|NEA Goals, Spin, and Concealment
|You’ve got to hand it to the National Education Association. The NEA’s press people and spin artists know how to manipulate the news. The NEA got widespread national publicity by announcing on Independence Day that it was withdrawing its controversial proposed “New B” resolution regarding “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Education.” Parents concluded they could relax in the assurance that their darlings would not be exploited with such teaching in the schools.
But not so fast. It was all smoke and mirrors. The 10,000 delegates assembled in this year’s annual convention in Los Angeles quietly adopted at least a dozen separate resolutions that add up to substantially the same subject matter as the withdrawn New B.
This episode began when it leaked out that the NEA planned to adopt an in-your-face resolution demanding that the gay rights agenda be incorporated into everything from school curricula to teacher hiring. For the first time, there was revolt in the ranks of the NEA’s 2.3 million teachers, and the Oklahoma affiliate publicly opposed it.
Tennessee delegates asked for a vote on New Business Item 59 that read: “The NEA shall hold its affiliates harmless, for a period of five years, for any loss of dues revenue related to loss of membership beginning with the 2001-2002 membership year if Resolution New B is passed.” These delegates explained the rationale behind this item: “A significant number of NEA affiliates experienced membership losses related to [last year’s] passage of Resolution B-9. Most of them have not recovered their losses,” and we “believe that we will experience an equal or greater loss of membership if Resolution New B is passed.”
So, the NEA leadership decided to make a public announcement that the new controversial New B would not be brought to a vote. However, NEA President Bob Chase assured the delegates that “in no way is NEA backing away from dealing with the important issues raised by the proposed Resolution. . . . Far from backing away from these issues, this task force will expand the scope of the inquiry.”
Chase’s promise was confirmed when the NEA convention went ahead and passed a dozen resolutions, mostly repeats from previous years, affirming practically every point covered in the withdrawn New B.
Resolution B-7 calls for “acceptance” of “diversity,” which is defined to include “sexual orientation.” It also calls for “observances, programs, and curricula that accurately portray and recognize the roles, contributions, cultures, and history of these diverse groups and individuals.”
B-9 calls for “plans, activities, and programs” that “increase respect” and “acceptance” toward “gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people.” The resolution demands an end to “stereotyping” based on “sexual orientation” and that the schools offer “diverse role models” in the hiring of education employees. B-9 also calls for extending this policy to “curricula, textbooks, resource and instructional materials, activities, etc.” It demands that we “integrate” into all curricula a portrayal of the roles of “groups who have been underrepresented historically.”
B-38 demands that we recognize different “family structures.” This includes recognizing “domestic partners.” B-40 and C-22 call for “comprehensive” education programs about HIV/AIDS “as an integral part of the school curriculum.” Integrating subject matter in the curriculum means concealing it so that parents cannot exempt their children from the class.
C-27 calls on the schools to “provide counseling services and programs” for “students who are struggling with their sexual/gender orientation.” E-5 demands that “educational materials and activities should accurately portray cultural diversity.”
D-8 calls for hiring policies and practices that “include provisions for the recruitment of a diverse teaching staff.” Nobody is fooled by this euphemism.
F-1 puts the NEA on record in support of “affirmative action plans and procedures that encourage active recruitment and employment of men in underrepresented education categories . . . in order to overcome past discrimination.” This resolution includes “sexual orientation” among other factors.
I-10 states that the NEA is committed to the achievement of a “totally integrated society.” This includes eliminating all “barriers” based on “sexual orientation.” I-38 redundantly demands the “elimination of discrimination” based on “sexual orientation.” I-42 deplores hate-motivated violence based on sexual orientation.
Other resolutions among the dozens that were passed at the 2001 Convention in Los Angeles reaffirmed all the radical policies the NEA has endorsed in the past. They reveal the NEA’s paranoid opposition to school choice, homeschooling, parental supervision of sex education, and an anti-missile defense. NEA resolutions endorsed the entire feminist agenda, including ERA, abortion, and Comparable Worth.
Many were shocked this year when the District of Columbia City Council proposed lowering the compulsory school age to age three. We shouldn’t have been shocked: the NEA convention delegates readopted resolution B-1 calling for “programs in the public schools for children from birth through age eight.”
The NEA is very, very politically active. Legislative Amendment 2 authorizes the NEA staff to go all-out in the coming political confrontation over confirmation of Supreme Court and other federal judges.
Do You Know What Diversity Means?
Santa Rosa (CA) High School held a “Week of Diversity” on April 9-13, 2001 that included 82 presentations by outside speakers. The announcement letter sent to parents permitted them to opt out their children, but said the event was “essential to the exposure and understanding of important topics and teen issues not normally taught in our public school system.”
However, the letter failed to mention a controversial assembly entitled “Sex and Stuff.” Students who had been excused from the other presentations attended the assembly. “Sex and Stuff” was a play presented by the San Marin High School Peer Counselors. According to parents who attended, the play depicted all the ills and sadness a high school student could ever experience, from sexual molestation to rape to unwanted pregnancy, HIV infection, anorexia, deaths from drunk driving, fights, and even suicide.
“Still worse,” according to parent Orlean Koehle, “were the vulgar, inappropriate sex scenes, beginning with a very suggestive dance followed by a scene where a bra, undies, and nylons are thrown from behind a sheet. Another scene, by virtue of sound effects, was suggestive of sexual intercourse taking place behind the sheet.” Although the play occasionally contained a redeeming statement or line, these were “surrounded by such filth that only the filth is likely to be remembered.” The teaching of abstinence included recommendations for alternative sex acts.
Some parents were so outraged at the school’s failure to notify them about the assembly that they contacted the Pacific Justice Institute, which found the lack of notice in direct violation of California education code. PJI is now working with parents to help them assert their legal remedies and hold the school accountable.
Some parents, who opted their children out of the 82 presentations listed in the announcement, attended the classes themselves. Mrs. Koehle reported that at least half the classes were conducted by “an amazing lineup of leftist, radical, Marxist speakers.”
Fourteen classes addressed gender, homophobia, and AIDS issues, all in support of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender ideology that these lifestyles are not a choice, but genetic, and that they are healthy and normal. The week-long agenda included more than 20 hours of pro-homosexual indoctrination and only one 50-minute presentation in opposition to the gay agenda.
Eleven classes espoused radical leftist ideology and causes. These included support for Communist Cuba, for guerrilla forces in Colombia, and for stopping “American Imperialism” imposed by greedy capitalist corporations. One class offered support for social change to make America like Cuba “where the government owns everything and gives it out equally to the people so there are no rich and no poor.”
Seventeen classes supported leftist environmental causes, animal rights, or vegetarianism. Speakers from Amnesty International and the Sierra Club encouraged students to become environmental activists.
Five classes were devoted to police bashing, including a video depicting police brutality and tales of alleged atrocities committed by the Santa Rosa police department. Students were encouraged to support a group called the Purple Berets and the ACLU in setting up a Citizens Review Board to monitor the police.
One class was conducted by militants representing the Midnight Special Law Firm. Students were given a three-page handout that warned, “Never trust the police,” and included tips on how to engage in civil disobedience.
Two classes focused on making a “hate-free world.” One presenter portrayed a person who expresses hatred as a believer in a “book” which she reads every morning, especially on Sunday, and which supposedly gives her the right to hate and to put down others. Everyone understood what “book” the presenter was referring to. Christian students felt they were being accused of prejudice.
A-10. Use of Closed Public School Buildings. The National Education 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-13. Financial Support of Public Education. Funds must be provided for programs to alleviate race, gender, and sexual orientation discrimination and to eliminate portrayal of race, gender, and sexual orientation stereotypes in the public schools. The Association opposes providing any public revenues to sectarian pre-K through 12 schools.
A-23. Voucher Plans and Tuition Tax Credits. The National Education Association believes that voucher plans, tuition tax credits, or other funding arrangements that use tax monies to subsidize pre-K through 12 private school education can undermine public education, reduce the support needed to fund public education adequately, and cause racial, economic, and social segregation of students.
A-25. For-Profit Schools. The Association believes that there is an inherent conflict between serving the needs of children and of stockholders in an educational setting. The Association therefore opposes education for profit.
A-29. Charter and Nontraditional Public School Options. The Association believes that when concepts such as charter schools and other nontraditional school options are proposed, all affected public education employees must be directly involved in the design, implementation, and governance of these programs.
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 further 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. These programs must be available to all children on an equal basis and should include mandatory kindergarten with compulsory attendance.
B-7. Diversity.The Association believes that education should foster the appreciation and acceptance of the various qualities that pertain to people as members of diverse populations. The Association further believes in the importance of observances, programs and curricula that accurately portray and recognize the roles, contributions, cultures, and history of these diverse groups and individuals.
B-9. Racism, Sexism, and Sexual Orientation Discrimination. Discrimination and stereotyping based on such factors as race, gender, immigration status, disability, ethnicity, occupation, and sexual orientation must be eliminated. Plans, activities, and programs must
B-31. Multicultural Education. 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.
B-32. Global Education. The Association believes that global education increases respect for and awareness of the earth and its people. Global education imparts information about cultures and an appreciation of our interdependency in sharing the world’s resources to meet mutual human needs.
B-38. Family Life Education. The Association believes that programs should be established for both students and parents/guardians/caregivers and supported at all educational levels to promote the development of self-esteem. The Association also believes that education in these areas must be presented as part of an anti-biased, culturally-sensitive program.
B-39. 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 and family planning, diversity of culture, diversity of sexual orientation, parenting skills, prenatal care, sexually transmitted diseases, incest, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, homophobia.
B-56. Standardized Testing of Students. The Association opposes the use of standardized tests when —
B-68. Home Schooling. The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state requirements. 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.
C-7. Child Care. The Association encourages school districts and educational institutions to establish on-site child care for preschoolers, students, the children of students, and the children of staff members.
C-14. 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-22. Comprehensive School Health Programs and Services. The National Education Association believes that every child should have direct and confidential access to comprehensive health, social, and psychological programs and services.
The Association believes that schools should provide —
The Association believes that services in the schools should include —
C-23. School Guidance and Counseling Programs. The National Education Association believes that guidance and counseling programs should be integrated into the entire education system, pre-K through college.
D-8. Hiring Policies and Practices for Teaching Positions. The Association believes that hiring policies must include provisions for the recruitment of a diverse teaching staff.
E-3. Selection and Challenges of Materials and Teaching Techniques. The Association deplores pre-publishing censorship, book-burning crusades, and attempts to ban books from school libraries/media centers and school curricula.
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, or retired 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, or sexual orientation. 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.
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 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. The Association will support health care reform measures that move the United States closer to this goal.
H-11. Statehood for the District of Columbia. The National Education Association supports efforts to achieve statehood for the District of Columbia.
I-2. International Court of Justice. The Association urges participation by the United States in deliberations before the court.
I-12. Family Planning. The National Education Association supports family planning, including the right to reproductive freedom. The Association also urges the implementation of community-operated, school-based family planning clinics that will provide intensive counseling by trained personnel.
I-26. Freedom of Religion. The Association opposes any federal legislation or mandate that would require school districts to schedule a moment of silence.
I-27. Gun-free Schools and the Regulation of Deadly Weapons. The Association believes that strict proscriptive regulations are necessary for the manufacture, importation, distribution, sale and resale of handguns and ammunition magazines.
I-38. Elimination of Discrimination. The Association is committed to the elimination of discrimination based on sexual orientation.
I-46. English as the Official Language. 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-49. Equal Opportunity for Women. The National Education Association believes that all persons must have equal opportunity for compensation (including equal pay for comparable worth). The Association supports an amendment to the U.S. Constitution (such as the Equal Rights Amendment) that guarantees that equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state because of gender. The Association endorses the use of nonsexist language.