BREAKING: Union tells teachers they “cannot be disciplined”, do not have to reply to parents’ emails for teaching CRT in K-12 classrooms
The largest labor union in Washington state, the Washington Education Association (WEA), is also one of the biggest forces for transforming taxpayer-funded government schools into indoctrination and recruitment centers for leftist activism. In August, the Freedom Foundation documented how the National Education Association (NEA) — the nation’s largest teachers’ union — had gone all-in backing Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a way to advance a far-left political agenda under the guise of fighting racism. A review of WEA’s statements and materials confirms that the NEA affiliate is every bit as invested in CRT as the Washington, D.C., headquarters. WEA vs. parents In August, WEA published a resource for its members alliteratively titled, “Teaching Truth: Tips for Teachers in a Tumultuous Time.” The document made it clear WEA views concerned parents as ideological opponents to be resisted, not listened to. Teachers are assured that they are “protected” and “cannot be disciplined”for teaching district “prescribed curricula,” which they have “broad leeway” to implement, “whether that’s by choosing which books to read or by selecting which units on which to spend more or less time.” The only limitation acknowledged by the union is that “[e]ducators should not teach curricula that are explicitly prohibited by their administration.” WEA advises teachers they “do not have to reply” to parents’ emails “asking questions about what exactly we are teaching regarding equity, anti-racism, LGBTQ inclusion, sexual health education, and more.” And if a teacher feels “threatened by activists,” WEA encourages them to report it to school administration “and to the police” — a rather ironic position for a union that has endorsed removing police from schools and other anti-law enforcement positions. The WEA document also defends the display of BLM flags in classrooms as “appropriate, and indeed needed” and endorses inaccurate and anti-Americanhistory curricula like The 1619 Project. Unfortunately, the resource is just the latest in a long line of examples proving WEA’s complete allegiance to CRT. Some WEA subgroups and local affiliates have gone even further in their radicalism. In 2019, the Seattle Education Association (SEA) — the WEA’s largest local affiliate — denounced the “racist history and influence on Dr. Seuss’ career” and called for the use of more “diverse books and activities” in the annual “Read Across America” program. And in 2020, SEA demanded the Seattle School District “immediately divest all funds, contracts, relationship, and outreach to the Seattle Police Department” and, in the name of “educational justice,” use the money to “hire counselors, social workers, family support workers, student family advocates, restorative justice educators, educators of gender and sexuality curriculum, ethnic studies educators and curriculum, and social support relief positions…” But that was nothing compared to the statement released by the “white allies” of the WEA-affiliated Rainier Educators of Color Network after the tragic death of George Floyd. While the statement painted a picture of inescapable racism and white supremacy, more noteworthy was the gratuitous self-flagellation and extreme Marxism it endorsed. The “white allies” signing the statement proclaimed: · “[A]s white people steeped in a culture of White Supremacy, we too have been complicit in implementation of racist policies in our public schools.” · “Our own racist stories include engaging in blatant overt racism and implicit bias, and we own our actions and inactions. We will tell our own racist stories to model for our White Allies to join us.” · “We all fall somewhere on the continuum of racism and that we have work to do to become abolitionist educators and anti-racists.” · “Our own teaching, textbooks, classroom libraries, curriculum and discipline methods - have added to creating a racist society that has led us to this horrific, yet transformative opportunity.” · “[W]ealth inequality is inherently racist stemming from our nation’s founding…” To absolve these transgressions, the statement demanded that, among other things, school officials: · “Defund the police in schools” and “[f]und counselors not cops”; · End all standardized testing; · End traditional discipline of BIPoC (black, indigenous, people of color) students except in cases of “extreme violence”; · Ensure educators “contributing to Anti-Racist work are no longer bullied and intimidated by district and administrators to maintain White Supremacy”; · Mandate that “all white staff working in our schools” receive “anti-racism training approved by our BIPoC educators”; and, · “[Decolonize and humanize] all district curriculum across all subjects” and “[m]andate black history and ethnic studies in K-12 curriculum.” The lines have been drawn While a great many teachers disapprove of CRT, unions like the WEA and NEA have fully embraced racial Marxism and, increasingly, old-fashioned economic Marxism. This ideology denies individuality and objective truth, and views America’s founding values and constitutional government as obstacles to be subverted on the road to utopia. The unfortunate reality is that unions believe parents and families concerned about this radical world view being forced on their children in taxpayer-funded government schools should be fought, silenced and ignored. There are no easy solutions. Hearts and minds need to be changed through winsome public discourse, but more is required. Activist parents getting involved in local schools, speaking out at school board meetings and organizing other parents to do the same is necessary, but not sufficient. To be successful in the long term, CRT opponents must do battle with, and defeat, the teachers’ unions.