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Education Reporter

NEA Task Force Dumps 'New B' Resolution
WASHINGTON, DC - After allegedly studying since last fall the issue of whether or not to adopt yet another pro-gay resolution, the National Education Association (NEA) announced what many observers already knew - that the provisions in the proposed "New B" resolution are contained in other convention-adopted resolutions. Despite a Feb. 8 Associated Press headline that trumpeted: "NEA Approves Resolution to Protect Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Students and Staff," no new resolution was adopted.

Instead, NEA President Bob Chase announced in a press release ( Feb. 8) that the union's Board of Directors would "continue and expand NEA efforts to provide students, education employees, and the general public with accurate, objective, and up-to-date information regarding the needs of, and problems confronting, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered students."

At the NEA's national convention in Los Angeles last August, the union's resolutions committee was forced to withdraw the Gay & Lesbian Caucus's controversial "New B" resolution addressing "gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender education." (See Education Reporter, August 2001.) Draft language of the resolution had become public earlier in the year, so some state affiliates openly opposed it both before and during the convention. Protest demonstrations outside the Los Angeles Convention Center by parents and other concerned citizens further escalated the situation. "New B" was tabled in favor of appointing a task force to study the issue.

According to the Education Intelligence Agency (EIA), a watchdog group that monitors the activities of teachers unions, the task force's report actually "calls upon the Resolutions Committee to do . . . nothing." The EIA's Feb. 11 Communique reports that the NEA will distribute "talking points" to its affiliates, "especially in those states opposed to last year's resolution, emphasizing the fact that no new resolution on the issue will be introduced."

"The task force performed its assigned role in NEA's political theater," the Communique continued. "The union can now answer both yes and no - depending on the audience - to the question 'Is NEA championing gay rights in the classroom?' "

Nearly every point that was covered in the NEA's now officially defunct "New B" resolution is affirmed in the union's eleven other current resolutions pertaining to gay rights.

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