Parents who wonder why the public schools teach so many things parents don't approve of need look no further than the official policies of the nation's largest teachers union, the National Education Association. Meeting in Orlando, Fla., this year in annual convention over the Fourth of July weekend, the NEA adopted a long series of left-liberal resolutions.
Word leaked out several weeks ahead of time that the convention was ready to take the plunge and endorse same-sex marriage. That would be no surprise, because the NEA usually passes at least a dozen resolutions promoting the gay rights agenda.
Apparently, the advance negative publicity had a salutary effect and, although already circulated, the same-sex resolution did not come to the floor for action. A compromise resolution, however, was easily adopted as part of resolution B-10 on Racism, Sexism, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identification Discrimination.
It reads as follows: "The Association also believes that these factors should not affect the legal rights and obligations of the partners in a legally recognized domestic partnership, civil union, or marriage in regard to matters involving the other partner, such as medical decisions, taxes, inheritance, adoption, and immigration." "Factors" refers to "race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification, disability, ethnicity, immigration status, occupation, and religion."
Other NEA resolutions promote the gay rights agenda in public school curricula by demanding funds to alleviate "sexual orientation discrimination," to use multicultural education to reduce "homophobia," and even to put "diversity-based curricula" and "bias-free screening devices in early childhood education." Another resolution demands that schools hire "a diverse teaching staff."
But the NEA certainly doesn't believe in diversity when it comes to schools. The NEA is positively paranoid about any kind of competition, passing resolutions against voucher plans, tuition tax credits, parental option or choice plans, sectarian schools, for-profit schools, distance learning, and home schooling.
The NEA beefed up its anti-home-school resolutions this year by demanding that home-schooled students "meet all state curricular requirements," and that they not be permitted to participate in any public school extracurricular activities. The NEA even opposes renting or selling empty public school buildings to any non-public school.
NEA resolutions again endorse the principal goals of the feminist agenda, including abortion, the Equal Rights Amendment, Comparable Worth, non-sexist language, and a federally funded women's commission to pursue feminist goals at taxpayers' expense. The NEA also supports "community-operated, school-based family planning clinics that will provide intensive counseling," which is a thinly veiled welcome to Planned Parenthood to put its clinics in schools.
The NEA Women's Caucus is taking on a battle to oppose the Bush administration's modest change in the enforcement of Title IX, which allows colleges to survey women about their interest in sports. The NEA feminists don't want surveys because they know that surveys will confirm that fewer women are interested in playing competitive college sports than men, and the survey results would interfere with their ruthless abolition of hundreds of men's athletic teams.
The NEA is determined to get control of children at the earliest possible age. One resolution calls for public school programs for children "from birth through age 8," another calls for pre-kindergarten for "all 3- and 4-year-old children," and still another demands "mandatory kindergarten with compulsory attendance."
The anti-parent animus of the NEA is apparent in its insistence that the public schools be in the driver's seat about the teaching of sex. Claiming that every child has the right to "freely available information and knowledge about sexuality," the NEA demands the right to teach children about diversity of sexual orientation and gender identification, incest, and homophobia.
The NEA is a big supporter of every sort of globalism and international commitment. NEA resolutions endorse global education, multicultural education, the United Nations, the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the globalist version of environmental education, and opposition to English as our official language.
Other NEA resolutions that have nothing to do with education include calling for national health care and statehood for the District of Columbia. To nobody's surprise, the NEA opposes any requirement that a school schedule a moment of silence.
After reading the NEA resolutions and policies, parents should reflect on last year's decision of the U.S 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Fields v. Palmdale School District. The court ruled that parents' fundamental right to control the upbringing of their children "does not extend beyond the threshold of the school door," and that a public school has the right to provide its students with "whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual or otherwise."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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