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INGRID JACQUES

Editor’s Note: Teachers union knocks religious freedom

Ingrid Jacques
The Detroit News

The National Education Association, which boasts 3 million members, says its mission is “advancing the cause of public education.” But in reality, the country’s largest teachers union—with 150,000 members in Michigan—has a strong political agenda that extends far beyond the realm of teachers and students.

Take for instance some of the priorities the union tackled at its recent annual conference. The “new business item” that leads in the NEA meeting notes doesn’t have anything to do with education, but rather with religious liberty. “The NEA will develop educational materials for its state affiliates and members about the potential dangers of so-called ‘religious freedom restoration acts’ or RFRAs, which may license individuals and corporations to discriminate on the theory that their religious beliefs require such actions,” the agenda states. Similarly, the meeting agenda also included other issues like social justice, institutional racism, climate disruption and how to make transgender students and staff feel comfortable.

One can imagine how such one-sided, left-leaning policies could ostracize many teachers who may not share those views. This is why right-to-work laws are vital to giving teachers a way out of financially supporting a union they don’t feel represents their interests.