NEA leaders obstruct efforts that would end endorsements of NRA-backed politicians.

Screen Shot 2019-08-12 at 7.22.33 AM
Clare Kelly and Trisha Connolly were delegates to the 2019 NEA RA.

Trisha Connolly and Clare Kelly are teachers and members of the Illinois Education Association and the National Education Association. Both were elected delegates to the state and national Representative Assemblies.  They wrote this in reaction to NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia’s statements about gun violence in the wake of the Dayton and El Paso mass shootings.

We’ve  endured 255 mass shootings involving assault rifles already this year and the NEA leadership (National Educator’s Association) continues to defend funding and endorsing of candidates who promote the NRA’s agenda.

We presented New Business Items (NBI’s) at the NEA National Representative Assembly (RA), this summer and last, calling on the NEA to not endorse candidates who’ve solicited or taken NRA money.

The NEA is the largest union in the nation and as such the NEA has the potential and muscle to impact legislation to stem the flow of assault rifles in our communities. To most this seems like a no brainer – the largest educational association in the country would, of course, take a firm stand to not fund candidates who promote the proliferation of assault rifles in our neighborhoods, especially in light of all the school shootings.

Not so.

NEA leadership strategized aggressively against these NBI’s both years. They didn’t pass.

Leadership argues that, at times, NRA backed candidates are more friendly to education and the goals of the NEA than their rivals.

We asked, which education bill or law is it that these NRA candidates support that is more important than the lives of our students and colleagues, and so important that we give our education dollars to a candidate who promotes the NRA’s agenda? Which one?

Lily Ekelsen-Garcia wrote last week, after the El Paso shooting, to NEA members asking them to send letters to Congress about gun control laws. This strategy which has been used in the past, is not working.

It’s time to send a clear message as an educators’ union that we will no longer fund candidates that promote the NRA agenda. Additionally, the NEA should join the AFT (American Federation of Teachers) in calling for a national boycott of companies such as Walmart that sell assault rifles,.

The ever more frequent active shooter trainings and trauma informed practices in our schools are reactions that ultimately do not resolve the issue of gun violence in our communities.  Our educators’ union leadership must lead (and not hinder) in supporting our collective power and resources to leverage real and practical impact on gun legislation.

NEA sent out a survey to membership about guns in schools and thoughts on curbing gun violence.  Over 1,000 responded.

“According to the NEA survey, educators support proposals ranging from banning assault weapons (85%) and bump stocks..(84%),..”

So while the majority of NEA members stand in favor of gun legislation to ban assault weapons, NEA leadership continues to protect its allegiances with NRA candidates.

Enough. Please join us in insisting that our education dollars stop funding NRA candidates.

6 thoughts on “NEA leaders obstruct efforts that would end endorsements of NRA-backed politicians.

  1. Here is one of many good thoughts that Bernie has. Feel the Bern!!

    Make Schools a Safe and Inclusive Place for All

    Our schools must be safe for all students. Period. It is disgusting that our children must face the terrifying reality of being at risk of being killed in their own schools, and that school districts must resort to measures like this to try to keep kids safe. We must ensure LGBTQ students can attend school without fear of bullying, and work to substantially reduce suicides.
    Pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act into law to protect the rights of LGBTQ students.
    Protect students from harassment, discrimination, and violence in educational institutions by protecting and enforcing Title IX.
    Enact comprehensive gun violence prevention laws to end the epidemic of gun violence in this country and in our schools.
    Ensure that immigrant children and their parents are free from harassment and surveillance at school, regardless of their immigration status.

  2. How ridiculous that a union of teachers would not stand up to the pro-gun lobbies. As a retired teacher, I am totally appalled. How many schools, churches, and other public institutions need to be devastated by shootings before we take action? How many people have to die? Enough is enough!

  3. &–let’s see–does the leadership also agree w/arming teachers? How about bargaining for Kevlar vests? Can a reader please start a petition that “NEA & AFT dollars stop funding the NRA?”
    I suggest putting it on MoveOn; some years back, Change.org had some iffy relationships w/some anti-public school people, as I recall: signers names were given to Michelle Rhee’s mailing list, & lots of people started getting e-mails from that group (Students First, I think it was called). Also, they listed us as members!!

    1. I’m sorry–missed that info. about the AFT & Walmart. That’s something.
      & I’m calling Lily Lily-livered from now on. A coward & a hypocrite, & the same for those state leaders who are her minions (or GAGAs, as Duane Swacker comments on “Diane Ravitch’s Blog”~ Go Along to Get Along {GAGA}). Good description of NEA leadership (an oxymoron).

  4. Oh–& sure you have all read/seen that news item RE: online selling of bulletproof backpacks for back-to-school. What a terrible country we now live in.
    &–it doesn’t help that the msm continues to print/broadcast shooters’ names & pictures (once again, Anderson Cooper pledged, after El Paso, to NOT say the shooters’ name(s). Since I haven’t been watching him, has he stuck to his pledge?
    Again, there is a group called “Don’t Say His Name” (or is it “Don’t Name Him?”). Either way, noted that the P.M. of New Zealand refused to name the mosque terrorist (& said she would NEVER do so). The leader of Norway also did not use the attempted terrorist’s name (he luckily was unable to carry out his murderous plans).
    The more attention we pay to them, the more copycats will come out, seeking their “glory” or “credit” from the supremacist groups they follow.

    Not only have we not gotten any weapons reform, we cannot even get the press to follow a natural course, keeping their mouths shut when they should, & giving attention to the victim rather than to the perps. That’s exactly what they want.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s