The National Education Association has sidetracked a California delegate’s resolution opposing, in advance, U.S. military action against Iran.
A parliamentary "objection to consideration" put an end to the move by Mary Prophet, a California delegate to the union’s 9,000-member Representative Assembly, meeting in D.C. It was one of many resolutions the union convention considered.
"The NEA will publicly oppose any policy of U.S. military action against Iran and will restate our belief that diplomatic and nonviolent means are preferable in resolving international political differences. Further, we will make this position known in an open letter to the president and Congress," Prophet proposed. She had 50 co-sponsors.
"We must not squander our precious youth and ever more limited resources in another military commitment," Prophet said in a statement in the convention newsletter.
Referring to arguments for an invasion Â- that Iran is developing nuclear weapons Â she added that "both U.S. and United Nations agencies consistently state the inability of Iran to develop nuclear weapons over a decade, if at all."
The 3.1-million-member union is one of the first, if not the first, to consider a resolution dealing with a potential war with Iran. Breaking from past practice of unconditional support of U.S. military policy, in 2005, the AFL-CIO was one of the first major national institutions to oppose GOP President George W. Bush’s war in Iraq.
Prophet’s protest of a potential Iran war was one of many policy directives sent to the union delegates at the convention, which ran through July 5. Other proposals were defeated or sidetracked. Those that passed included:
Â· Denunciation of the "misuse of standardized tests" as the sole way to evaluate student progress and teacher effectiveness in schools. Abuse of the tests, due to the GOP Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind law, has been a top complaint of both U.S. teachers’ unions ever since NCLB passed in 2001.
Â· A decision to "identify and pursue strategies to promote progressive taxation policies that close tax loopholes, promote fair economic development, and protect critical school funding, as well as strengthen our partnership with key allies to promote tax fairness at the federal and state levels." Tax justice is a key cause of the Occupy movement, as it is for organized labor.
"NEA will actively identify and join in coalition with human and civil rights groups to advocate for economic justice policies that impact children and families living in poverty" and "document and publicize the effects of poverty on public school students."
Press Associates, Inc. (PAI)Â
July 6, 2012