I’ve been a public high school teacher for almost two
decades, and other than a handful of years right out of college, I have chosen
not to be a member of the local teachers’ association. This has been more difficult of a choice for
me than one might believe, considering my politics have changed little over the
course of my life. Typically
conservatives are skeptical of the mentality and operations of unions, after
But in my experience, the colleagues I have the privilege of
working with are – almost without exception – truly and legitimately interested
in the betterment of our school corporation.
I know that about them because I know them, I have relationships with
them, I trust them, love them, learn from them, and respect their motivations
and efforts. There is nothing I want
more than to be professionally associated with them.
But just like my conscience prevented me from casting a vote
for the presidential nominee of the party I associate with in 2016, my
conscience continues preventing me from joining and contributing my money and
efforts to a group of professionals I associate with every day. The disqualifying issue for me with Trump was
character. The disqualifying issue for
me with the union is the same – not locally, of course, but nationally.
And it’s only getting more pronounced. Here’s the offending section of the National
Education Association’s recently adopted Business Item #56:
“The NEA will include an assertion of our defense of a person’s right to control their own body, especially for women, youth, and sexually marginalized people. The NEA vigorously opposes all attacks on the right to choose and stands on the fundamental right to abortion under Roe v. Wade.”
The nation’s largest association of professional educators –
individuals who have given their professional lives in service to the power and
potential of young people – “stands on the fundamental right to” kill young
people. It’s such a glaring and alarming
inconsistency, it shocks the conscience.
For years the NEA has maintained that they do not “promote” or even “support” abortion. The claim has been – and I know because I have communicated with them directly – that the NEA supports “reproductive freedom” as well as the constitutional rights of all people, whether they are for or against abortion. It’s been an intentionally ambiguous word salad intended, undoubtedly, to provide cover for recruitment purposes. But it’s at least been less jarring than seeing a prominent group of teachers openly promote feticide.
What does this all have to do with education, you ask? It doesn’t.
And that’s the most disappointing thing of all. Every ounce of energy the NEA puts into
supporting – financially, politically, vocally – the abortion cult, is energy
not being put towards improving schools.
It’s a needless distraction.
So why do the leaders of the NEA do this? Why do they put their local chapters in the
unnecessary and awkward position of having to explain this? Why do they put well-intentioned teachers who
believe in the value of every human child in the position of having to reject
professional association with their peers? What is the motivation here?
These are questions that beg for answers – and yet the NEA
remains conspicuously and inexcusably silent.