Washington – Educators in at least 15 states are facing restrictive, dangerous legislation that would require educators in some instances to lie to students about the nation’s history, denying them of the opportunity to prepare students with the tools and guidance they need to honestly face our past and present to create a better future.
In response, educators across the United States are organizing a National Day of Action to Teach the Truth on Saturday, June 12. The National Education Association, the nation’s largest labor union with more than three million members, firmly and unequivocally supports the day of action and is urging its members to organize, participate, and engage in order to raise awareness about the danger of these ill-conceived bills. The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Becky Pringle.
“No matter our color, background, or zip code, we want our kids to have an education that imparts honesty about who we are, integrity in how we treat others, and courage to do what’s right. But some lawmakers want to play politics with the truth and do more than that. The most feared phrase in education is, ‘I’m a politician and I am here to tell you how and what to teach.’
“These are the same politicians who have denied our students resources and demanded sacrifices of our teachers. They are now stoking fears about our schools, trying to dictate what teachers teach and keep kids from learning our shared stories of confronting injustice to build a more perfect union. Their motive is clear: they are pushing these bills to cover up for their failures and now they want teachers to push inaccurate lessons about our history to students.
“As professionals, we –not politicians – know how best to support our students. What a good educator knows is we can’t just avoid, suppress, or lie our way through our shared challenges. We will continue our commitment to our students so that they have the skills needed to better understand problems in our society and develop collective solutions to those problems.
“Joining together, teachers are speaking out by participating in the National Day of Action to Teach the Truth and pledging to tell the truth to ensure our public schools meet the needs of all students no matter what they look like, where they are from or where they live.”
People are signing up to participate from all over the United States. Click on this link to find out a Day of Action event to teach the truth near you. The day of action is organized by the Zinn Education Project in coordination with Rethinking Schools and Teaching Change as well as Black Lives Matter at School.
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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. Learn more at www.nea.