Parents are on the warpath about the way 63,000 public schools are now starting their fall term in August, some even in hot July. Thousands of parents have organized Save Our Summers campaigns, and protests in Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Florida have hit the national media.
I wish them well with their demands for schools to return to their traditional post-Labor Day opening. But I also wish those parents would show as much concern about what is being taught in the classroom.
The largest teachers union, the National Education Association, held its annual convention this summer in Los Angeles displaying its usual favoritism toward gays and feminists, hostility to parents, and support of liberal causes.
Badges worn by delegates included messages bashing President Bush and supporting gays and lesbians. There is a Conservative Educators Caucus within the NEA membership, but all its proposals were buried in committee except one on academic freedom, which delegates voted to send back to committee without allowing floor debate.
The NEA convention handed a big victory to its large Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus by easily passing its proposal calling on the NEA to "develop a comprehensive strategy" to deal with the attacks on gay curricula, policies and practices by what the NEA calls "extremist groups" (that's the NEA's term for parents). A delegate who asked for respect for ex-gays was loudly booed, while delegates cheered the speaker who pronounced that there is no such person as an ex-gay.
Resolutions passed by the NEA convention that have nothing to do with education included a call to boycott Wal-Mart, statehood for the District of Columbia, affirmative action, opposition to private accounts in Social Security, opposition to capital punishment, gun control, "single-payer health care" (i.e., government medicine), and endorsement of the International Criminal Court and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights.
NEA resolutions pertaining to education called for the teaching of global, multicultural, suicide, environmental and bilingual education. Somehow, resolutions about the need for improvement in the teaching of phonics or basic math didn't make the cut.
NEA resolutions endorsed all feminist goals, including abortion, comparable worth, the Equal Rights Amendment and taking over the baby-sitting of children "from birth through age 8." The gay lobby's influence extends even over these infants, whom the NEA wants to provide with "diversity-based curricula" and "bias-free screening devices."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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