The National Education Association (NEA) is led by Becky Pringle, and has 3 million member "educators and allies to advancing justice and excellence in public education." It is the nations largest labor union bar none, and has members spread across every single state and 14,000 communities. The NEA's 161st annual meeting took place in Orlando July 2-6.
The new, LGBTQ-centric adopted amendment was adopted at a meeting earlier this month, and the price tag for all the extra resources and implementation will be $583,400. Documents reviewed by The Post Millennial from the NEA's Representative Assembly show that the new measure will further entrench groups like the trans-focused Human Rights Campaign, the trans-teen-focused Trevor Project, and the global trans education organization GLSEN into curriculum and policy.
Cover of the NEA RA newspaper
The premise, per the documents, read that "NEA acknowledges the prevalence of discrimination and violence targeted at people who are perceived or who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and intersex (LGBTQ+) resulting from anti-LGBTQ+ bias."
It is unclear what discrimination or violence they are talking about, as the Pride movement has upwards of 20 days or weeks each year dedicated to furthering their mission, along with a Pride month. In addition to the wildly popular Pride month, which is celebrated by the White House, state governments, and nearly every corporate entity in America. The newly minted Trans Day of Visibility also gains national attention from the White House, with the president releasing a video telling parents to "affirm your kids."
The ongoing narrative, however, that people who identify outside of heteronormativity are oppressed is prevalent. Nearly 40% of students at Brown University now identify as LGBTQ. Some 4000% more girls identify as trans now than did in 2019. A record number, 7.2%, of adults now identify as LGBTQ. As the numbers and rhetoric increase, as the string of identifying letters continues to lengthen and include more and more divergent identifiers, it's hard to believe this is an oppressed group.
What the NEA means when they say "discrimination" are likely the bills passed in some 20 states across the US that say school bathrooms should remain single sex, that boys should not play on girls' sports teams, that children should not be catered to with sexualized performances like Drag Queen Story Time, and that children and teens should not be given medical gender transition such as puberty blockers, cross sex hormones, and surgeries in service to permanently appearing and presenting as the opposite sex. These processes routinely result in complications and infertility. The NEA encouraged members to ignore Florida's Parental Rights in Education Bill and to continue to keep students' gender identities secret from their parents.
The NEA's plan is to ensure that the "2024 political strategy to defend public education and advance the vision and values of the National Education Association includes the promotion and defense of the rights and dignity of LGBTQ+ people. This will include consideration in NEA Fund recommendations, campaign training and organizing, and message guidance."
The NEA serves as a lobbying group, funds political campaigns, advocates for special interests at the highest level of government, and has the full and complete backing of President Joe Biden and his wife, teacher Jill Biden. The NEA is an IRS-designated charity with nearly $400 million in annual revenue, per 2020 records. 97% of their financial support in political contexts goes to Democrat groups and candidates.
"In partnership with other organizations, updating guidance and training for member and partner mobilization that presents a LGBTQ+ narrative and confronts and combats anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and rhetoric, especially at the local school board level," they write as part of the plan.
These other organizations likely include the existing partners, such as the Trevor Project, GLSEN which distributes gender identity curriculum globally as well as domestically, and the Human Rights Campaign, a not-for-profit that was dedicated to legalizing same-sex marriage and then pivoted to trans activism as soon as the Supreme Court passed the Obergefell decision.
The NEA plans to partner with environmental health, safety and energy (ehse) organizations to bring more LGBTQ curriculum to schools, saying that they will team up to commence "updating, distributing, and facilitating programs aimed at improving school climate and culture, particularly addressing LGBTQ+ youth homelessness, suicide, and the need for access to gender-affirming care, and include specific LGBTQ+ cultural competency training for NEA and UniServ staff in those program."
The next tenet includes "creating or updating grant opportunities for educator-led professional development, particularly in areas of using pronouns, how to support transitioning students, LGBTQ+ inclusive practices and policies, etc."
The largest teachers union in the country, with the full backing of the White House, intends to create plans to compel teachers to use students' preferred pronouns and to help students undergo gender transition. "Support" in this context means "facilitate," while "inclusive practices and policies" means forced compliance with the LGBTQ activist agenda. No dissent will be tolerated.
The group already announced a plan at their annual meeting in 2022 to erase the words mother and father and replace them with "birthing parent" or "non-birthing parent." This was meant to appease women and men who would prefer to be viewed as men and women.
The NEA also states that it is their responsibility to add requirements to their "bargaining guidance around LGBTQ+ issues, including access to gender-affirming care, and circulating to state and local affiliates." This is a huge step outside education and into the realm of advocating for experimental medical services, and encouraing local leaders to also advocate for access to these services.
Going outside of the dictates of education is a huge part of what the NEA, a dues collecting organization, feels is their mandate. They believe that they should work toward "Identifying and assisting state affiliates facing anti-LGBTQ+ initiatives, and provide resources for responding to those initiatives, including guidance on civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ students and staff."
An additional business item that is still up for review "will encourage and provide guidance to locals in organizing response demonstrations, pickets, and other actions to defend LGBTQ+ youth events, and Drag Queen Story Hour programs from far right and fascist attempts to shut them down."
The reason behind this, state the 50 delegates who submitted the item, is that: "Across the country, Trump supporters, including hard-line fascist thugs, are attempting to shut down Drag Queen Storytime events and force school boards to abandon LGBTQ+ pride curriculum and policies. The NEA must organize actions to stop these attacks." Trump supporters, apparently, who disagree with sexualized story times for kids, are the real enemy according to America's teachers.
This amendment was brought for consideration by Adarene Hoag, an elementary special education resource teacher in the Oakland Unified School District who said in her bio that she "is proud to be striking in Oakland." She states that the NEA "needs a leadership committed to growing the global strike wave to lift our communities, especially black, Latina/o/x and other minority, working class, and immigrant communities, out of wage stagnation, austerity, and deteriorating working conditions."
It is in her capacity as an activist, and not an educator, that she seeks to engender the spirit of protest in other educators so that they, too, back sexualized story readings for children where they can learn about having been born in the wrong body. The founders of Drag Queen Story Time claimed that the undertaking was the intentional "queering" of early childhood education.
"Drag," writes authors Harper Keenan and Lil Miss Hot Mess, "is firmly rooted in play as a site of queer pleasure, resistance, and self-fashioning." The point of Drag Queen Story Hour is to encourage little kids to "live queerly." This is what the National Education Association, backed by the White House, thinks is of primary importance.
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