Nation’s Largest Teachers’ Union Vows to Embrace Radical LGBTQ Agenda in Government Schools

Delegates at the National Education Association’s (NEA) annual representative assembly in Orlando, Florida, passed a measure this week that pledges the union will organize against what it perceives as anti-LGBTQ legislation and so-called “book banning,” as it also bolsters protections for LGBTQ teachers.

The measure addresses “the prevalence of discrimination and violence targeted” at LGBTQ individuals, reported Education Week, and includes “mobilizing against legislative attacks, providing professional development on LGBTQ+ issues for educators, and strengthening contract protections for LGBTQ+ educators.”

The report noted that the new business item will cost NEA more than $580,000 – the most expensive measure voted on during the assembly.

“Educators Rally for Freedom to Learn,” read the headline of an article Wednesday on the NEA news site. “A growing chorus of diverse voices demand politicians stop banning books and politicizing public education.”

The union reported that “several thousands of educators” gathered at its annual meeting in Florida, where it specifically intended to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) Parental Rights in Education law that now prohibits classroom instruction in sexual orientation and gender identity in all K-12 grades.

During its “Freedom to Learn” rally, NEA emphasized the Left’s narrative that such parental rights measures are an “attack on students.”

The NEA news piece claimed:

In just the past year, politicians like DeSantis have recklessly banned books about Martin Luther King Jr. and Anne Frank, attempted to erase and dehumanize the LGBTQ+ community, blocked students from learning AP African American Studies and restricted the freedom of educators to teach and of students to learn. Meanwhile, they fail to address the real problems that students face, including gun violence and a shortage of educators.

“We will show this governor, and other dictators, that they can’t take us back to the 1950s!” vowed Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar, according to the article. “We will move forward!”

As Education Week reported, the teachers wore shirts with the phrase “Don’t Say Gay,” representing the Left’s smear of Florida’s parental rights legislation.

Among the “demands” made by the union were “a life free of hate, harassment, and harm for the LGBTQ+ community—specifically, our transgender girls and boys; women and men.”

“NEA! With your passion and your power, I know that we will mobilize and organize like never before—for the babies of today, and tomorrow, we must—and we will—win this battle!” NEA President Becky Pringle said, targeting DeSantis and other Republicans:

We will not allow Ron DeSantis—or any other politician—to destroy our public schools for their own political gain. We will continue to remind him—and everyone who stands against us—that our students do not need protection from drag queens. What they need is protection from gun violence. Every student deserves the freedom to read books that teach them the history, beauty, and diversity of their world.

NEA’s embrace of the radical LGBTQ and Critical Race Theory (CRT) agenda pervading government schools is underscored by its recently published list of “summer reading” books for teachers, including White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, which, the union asserts, “explores why White people are so bad at talking about racism,” and Gender Queer by Maira Kobabe, “about identifying outside the gender binary,” a description that glosses over the book’s pornographic content.

Images of Gender Queer are available on the website of Mass Resistance.

In May, Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Jay P. Greene, Ph.D., observed that the book-banning narrative of the radical left is “false.”

PEN America, which advocates for poets, essayists, and novelists, Greene noted, claimed 2,532 books were eliminated from schools during the 2021-2022 academic year:

We know this is false because we examined online card catalogues and found that 74% of the books PEN America identified as banned from school libraries are actually listed as available in the catalogues of those school districts. In many cases we could see that copies of those books are currently checked out and in use by students.

PEN America declared classics such as Anne Frank’s Diary, Brave New World, Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men, and others were all banned.

“In every school district in which PEN America alleges those books were banned, we found copies listed as available in the online card catalogue,” Greene wrote and then addressed the issue of books with sexually explicit material that is inappropriate for children:

[M]any of the books we were unable to find in card catalogues were works that would strike most reasonable people as unlikely to be age-appropriate for school libraries. Works like “Gender Queer,” “Flamer,” “Lawn Boy,” “Fun Home,” and “It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health” either contain images of people engaged in sex acts or graphic descriptions of those acts.

“People who don’t want these books available to children in school libraries aren’t book banners,” Greene asserted. “And people unwilling to defer to the unilateral authority of teachers and librarians to decide what children should have access to without democratic oversight or parental input are not fascists.”

In comments to The Star News Network, JC Bowman, executive director of Professional Educators of Tennessee, a non-partisan teacher association based in Nashville, noted that Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in 1947:

Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the truth from the false, the real from the unreal and the facts from fiction.

“King’s words remain relevant today,” Bowman said, noting the civil rights leader added, “Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.”

“Our organization, Professional Educators of Tennessee, has a legislative program that aligns with the values and priorities of classroom educators,” Bowman explained. “Our advocacy efforts are focused on Tennessee education, not expansive national social issues.”

Bowman observed the damage done to many teachers by national unions embracing a radical agenda:

Most educators in Tennessee simply focus on the education of children they serve, not social issues being driven by teacher unions and outside organizations. The teachers’ union agenda hurts those in the trenches doing the real work in classrooms across our state and nation.

“A brighter future starts with quality education and giving children everywhere the tools and support they need to find success in school and in life,” Bowman said. “Parent involvement is critical.”

“Parents and/or guardians must have an active role in their children’s education,” he asserted. “It is the responsibility of the parent to provide guidance and advice on social issues. When parents are involved in their children’s education, the children are more likely to perform better in school and in life.”

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “NEA Members” by NEA Today.




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