know about RA Delegates Approve NEA Policy to Ensure Safe, Fair and Equitable Schools
Chicago – Nearly 6,000 delegates gathered for the first time in person since 2020 for the Representative Assembly 101 of the National Education Association (RA) and approved a NEA policy statement to ensure safe, fair, and equitable schools for all students. NEA policy statements set out the Association’s position on a number of pressing issues. To date, there are now nine policy statements covering topics such as community schools, digital learning, and charter schools, to name a few.
RA delegates approved the policy statement amid an ongoing global pandemic, as students, educators and communities confront politicians and institutions that take away freedoms and rights, eliminate a growing epidemic of gun violence and tighten restrictions about what educators can teach and what students can learn and attempts to divide communities along race and place lines.
The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Becky Pringle:
“Our public schools must inspire the imagination, cultivate critical thinking and ensure that all students, regardless of race, origin or zip code, can pursue their dreams. Representative Assembly delegates today approved the NEA’s new policy on safe, fair and equitable public schools, which solidifies the Association’s vision of schools as thriving spaces that are safe and welcoming for all students, without discrimination against any. Its goal is to integrate the social, emotional, and physical needs of the whole student, and to provide services that support students throughout the school day and beyond.
“The new policy is also responsive to the present moment and the challenges facing our students, educators and communities. It sets out as our North Star to achieve our vision of safe, fair and equitable public schools by prescribing ways in which students and educators can thrive and removing barriers and policies that harm students and impede their success.”
The NEA’s new policy statement continues to build on the existing and ongoing racial and social justice work of the Association and its more than three million members since 2016. In 2021, RA delegates approved a measure, NBI- A, which established a task force to identify criteria for safe, fair, and equitable schools. Over the course of a year, the task force met to investigate, gather evidence, and consult with educators and experts. The work involved engaging with national partners, state and local affiliates, racial justice advocates, allies, and community activists. The result of their work is NEA’s new policy statement.
The following basic principles guide the NEA policy statement:
- Adopt a restorative justice philosophy to create a school climate that rejects the criminalization and surveillance of students;
- Provide training and support for culturally competent instruction;
- Develop and implement plans to end disparities in behavioral and disciplinary practices; Y
- Create a community-centered school environment to foster safe and positive environments and engage all members of the public school.
Ultimately, for this policy to succeed and have its intended positive effect on students and public education, the NEA will also continue to activate, engage and mobilize its more than three million members to realize the vision outlined in the statement of politics. This includes, but is not limited to, engaging with national partners, organizations, parents, community allies, and racial and social justice stakeholders to advocate for safe, fair, and equitable public schools for all students.
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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 professors, educational support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, students preparing for become teachers, health workers and public employees. Learn more at www.nea.org