The NEA Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly was held this year in Atlanta, Georgia, June 26- July 6. In reporting, I choose to focus on an alarming NEA action taken at the convention and hence the title to this report (Unsafe Schools). New Business Item 30, which delegates narrowly passed, to which I spoke in opposition, was the issue of great concern:
NBI 30- “NEA will encourage all states and NEA Affiliates to use existing means of communication to promote developmentally appropriate instructional resources in order to help all educators integrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) history, people, and issues into their instruction such as, but not limited to “Unheard Voices” an oral history and curriculum project for middle and high school students created in collaboration by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Story Corps.”
On the surface this New Business Item may seem harmless, but if you investigate the website and look at the curriculum, “Unheard Voices,” an alarm for the safety of our students should sound. Let me give an example and direct quote from the curriculum itself which I presented to the NEA delegation:
After listening to an interview of transgender, Jamison Green, who transitioned from female to male in 1988, the classroom discussion (not in a book brought home) questions include: “When someone suggested to Green that he might be transsexual, he says he ‘reacted in complete horror.’ Why do you think he was so scared? What messages had he received growing up that made him afraid to even explore transitioning? What messages have you received (from family, friends, media, school, places of worship) about transgender people?”
This curriculum is for 6th through 12th graders. I personally teach 6, 7, and 8th grade. Children are so impressionable and already have confusion about sexual issues from media and other sources. Introduction of material like this would be devastating. Take Massachusetts, for example, where this type of curriculum was introduced after same-sex marriage was legalized. A recent Massachusetts survey, Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey, completed by high school students across that state, reveals that students identifying as gay and who had same-sex contact rose by approximately 50% from 2005 to 2009. Now transgender, changing one’s gender, is being introduced.
Why should our children have to deal with this type of curriculum? If you listen to the interviews in the “Unheard Voices” curriculum, you can plainly see that the suggestion and encouragement of others played a great role in the individuals’ transitioning. This curriculum only encourages gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender action and mentions no risks; but there are risks to physical health and mental health.
(1) Rigorous studies demonstrate that sexuality in adolescents is fluid and that most adolescents who initially experience same-sex attraction, or are sexually confused, no longer experience such attractions by age 25.
(2) New Business Items passed by the delegates at the NEA Convention are directives for the NEA to take their monies to enact the approved new business item. Since this New Business Item was ratified, teachers and parents, please become knowledgeable of this attack on our children.
(2) National Health and Social Life Survey (1994) in. E.O. Laumann et al, The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 292-296.
No NEA Ex-Gay Caucus Expo Booth This Year
After securing an NEA Ex-Gay Caucus booth for the NEA Expo in Atlanta on April 22, 2013, I received a notice from CEPI (Conventions-Exhibits-Promotions-Inc.), Expo organizers, June 13, 2013, that my booth confirmation had been revoked as we no longer had NEA caucus status.
I quickly contacted NEA, as I had heard nothing to this effect from them. I was informed that, “Yes, the information I had been given by CEPI was correct.” (This surprised me as we have had status for the past nine years.) I was told that January 26, 2011, an email had been sent to all caucus chairs requiring a response that would “grandfather in” the caucus before new rules went into effect. I had changed my email address August 7, 2009, and consequently did not receive the email. By the way, this was the first and only caucus email I had been sent by NEA in my eight years of being caucus chair. My next step, I was told, was to re-file for caucus status. New rules require 25 NEA members and updated caucus information. Since I only found out we were not a recognized caucus on June 13, 2013, I was told it would be impossible to have an Expo booth this year because we needed committee approval and their earliest meeting date would be in September.
If you are an NEA member and you support what the Ex-Gay Caucus stands for, please consider joining. Caucus members do not need to be ex-gay themselves, but must support the beliefs offered by the caucus and explained on this website. The mission of a caucus is to make change within the NEA. Please feel free to email with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in this document are those of the caucus. The caucus has no authority to speak for, or act on behalf of, the NEA.