The Latest In Teacher Union Ugly

Published July 20, 2023
NEA Becky Pringle

This year’s NEA convention left no doubt as to what the teachers unions are really about.

Earlier this month, the National Education Association held its yearly “Representative Assembly” in Orlando, FL. A visitor from another planet might think that a gathering of teachers would find them concentrating on the tragic learning loss caused by the devastating COVID-related shutdowns, the shockingly high rates of violence against teachers, or ways to improve the profession.

Hardly. This year’s theme centered around the “freedom to learn.” No, not learn the ABCs, but rather the debauched material that has become all the rage in public schools in recent years. And, of course, Florida and its feisty governor, Ron DeSantis, were the focal points of much of the unionistas’ scorn and outrage.

According to the NEA, the mood at the convention was “sober, but also defiant.” But at least one person was not at all sober. “You look magnificent!” shrieked NEA President Becky Pringle at a rally of teachers waving signs and rainbow flags. “Florida is our ground zero for shameful, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, xenophobic rhetoric and dangerous actions. You are showing what it means to fight against out-of-touch politicians like Ron DeSantis.”

As shown by this year’s New Business Items (messages of concern from the hoi-polloi to the NEA aristocracy), the union faithful were certainly in sync with Pringle. For instance, NBI 4 asserts, “The NEA will inform states and locals of the following sample language that may be put in contracts and policies that is LGBTQIA+ inclusive. The language will be as follows: ‘Parental leave’ instead of ‘maternity leave,’ ‘parent’ instead of ‘mother’ or ‘father,’ ‘birthing parent’ instead of ‘mother’ or ‘father,’ and ‘non-birthing parent’ instead of ‘mother’ or ‘father.’”

NBI 88 wants the NEA to declare a national educator day of action whose purpose is to rally – among other things – to “protect LGBTQIA+ students and educators including the right to gender affirming care…and stop book bans.”

And speaking of “banned” books, the union’s “Great Summer Reads for Educators” includes kiddie porn like Gender Queer, which graphically depicts young people indulging in various kinds of sex. (It’s interesting that this “banned book” is on a reading list for teachers, and the book is available on Amazon and in local public libraries. The union’s snit is over the fact that Florida does not want the book in school libraries – just as Playboy and Penthouse do not grace their shelves.)

Another book on the NEA’s suggested reading list is Ready Player One, which has explicit descriptions of blow-up sex dolls, online brothels, and masturbation.

While sex is featured in many of the selections, other over-the-edge books are on the list. Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism is suggested reading.

As a rejoinder to Gov. DeSantis’“Don’t Say Gay” law, some of the true-believing teachers wore t-shirts emblazoned with “Say Gay.” The fact that the word “gay” or “homosexual” never appears in the text of the Florida legislation doesn’t much matter to any of the gender-crazed social engineering teachers. What the law’s detractors also fail to acknowledge is that the word “parent” or “parental” gets 39 mentions. The law only mentions the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” twice.

One “it would be funny if it weren’t so sad” moment at the NEA shindig occurred outside the building.