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Statement by NEA President Dennis Van Roekel on the passing of John Payton

NEA mourns loss of civil rights and social justice advocate

WASHINGTON - March 25, 2012 -

"NEA and educators across the country mourn the loss of John Payton, NAACP Legal Defense Fund president and director-counsel.  His commitment to equality and his lifetime of advocacy for civil rights and social justice have made the lives of countless Americans—people he’d never meet—richer.  Although we grieve at news of his passing, we celebrate the countless contributions he made to the nation.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

NEA Public Relations  202-822-7823,