WASHINGTON — U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy continues to ignore the priorities of parents, students and educators by pushing through H.R. 734—legislation that would deny transgender student athletes the lifelong benefits and educational experiences that school sports provide to young people. He joins a long list of extreme politicians pushing their culture wars into classrooms by banning books and censoring what educators can teach and students can learn.
NEA President Becky Pringle issued the following statement in response to House passage of H.R. 734.
“A great public education provides opportunities no matter what we look like, where we come from, or how we express our genders. Athletics are a valuable part of many students’ academic experience, teaching valuable lessons that they bring back into classrooms and the real world. Through sports, children learn about teamwork and how to persevere through adversity, while gaining a sense of belonging and confidence. That is why we believe all students deserve the opportunity to play as themselves, free from discrimination—no exceptions.
“Speaker McCarthy and his allies continue to push hatred and division into our classrooms instead of addressing the real issues our students face, including gun violence and a shortage of educators. At the same time, he continues to ignore the vast majority of parents, students, and educators who oppose discriminating against transgender athletes, censoring history and banning books.
“Discrimination has no place in our society. H.R. 734 erodes the fairness and equity that generations of Americans have struggled to achieve. It is a dangerous attempt to erase transgender children from sports and public life. By legalizing discrimination, the bill violates our fundamental rights and values and weakens our democracy.
“Parents, students, and educators deserve better. That is why we are coming together to support student athletes and women in sports. No one should be denied the experience to play in sports simply because of who they are.”
Follow NEA on Twitter at @NEAmedia and @BeckyPringle
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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, students preparing to become teachers, health care workers, and public employees. Learn more at www.nea.org.