Lies are told and hoaxes are perpetuated when there’s gain to be gotten from the public believing fallacies. Education is full of controversial opinions and conflicting solutions to real and imagined problems. This book is an engaging way to understand 50 issues under consideration in the arena of education.
Readers might agree with the authors or could find some of their findings objectionable. But overall this book will lead to clarification of issues and provide resources for further exploration.
There’s much at stake when it comes to education. Not only do we love them, but our children are our most important natural resource. There’s also lots of money involved. When warped opinions move policy, students invariably suffer. For these reasons, it’s worthwhile to become familiar with the fifty issues covered in Myths and Lies.
Is there an education crisis in America? Many children are being educated well enough to succeed at some of the best colleges in the world. Evidence of a crisis is often based on U.S. test scores compared to other nations. The authors point out that Americans have never scored high on such international tests and that this hasn’t caused our economy or society to suffer.
The authors make the point that tests given in different national languages often aren’t comparable. American students were asked whether “pessimistic” and “sanguine” were antonyms or synonyms. No word similar to “sanguine” exists in the Finnish language so a word meaning “optimistic” was substituted, making the question easier for Finnish students to answer correctly than for Americans.
Sometimes the truth about problems in education is hard to hear. In order to understand the issues, it’s important that the public has resources to more readily find answers, without the filter of those who are in the game for gain. This book provides extensive footnotes for readers desiring more information.
Many have blamed and vilified teachers and the profession has taken body blows in the past decade; this is sometimes due to their unions’ social justice narratives. But teachers are most often very hard working. They, like police officers, often make a lower wage than their efforts might warrant. If the public becomes more familiar with the issues, they’ll better understand the great job most teachers are doing despite the obstacles they often face.
Some NEA Resolutions Passed at the 2016 Convention in Washington, D.C.
A-2. Educational Opportunity for All. The National Education Association believes that all schools must be accredited under uniform standards established by the appropriate agencies in collaboration with the Association and its affiliates.
A-6. Parental Involvement. The Association strongly opposes so-called “trigger” laws.
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 fund 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. The Association opposes such federally or state-mandated choice or parental option plans.
B-1. Early Childhood Education. The 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 child-care, 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 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.
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 Identity 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-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 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-30. Educational Programs in Support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Students. The Association 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.
B-32. Educational Programs for English Language Learners. The Association believes that ELLs 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-41. Multicultural Education. The 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-42. Global Education. The Association believes that global education imparts information and an appreciation of our interdependency in sharing the world’s resources.
B-48. Physical Education. The Associa tion believes that physical education programs and curricula should provide staff training on policies and procedures that address issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
B-51. 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 understanding of the value of the world’s ecosystems and of sustainable practices
• Student preparation for careers in the green jobs sector.
B-53. Sex Education. The Association believes that the developing child’s sexuality is continually and inevitably influenced by daily contacts, including experiences in the school environment. The Association recognizes that sensitive sex education can be a positive force in promoting physical, mental, emotional, and social health and that the public school must assume an increasingly important role in providing the instruction. Teachers and health professionals must be qualified to teach in this area and must be legally protected from censorship and lawsuits.
The Association urges that formal sex education should include parent/guardian orientation and be planned and implemented with careful attention to developmental needs, appropriateness to community settings and values, and respect for individual differences.
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, prenatal care, parenting skills, the effects of substance abuse during pregnancy, and the issues associated with pre-teen and teenage pregnancy
• Diversity of culture and diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity;
• Sexually transmitted diseases including HIV and HPV, incest, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and homophobia
• Age-appropriate, medically accurate information including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) issues. This should include but not be limited to information on sexuality, sexual orientation, and gender expression
• Sexual violence and affirmative consent, being defined as sexual activity deemed consensual if both parties clearly declare their willingness to participate through a voluntary, conscious, and affirmative agreement.
B-54. HIV/AIDS Education. The 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 Association believes that educational strategies for teaching peace and justice issues should include the role of individuals, social movements, international, and nongovernmental organizations. Curricular materials should 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. Social and Emotional Learning. The Association 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.
B-68. Standardized Testing of Students. The 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-82. Home Schooling. The 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. Homeschooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools.
C-5. Comprehensive School Health, Social, and Psychological Programs and Services. The Association believes that to promote health and wellbeing every student, pre-K through higher education, should have direct and confidential access to comprehensive health, social, and psychological programs and services. The Association believes that all health, social, and psychological services must be provided only by the appropriately licensed and certificated professional personnel. The Association also believes that to provide effective physical and mental health services in the school setting the following are essential:
• School counseling programs providing a focus on academic, career and social/emotional development so students achieve success in school and are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society
• School psychological services promoting the mental health of students through prevention, identification, early intervention, and remediation of specific mental health issues that interfere with the learning process and providing crisis intervention of traumatic events and mental health counseling
• School social work services providing crisis intervention, individual and group counseling, behavior management, and coordination with student families and community resources
• Other specialized clinicians who identify, diagnose, and accommodate learning disabilities and other conditions adversely affecting the ability to learn and succeed in a school setting
• Family-planning counseling and access to birth control methods with instruction in their use, if deemed appropriate by local choice
• A healthful psychological climate and a safe physical environment at the building, classroom, and individual levels.
The Association urges its affiliates to support legislation to provide comprehensive care to all children and supports community, state, and national efforts to coordinate these services.
C-13. Student Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. The 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. For students who are struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity, every school district and educational institution should provide counseling services and programs — staffed by trained personnel— that deal with high suicide and dropout rates and the high incidence of teen prostitution. The Association further believes that therapies designed to alter a student’s orientation or identity are harmful to the emotional development of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students.
C-20. Extremist Groups. The 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.
New C. Complex Trauma. The Association believes that complex trauma impacts the brain development of children. Complex trauma causes systemic and individualized educational barriers that interfere with children’s emotional and physical health and impedes access to education. The Association further recognizes the risks of secondary trauma faced by those who support these children and that they, themselves, may need support.
D-8. Hiring Policies and Practices for Teaching Positions. The Association believes that nondiscriminatory hiring policies and practices that actively recruit a highly qualified, diverse teaching staff provide the highest quality of education for students.
D-22. Competency Testing of Licensed Teachers. The 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-10. 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 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, gender identity, or perceived gender identity. Affirmative action plans and procedures that encourage active recruitment and employment of ethnic minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and persons 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-43. HIV/AIDS Testing of Education Employees. The Association opposes mandatory/involuntary human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) testing of education employees or education employment applicants. The Association also affirms that the current ban on blood donations from individuals solely based on a history of same-gender sexual activity should be lifted.
F-49. 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 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.
New H. Economic Fairness in a Democracy. The Association believes that basic economic fairness is vital for a fully functioning democracy. The Association also believes that measures such as progressive taxation, estate taxes, a higher minimum wage, affordable higher education, and a strong social safety net are appropriate tools to reduce extreme income inequality and improve economic fairness.
I-1. Peace and International Relations. The Association urges all nations to develop treaties and disarmament agreements that reduce the possibility of war. 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 International Court of Justice.
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-15. 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-16. Marriage Equality. The Association 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. 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.
I-17. Family Planning. The 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-19. 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 them.
I-25. Freedom of Religion. The Association opposes any federal legislation or mandate that would require school districts to schedule a moment of silence.
I-33. Gun-Free Schools and the Regulation of Deadly Weapons. The Association supports banning assault weapons, limiting the capacity of ammunition magazines, requiring background checks and a waiting period for all gun purchases, creating a national database of gun sales, and preventing people with mental illness and/or a documented history of domestic violence from purchasing firearms.
I-46. Elimination of Discrimination. The Association is committed to the elimination of discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, economic status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, and all other forms of discrimination. The Association encourages its members and all other members of the educational community to engage in necessary conversations in order to examine assumptions, prejudices, discriminatory practices, and their effects.
I-52. 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-57. 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-60. 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 above text is excerpted from NEA Resolutions adopted at the 2016 NEA Convention. Much language has been omitted, but no words have been added or changed.