The president of the National Education Association had a lot to say about social justice at its annual meeting this week, and virtually nothing to say about academics.
Becky Pringle, president of the 3-million-member union, accused Florida – the assembly’s location – of being “Ground Zero for shameful, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, xenophobic rhetoric.”
She also called the Supreme Court “extremist” and “out-of-touch.”
“These are not culture wars raging across this nation. These are wars on our freedoms,” she said. “At their very core, these wars are an assault on our rights as humans: our right to have and participate in a civil society; our right to live and learn and be.”
Pringle explicitly addressed LGBT rights, reproductive rights, voting rights, affirmative action and social justice.
Not once in her 30-minute speech did she mention reading, math, literacy, test scores or parents.
Instead of talking about education, Pringle highlighted “education justice,” the concept that schools should have an “equitable” distribution of “highly qualified teachers” to ensure “equitable access to education resources . . . and a focus on restorative justice.”
“We must – and we will – consistently improve our professional rights and strengthen our practice in ways that center education justice,” Pringle said.
However, statistics show the NEA and many of its counterparts spend more money lobbying for Democratic politicians than actually helping their own members.
In the 2022 midterms, NEA and the American Federation of Teachers – the nation’s second-largest teachers’ union – collectively donated $1.3 million to Democrats and just $2,500 to Republicans.
Millions more were given to other political organizations. An analysis of NEA’s 2020-21 budget even shows the union spent twice as much money on political activities as it spent on member representation.
President Joe Biden came to the convention to give his own remarks on the 4th of July, speaking about gun violence and so-called book banning, but – as Pringle – failed to address the vital role of parents in children’s upbringing.
“Children are the kite strings . . . they’re all our children,” Biden told the teachers’ union. “[They] are the kite strings that lift our national ambitions aloft, and you hold those strings. You hold those strings.”
As parents nationwide become more concerned with what their children are taught in school, many teachers and education officials have tried to shut out parents altogether. Thousands of schools have implemented policies that leave parents in the dark about their children’s gender identity, and some won’t allow parents to opt their child out of LGBT lessons.
The NEA included on its recommended summer reading list Gender Queer, a book that portrays oral sex and masturbation, and White Fragility, which claims white Americans use anger, shame and guilt to perpetuate racism.
The Secretary of Education even labeled parents “domestic terrorists” for protesting at public school board meetings.
And states such as California are starting to pass laws that could revoke parents’ custody of their children simply for not affirming transgenderism with invasive and life-altering treatments.
Parents nationwide are pushing back, with people of many religions and even members of the LGBT community pushing back against liberal ideologies being foisted in public schools.
One of the most notable parent groups, Moms for Liberty, was founded just two years ago but already has 120,000 members in 45 states.
Moms for Liberty also held a convention in the past week, with speakers such as former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
“[Moms for Liberty] is right,” tweeted Haley. “We don’t co-parent with the government!”