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Back to April Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 303 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS APRIL 2011

Teachers' Unions: Testing the Bounds of Nuttiness
By Austin Ruse

In the ongoing fiscal fights over public-sector unions, including teachers' unions, it is perhaps easy to overlook how nutty and even offensive the policies and representatives of teachers' unions can be.

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The U.N. just concluded a two-week feminist jamboree — the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which is an intergovernmental body that negotiates documents later approved by the General Assembly. The CSW attracts scores of radical feminists — including this time a woman named Diane Schneider, representing the National Education Association.

At a CSW panel discussion, Schneider said that "oral sex, masturbation, and orgasms need to be taught in education." She also said students should not be able to "opt out" of such classes, meaning they should be forced to learn about orgasms against their parents' wishes. She also spoke out against "transphobia," "heterosexism," and "gender conformity."

My organization, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, reported this in our weekly Friday Fax, and — perhaps thinking they don't need another fight at this particular moment — the NEA began to back-pedal and offer non-denial denials.

Daaiyah Bilal-Threats, the NEA's director of governance and policy, blithely described Schneider's comments as an "over-the-rainbow moment": We try hard — we really do — for a fair, accurate and sensitive approach to all things education. We care deeply about education students to be engaged citizens, to work hard, to do well, and to listen with respect to others views . . .

And so on. Not a word about masturbation, oral sex, and orgasms, though she did direct us to the NEA's sex-ed policy — a policy into which those subjects could quite easily fit.

Bilal-Threats also insisted that Schneider was not representing the NEA — though in a private e-mail from NEA's Southeast regional director Harry Lawson, she is identified as "on the GLBT Cadre," presumably an NEA working group.

Schneider's talk was immediately removed by the U.N. from the CSW website, and the description of her talk was changed, though we managed to capture it all before it was taken down.

What's really going on is that the sexual radicals who come to the U.N. believe they are on totally secure ground. They believe they are comfortably distant from American political discourse, where they would encounter people who disagree with them. They believe they can do and say anything they want on U.N. property. It is only after they are caught that they head for the hills.

Ms. Schneider's comments and her bosses' non-denial denials are simply more reasons to take power away from the teachers' unions.


Austin Ruse is president of C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute). © 2011 by National Review, Inc. Reprinted by permission.

 
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