If you want to stay on top of what’s going on in schools, watch the policies adopted by the National Education Association (NEA) which attracts nearly 10,000 delegates to its annual convention over the Fourth of July weekend. The NEA’s 3 million members include most of the nation’s public school teachers, who fund its half-billion dollar budget with their mandatory union dues.
NEA convention resolutions typically recycle every liberal buzzword you can think of: diversity, inclusion, sexual orientation, pluralism, stereotypes, reproductive freedom, racism, sexism, homophobia, equity, multiculturalism, undocumented immigrants, and global interdependency. At this year’s convention in Orlando, several propaganda terms appeared for the first time: marriage equality, gender identity, and institutional racism.
Until this year, the NEA had refrained from explicitly endorsing same-sex marriage, although it was on record in favor of equal benefits for domestic partners, repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, and other tenets of the gay-rights agenda. In 2008, the NEA’s California affiliate donated $1.3 million of teachers’ dues money to the campaign against Proposition 8, which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
Prop 8 nevertheless passed by a 600,000-vote margin, largely due to ads warning parents that schools would soon begin teaching first- and second-graders that boys can marry boys and girls can marry girls. Teachers complained about the ads when they were aired in 2008, but this year’s convention declared that teachers should tolerate no dissent from so-called marriage equality, even for sincere religious reasons.
The teachers union adopted this New Business Item A: “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.”
Religious Freedom Restoration Acts offer a way for Christians to live their religious beliefs without being sued for not providing their services or facilities to gay marriage ceremonies. The Christian belief that marriage is an institution blessed by God to unite a man and a woman is just a “license to discriminate,” according to official NEA policy.
When the gay marriage case was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this year, the U.S. Solicitor General was asked whether even private religious schools would have to change their teaching if the Supreme Court changed the public definition of marriage. General Verrilli replied with the chilling non-answer, “It’s going to be an issue.”
Not content with the redefinition of marriage, the NEA moved right along to endorse the “transgender” agenda for the nation’s public schools. In New Business Item 30, the NEA says schools must provide “transgender student and staff access to facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the employee’s or pupil’s records.”
The trans nonsense doesn’t stop there. According to the NEA’s New Business Items 45 and 74, schools must allow students to dress in the gender of their choice, and should not require students to “obtain a court-ordered name and/or gender change as a prerequisite to being addressed by the name and pronoun that corresponds to their gender identity.”
New Business Item B, considered so important that it was introduced by the NEA Board of Directors and passed unanimously at the Orlando convention, declares that “we acknowledge the existence in our country of institutional racism” which “manifests itself in our schools.” Since the existence of institutional racism is not open to debate, the delegates called for “partnering” with like-minded groups, “particularly in areas of cultural competence, diversity, and social justice in order to address institutional racism.”
This is what Dinesh D’Souza calls “the shame narrative” of American history, famously advocated by the bestselling leftwing historian Howard Zinn, which presents American history as a cavalcade of oppression by the white Europeans who stole the country from Indians, Africans and Mexicans. Is that what you want your children and grandchildren to be taught?
Every presidential candidate has (or will soon have) a position paper on how best to reform public education, and both houses of Congress have passed bills to rewrite the law that provides federal aid to schools with strings attached. All these reform ideas depend on teachers to implement them in the classroom, but most teachers pay dues to a union whose policies are diametrically opposed to what parents and the public want children to learn.
There can be no positive change in America’s public schools as long as teachers unions have the power to collect mandatory dues from school employees whose salaries are paid by the taxpayers. The National Education Association must return to what it was for the first 100 years of its existence: a purely voluntary association of individual teachers who willingly choose to support the organization with voluntary contributions.
Remove Planned Parenthood from Schools
by Steve Gunn, EAGnews.com — July 17, 2015
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading abortion provider, is also the leading provider of K-12 sex education in public schools. Students are reminded of their legal right to an abortion, and how and where to obtain one.
As the organization itself boasts on its website, “Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of comprehensive sex education in our communities. Each year, Planned Parenthood affiliates reach 1.5 million young people and parents with effective sex education and outreach in programs run by professional educators and youth peer educators.”
But now, following the stunning admission by a top Planned Parenthood official that the organization harvests and sells the organs of aborted fetuses, critics are calling on lawmakers and school officials to ban it from the classroom.
“Planned Parenthood is in the abortion business and doesn’t care about our daughters’ best interests,” said Karen England, executive director of the Capitol Resource Institute. “We’ve known for a long time they encourage abortion and sell body parts.”
Valerie Huber, president of the National Abstinence Education Association, says her organization has always opposed Planned Parenthood’s presence in public schools. “Any group that normalizes or encourages teen sexual activity should not have access to students,” Huber said. School Board Votes to Teach ‘Gender Identity’
by CNSnews.com — July 2, 2015
The Fairfax County School Board, in the Virginia suburbs outside Washington, D.C., voted on June 25 to adopt the controversial new Family Life Education Curriculum. The meeting was crowded with angry parents, many of whom spoke out against the sudden changes.
After learning to define heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and gender identity in seventh grade, students in eighth grade will delve deeper into “individual identity.”
The eighth grade curriculum says individual identity will be described “as having four parts — biological gender, gender identity (includes transgender), gender role, and sexual orientation (includes heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual).”
In ninth grade, students will be taught that “sexuality evolves from infancy to old age.” By tenth grade, “Sexual orientation and gender identity terms will be discussed with focus on appreciation for individual differences.”
The school board passed the changes to the curriculum to angry cries from those gathered. The vote was 10-2. The board disregarded motions to postpone the vote so that board members and parents would have more time to consider the proposed changes.
In addition to their concerns about the changes to the sex-ed curriculum, parents voiced objections to the school board moving controversial items from the Family Life and Education Curriculum to the mandatory Health Curriculum, which would prevent parents from opting out. The board compromised on that issue by voting to move some of the curriculum objectives back to the FLE curriculum.
How One Public School Defines ‘Family’
As seen on Twitter — July 7, 2015
Some New Business Items at the NEA’s
2015 Convention in Orlando, Florida
NBI 30. NEA will use existing media to educate members regarding transgender student and staff access to facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the employee’s or pupil’s records.
NBI 31. NEA will include on the NEA website and other appropriate communications, an array of resources and services to help schools create gender inclusive spaces for all our youth that are provided by organizations such as Gender Spectrum (www.genderspectrum.org) and the Trans Youth Equality Foundation (www.transyouthequality.org)
NBI 42. 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.
NBI 45. NEA will let state affiliates and members know, through appropriate communication, that school employees will allow transgender or gender nonconforming students the ability to let educators and support staff know how they want to be addressed and know these students are not required to change their official records or obtain a court-ordered name and/or gender change as a prerequisite to being addressed by the name and pronoun that corresponds to their gender identity.
NBI 74. NEA will send a letter electronically to all its state and local affiliates about the problem with school dress codes that restrict a students’ right to dress in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity and/or gender expression and recommend that schools adopt dress codes that are gender neutral.
NBI 86. NEA will disseminate to educators through existing publications current information regarding the methods and damaging effects of anti-gay “conversion/reparative therapies”.
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.
NBI A. 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.
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. 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 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.
NBI B. We, the members of the National Education Association, acknowledge the existence in our country of institutional racism — the societal patterns and practices that have the net effect of imposing oppressive conditions and denying rights, opportunity, and equality based upon race. This inequity manifests itself in our schools and in the conditions our students face in their communities. In order to address institutional racism, the National Education Association shall lead by:
- spotlighting systemic patterns of inequity–racism and educational injustice–that impact our students; and
- taking action to enhance access and opportunity for our students.
NEA will use our collective voice to bring to light and demand change to policies, programs, and practices that condone or ignore unequal treatment and hinder student success by:
- Providing technical assistance to state, local, and national affiliates to dialogue internally and with the external community and develop plans of action to address institutional racism.
- Partnering with a broad coalition of national stakeholders on campaigns and actions to eradicate policies that perpetuate institutional racism in education.
- Partnering on campaigns and actions on critical social justice issues impacting students and their communities.
- Convening high school students and young people to gather their perspectives to inform our work and the work of others (education stakeholders, policymakers, etc.).
- Expanding the work of the Association on issues of institutional racism, including redirecting existing resources and providing grants to affiliates to lead and partner with us on site based projects, such as:
- programs aimed at improving school climate and culture, particularly ending the school to prison pipeline
- supporting campaigns to expand the development and implementation of community schools
- expanding local affiliate-school district partnerships that expand educator-led professional development, particularly in areas of cultural competence, diversity, and social justice in order to address institutional racism
Some NEA Resolutions Passed at the
2015 Convention in Orlando, Florida
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.
A-34. Federally or State-Mandated Choice/Parental Option Plans. The Association opposes 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. These programs must be available to all children on an equal basis and should include mandatory kindergarten with compulsory attendance.
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-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-52. Sex Education. The Association recognizes that the public school must assume an increasingly important role in providing the instruction. The Association also believes that it is the right of every individual to live in an environment of freely available information and knowledge about sexuality.
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. The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools.
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 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.
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.
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.
I-1. Peace and International Relations. The Association believes that the United Nations furthers world peace and promotes the rights of all people by preventing war, racism, and genocide.
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-22. Immigration. The Association opposes any immigration policy that denies educational opportunities to immigrants and their children regardless of their immigration 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-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-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.
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.