Inside the ‘social justice’ agenda at the teachers’ union conference
Jhe annual meeting of the nation’s largest teachers’ union included votes calling for universal mask and vaccine mandates, as well as new commitments to advance racial equity in the classroom.
Held this week in Chicago, the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly annual meeting for its 6,000 delegates featured speeches from Vice President Kamala Harris and a remote address from President Joe Biden.
The union assembly agenda contains numerous votes calling for the union to adopt a series of progressive and liberal positions, including a measure calling for “support for a national policy of mandatory mask wearing and COVID vaccines in workplaces. schools”.
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“More than 67% of the United States live in areas with medium or high community levels of COVID-19, according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky,” the metric reads. “Mandatory masking, vaccines and access to virtual education are necessary policy measures to reduce the danger of COVID.”
Other items on the agenda included votes denouncing last month’s Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe vs. Wade while calling for the expansion of the court, the abolition of the filibuster of the Senate and the removal of “judges who went against their testimony under oath not to annul Roe v. Wade.”
“The three Trump-appointed Supreme Court justices constitute a far-right coup in the nation’s highest court,” the measure reads. “The new civil rights movement must defeat these attacks by organizing mass actions to defend women and all Americans against this attack.”
The agenda items were shared on Twitter by Terry Stoops, director of the Center for Effective Education at the John Locke Foundation, based in North Carolina.
In a statement to Washington Examiner, Stoops said it was “not surprising that the NEA tried to hide its meeting documents”, noting that “they contain very little about how to overcome the learning loss suffered by children attending schools that have adhered to masking and reopening recommendations championed by NEA leaders during the pandemic.”
“NEA leaders say they remain focused on the needs of public school children and educators,” Stoops said. “Instead, the meeting documents show that the NEA is nothing more than a pathetic assemblage of social justice warriors struggling to be relevant in an era of unprecedented parental empowerment.”
While it’s unclear which of the many provisions were passed by the NEA assembly, the union issued a press release on Monday touting its endorsement of a new policy aimed at “ensuring schools that are safe, fair and fair” and warning that the presence of law enforcement in schools has contributed to excessive surveillance of students, Education week
In a press release, the union said the NEA will “embrace a restorative justice philosophy to create a school climate that rejects the criminalization and policing of students” and will “provide training and support for teaching culturally competent”.
“Cultural competence,” when used in educational contexts, is a term that has sometimes been linked to critical race theory, an academic theory that posits that American institutions and culture are systematically racist and must be dismantled by anti-racism.
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In the press release, NEA President Becky Pringle said the adoption of the policy “solidifies the Association’s vision that schools are thriving, safe and welcoming spaces for all students, without discrimination against any”.
“The new policy also responds to the present moment and the challenges facing our students, educators and communities,” Pringle said. “It serves as our North Star for realizing our vision of safe, fair, and equitable public schools by prescribing ways in which students and educators can thrive and removing barriers and policies that harm students and impede their success.” »
The AEN did not respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.