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Leaked docs show mask, vaccine mandates debated at teachers convention: report

Members of the nation’s largest teachers union were scheduled to support a “national policy of mandatory masking” this week among other hot-button issues including COVID-19 vaccines, and the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to a report Wednesday.

Various items up for debate at the annual convention of the National Education Association in Chicago were posted on Twitter by Terry Stoops, director of the conservative John Locke Foundation’s Center for Effective Education, the Washington Examiner said.

One proposal reportedly called on the union to “work with state affiliates to support a national policy of mandatory masking and COVID vaccines in schools, as well as high-quality virtual education for immuno-compromised students and all families who want it.”

“More than 67 percent of the U.S. live in areas with medium or high COVID-19 community level, according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walenksy,” according to the convention’s New Business Item 37.

“Mandatory masking, vaccines, and access to virtual education are necessary policy measures to reduce COVID danger.”

The members discussed hot topics such as mask and vaccination mandates.
Mary Altaffer/AP

If adopted, the plan would expand policies now in place at the NEA, which “encourages widespread use of safe and effective vaccines” and in March called for “meaningful inclusion of educators in decision-making on school-related masking policies,” according to its website.

The mandatory masking proposal comes despite a steep decline in hospitalizations and deaths from the disease. In the city, the rate of tests coming back positive has seen a slight increase at 14.1%. However, the number of hospitalizations has decreased, along with the number of deaths, in the last few weeks.

Another proposal reportedly favored denouncing the Supreme Court’s recent vote to reverse its earlier decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion, expanding the number of justices on the high court and impeaching those “who went against their sworn testimony not to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

“The three Trump appointed Supreme Court justices constitute a far right-wing coup inside the nation’s highest judicial body,” it reportedly said.

“The new civil rights movement must defeat these attacks through organizing mass actions to defend women and all Americans from this attack.”

That language largely echoed a statement issued by NEA President Becky Pringle in response to the ruling, which she said “shows once again how the current majority of the Supreme Court is continuing to put their radical ideological agenda above our basic human rights and freedoms.”

Abortion rights activists protest outside the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court recently struck down Roe v. Wade.
MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA

It’s unclear how the 6,000 delegates to the NEA’s Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly voted on the various proposals except for one reported by Education Week, which on Tuesday said that 93% supported a statement opposed to the “criminalization and policing of students.”

The gathering of the powerful union at the McCormick Place Convention Center, which wrapped up on Wednesday, featured a virtual address by President Biden on Sunday and an in-person speech by Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday.

The items that were up for debate are password-protected on the NEA’s website.

Stoops, who didn’t reveal how he got copies, told the Examiner they “show that the NEA is nothing more than a pathetic assemblage of social justice warriors struggling to be relevant in an era of unprecedented parental empowerment.”

The NEA didn’t immediately return emails seeking comment.

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