Teaching Censorship: National Education Association Called On Social Media Companies to Silence its Critics

A letter has surfaced from the National Education Association (NEA) that raises disturbing questions over the organization pushing social media companies to censor critics. The advocacy of the three-million-member organization for censorship is a chilling position for any group representing educators. It seems that nothing says “excellence in public education” like private censorship.

The letter was apparently sent one week after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent its controversial letter to the Biden Administration seeking federal action against its critics, including the suggestion that some parents might qualify as “domestic terrorists.”

In the NEA letter, NEA President Becky Pringle asked “to stamp out” the postings of critics over its support for Critical Race theory and related teaching material.

While the NEA labels such allegations as “misinformation,” it has called for the teaching of CRT and actually deleted one such call from its website after it was cited in the ongoing debate. In the “business item” the NEA expressly included CRT as “reasonable and appropriate for curriculum.”

In the letter to social media companies, however, the NEA denounced its critics as spreading misinformation by claiming that such material is “being taught in K-12 public schools.” Many such groups are seeking to avoid addressing race-related curriculum by insisting that technically CRT is a subject taught in law schools. The fact is that CRT was referenced by groups like NEA and school boards before this spin. Yet, the point is not how it is labeled but rather the objections to the teaching of subjects on white privilege, white supremacy, and related material that overlaps with CRT scholarship.

The letter also objects that “there are [sic] another small yet vocal group of extremists who are putting the safety of our children, educators, and families at risk over the notion that wearing a mask is in [sic]  infringement on personal liberty. The speed and reach of these lies that are manipulating so many of our citizens would not be possible without the use of social media platforms.”

Rather than answer critics and defend its prior support for CRT, the NEA worked to silence critics through corporate censorship, which is now the rage among liberal advocacy groups.

One can understand the expectation that Twitter and other companies would follow suit. After all, YouTube deleted critics of Vladimir Putin, why not the NEA?

Likewise, Democratic leaders are calling for censorship to defend democracy, why not censor to defend education?

There was a time when educators viewed free speech as the touchstone of both our democratic and educational systems. Now these educators advocate censorship as a way to silence those with opposing views. It is part of a growing movement. Faculty and editors are now actively supporting modern versions of book-burning with blacklists and bans for those with opposing political views. Columbia Journalism School Dean Steve Coll has denounced the “weaponization” of free speech, which appears to be the use of free speech by those on the right. So the dean of one of the premier journalism schools now supports censorship.  Free speech advocates are facing a generational shift that is now being reflected in our law schools, where free speech principles were once a touchstone of the rule of law. As millions of students are taught that free speech is a threat and that “China is right” about censorship, these figures are shaping a new society in their own intolerant images.

The NEA letter is antithetical to the very essence of education. Nothing captures the Orwellian message than Pringle’s concluding demand that “[y]our companies have both the power and responsibility to stamp out disinformation and violent trends – for the sake of Public Education [sic] and the future of democracy.”

89 thoughts on “Teaching Censorship: National Education Association Called On Social Media Companies to Silence its Critics”

  1. “Yet, the point is not how it is labeled but rather the objections to the teaching of subjects on white privilege, white supremacy, and related material that overlaps with CRT scholarship.”

    Mr. Turley, please stop dignifying the left’s racial indoctrination as “scholarship.” Perhaps academicians with little else to do can chase quixotic whitey-is-the-problem bogymen, but there is precious little use of them beyond a case study in logical idiocy and delusion. Further, there is less than zero benefit from this drivel being spewed onto our children — and especially in elementary school — who are just trying to make it through their state-mandated years of schooling and become adults.

    These so-called teachers and educators are doing them no favors toward that end: Kids can’t be expected to become functional adults if these folks are their chief models apart from their parents. Egad (Alas! Alack!! Woe and anguish!!!) What is our nation to become once the snowflakes become the leaders?

  2. There’s another problem that’s cropped up with the public education system, at least here in CA. And that’s the food.

    The schools now provide breakfast and lunch, free, to every student. Paying for it is not an option. It’s up to the kids whether they partake. Since they began doing this, the amount and quality of the food has gone down. If you send your kid to school with lunch, they can decide to eat the free lunch instead, which is often junk food.

    Why would schools think it is a good idea to give free food to everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status? That drains resources instead of targeting a need.

    My son said he wanted to eat school lunch, since that’s what his friends did. So I let him do it for a month. He’d come home ravenous, sometimes not feeling well. I didn’t realize they were barely giving the kids anything for lunch. He’d be desperate for snacks, and unable to wait long enough for me to make him anything decent. I thought it was a growth spurt. It wasn’t until he began complaining that there was so little food at school that I realized he was getting low blood sugar by the end of the school day.

    I’m back to packing meals for him. But what about the poor kids for whom this program was intended? By throwing it open to all students, it drained the financial resources. That meant the quantity and quality of food went way down, impacting the very children this program was meant to benefit.

    It is so tiresome, how often Leftist policies harm the very people they are purported to help.

    1. It is so tiresome, how often Leftist policies harm the very people they are purported to help.

      Karen,
      Let’s take “Leftist” out of equation for a moment and just focus on policy-making. Furthermore, let’s assume these policy-makers actually have good intentions. Policy-making requires strategic-thinking and these policy failures are nothing of the sort. They are quite often tactical policies implemented to address previous tactical policy failures, that were implemented to address previous tactical policy failures…wash, rinse, repeat. Every one of these are sold as a solution to a problem that was predictable had they any ability to think strategically. The design of our system, with a separation of powers, can withstand tactical-thinking at the legislative level, as long as the executive branch is willing to act like the adult in the room and say no.

      Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

    2. This is part of the problem – you may not see it in your personal life, but a whole lotta parents expect schools to not educate, but to parent. This is an issue that we keep treating for symptoms. It will not get better until we address the actual problem. School is not daycare, and kids beyond their toddler years should not *require* daycare. Where does that train our gaze? On whatever is happening in the home, before kids even get to school. When they show up defunct, there is only so much a teacher can do. A great many people are greatly out of touch with what this system has become because they no longer have children of that age, or assume that the values they instilled in their children are universal.

      1. Agreed. Parents are the first and most important teachers of children.

        “The duties of parents”

        2223 Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. the home is well suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery – the preconditions of all true freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the “material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones.” Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them:

        He who loves his son will not spare the rod…. He who disciplines his son will profit by him.
        Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

        2224 The home is the natural environment for initiating a human being into solidarity and communal responsibilities. Parents should teach children to avoid the compromising and degrading influences which threaten human societies.

        Catechism of the Catholic Church
        https://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P7U.HTM

      2. You give them an inch and they take a mile.

        “Public education” has been abused into abject inefficacy spewing communist propaganda and imposing communist indoctrination, and must be torn down and rebuilt in the free markets of the private sector where responsiveness and efficiencies hold dominion.

    3. I can’t think of a single day from Kindergarten to the last day of my Senior year that I didn’t brown bag it, and there was no school meal other than lunch. If you cannot afford or have the time to feed your kids, you can’t afford to have them.

      1. Ah, the mission creep of communism.

        You give them an inch and they take a mile.

        “Public education” has been abused into abject inefficacy spewing communist propaganda and imposing communist indoctrination, and must be torn down and rebuilt in the free markets of the private sector where responsiveness and efficiencies hold dominion.

      2. Did your tuna sandwich leak out of the waxed paper your mom wrapped it in and stain your brown bag which your mom wrote your name on?

        Do you remember drinking water out of the water fountain, not a designer bottle?

        Geez, times were tough, huh?

  3. I don’t think anyone should be shocked at this point that any organization associated with public education would espouse censorship of critics.

    Leftism has infested the education system, from public schools through grad school.

    Math is racist.
    Showing work is white supremacy.
    Doing homework on time is white supremacy.
    Students are born oppressed or oppressor based on skin color.

    Obviously, these tenets will not hold up under scrutiny, so the scrutiny must be prevented.

    American education has come to symbolize failure, closed mindedness, intolerance, and racism against Asians.

    How far the mighty have fallen.

    1. Karen, you are right. The dogmas of teacher training now include:

      1. Racism is everywhere;

      2. Our institutions embody systemic racism and have been established by the dominant culture to maintain its power and suppress the subordinate cultures. All disparities between racial groups are caused by racism.

      3. The dominant culture comprises white, cisgender, heterosexual, Christian, able-bodied males. All the rest are subordinate, their specific position in the matrix of oppressor and oppressed being determined by their intersectional identities.

      4. Race-neutral systems, procedures, methodologies, bodies of knowledge and canons of judgment are masks to preserve white supremacy. A teacher who says she doesn’t see colour in her classroom is advised she is perpetuating white supremacy.

      5. The only solution is to unmask, disrupt and dismantle these systems of power. In doing so there is no need to worry about reverse discrimination — it is “not a thing” because racism is prejudice plus power, and by definition no one in a subordinate position has power.

      These ideas are contained in Tiffany Jewell’s This Book is Anti-Racist which is used in the mandatory training program for new teachers in my daughter’s school district. They are the orthodoxy today.

      In pursuit of this vision, the educational establishment is seeking to eradicate objective standards of achievement, which are seen as manifestations of “whiteness.” Ironically, as shown in a study called The Secret Shame, “achievement gaps” between black and white students, and Hispanic and white students, are most pronounced in progressive cities and least pronounced in conservative ones. No other variable appears to account for the disparities.

      1. “1. Racism is everywhere;”

        Envy is everywhere and is being promoted by the left. Envy is equivalent to social justice wearing a hat and dark glasses. How can one not be envious of one who sees another better looking, taller, smarter, richer, or better at doing things? Envy leads to the search for cosmic justice. It is impossible to eradicate unless one destroys society, at which time we are all dying equally.

  4. Censorship is a good and noble thing when used to fight “systematic racism” and “white supremacy”; it is bad when used to suppress progressive voices.

    I would respect s@@tlibs more if they would just admit the above. But they won’t, they will cloak it in moralistic language and call their opponents names.

    I WANT A DIVORCE.

    antonio

  5. Bottom line is no person who derives their salary from taxpayer money should be permitted to organize into a union, whether it be Federal, State, Local, School, what have you. It puts the public into an adversarial position with those who are hired to serve.

    1. Bottom line is no person who derives their salary from taxpayer money should be permitted to organize into a union,

      What did you find? oSme old right wing nut spouting crazy uniformed babble? I recognize your source. The Radical Right Wing Terrorist FDR! Cant fool me.

  6. Excellence in public education was left at the side of the road a long, long time ago. I have long been an advocate for parent involvement at both the school and board level, unfortunately parents have failed to maintain that contact. When parents do not show up for know your school night or parent’s night, attend school advisory groups and only a few parents/guardians, or taxpayers participate in school board meetings administrators, teachers, and board members basically have a smoke filled room. Even media fails to report on board meetings, not much of a surprise there.

    Now that parents and guardians have seen the garbage taught in schools they are incensed and have started to advocate for qualified teachers and higher standards. Board members, administrators, and faculty are not used to being questioned and their actions scrutinized. This republic was founded on the premise that citizens would actively participate at all levels of government. In darkness evil grows. Excellence grows through setting high standards, accountability, and in the light of participation.

    1. I have long been an advocate for parent involvement at both the school and board level,

      I went to schoolboard meetings for 12 months.
      What I learned is the process is an intentional grind. The Superintendent sets the agenda. It is full of busy work, phony discussions on pre decided matters that are of little influence on the education of students. Meeting over see you next month.
      Its going to take an electoral assualt with like minded strong people that will stand up to the educrats.

      I’m not sure public schools are willing to be reset, to parent centered schools. I think the only solution is starve them of students.
      For that to happen, every $ of money needs to follow the student to any accredited school.

      1. I was president of a Church that also had a K-8 school. I was appalled at how the school board treated the parents, and by extension the congregation, that were funding the existence of the school. The curriculum was not an issue, but grievances by parents regarding bullying and other non-academic conduct were given short shrift. Issues brought up by parents that were not on the agenda were outright dismissed or pushed to “executive session”, often never to be heard of again. This board was all volunteers and members of the congregation. My only conclusion is the power these boards have encourages abuse.

    2. William:

      Things have gotten worse. Covid restrictions have allowed schools to keep parents out. I used to regularly help out at my son’s school. Now, parents are no longer allowed on campus, unless it’s to decorate or chaperone for a dance. Most meetings are conducted via Zoom. We weren’t even allowed to attend a back to school night. They did a pre-recorded presentation, instead.

      We aren’t being warned when our kids get surveys on their personal opinions. The only reason I knew the kids were surveyed on what they think about race, and how comfortable they were talking about race with their pears, is because it did not submit properly at school. He had to complete it at home. Otherwise, I’d have had no idea.

      A silver lining, though, is that parents got to hear what the teachers are saying to their kids during distance learning.

    3. There is also the issue of the economy’s effect of families. When I was growing up, most wives did not work, so the interaction with their children was frequent and rich. As I grew up, more and more families had to have both parents working to make ends meet, and the children were left alone. In such a situation, the influence of school education compared to family values increases, while the parents are too busy or tired to keep an eye on what the schools are teaching.
      According to the testimony of Hollywood producer and political activist Aaron Russo, he was approached by Nick Rockefeller, who befriended him and actively tried to recruit him to use his media savvy to influence public opinion along the lines that the Rockefellers promoted. Russo did not agree, but nonetheless remained on friendly terms with Rockefeller, who would explain to Russo what the Rockefellers were up to in attempting to shape public discourse and influence behavior. One of the things Rockefeller asked Russo was what he thought was the reason for promoting women’s liberation and equality in the workplace. Russo thought it was altruistic activity intended to better the lives of women, to which Rockefeller laughed, and explained that the real reasons were 1. to assure 2 streams of income which could be taxed in each family, and 2. to reduce the amount of time per day that the children would be exposed to the influence of their mother and family values, thus strengthening the influence of the values taught in schools on the children growing up.
      Russo explained all this in various interviews available on YouTube etc. if anyone is interested.

  7. It’s useless to keep arguing whether we live in a democracy or a constitutional republic — those were the ideals, but their ships have sailed. The reality now is that we live in a technocratic oligarchy. The race is on for who will control the technocrats, and so far the Democrats are winning. That’s why they can call in their henchmen whenever they’re caught in their big lies. If the Republicans do regain Congress and the WH, the question will be, What will they do about the techocrats?

      1. Except in ultra-rare cases, politicians do not sincerely desire better quality education in public (or other) schools. A well-educated populace is not easy to deceive compared to indoctrinated dummies who know nothing of critical thinking.

  8. Like most nouveau alphabet soup organizations like BLM and Antifa, the NEA is just a Marxist front organization so justifably ignored except by those inclined to their socialist beliefs. Treat ’em like we treat Biden: Pity, ignore, chuckle and repeat – until the interfer with our freedom and then rain down Hell upon them a’la the 60s.

    1. President Ronald Reagan’s chief speech writer, Kenneth L. Khachigian, in today’s WSJ, is giving Biden advice on how to mimic Reagan’s unifying spirit. Ron Klain no doubt is apoplectic that Khachigian is invoking Reagan to help his failed puppet. The overarching question in my mind is to Biden’s wife: “why are you allowing your husband to look like a fool?” Is she too, like Joe, suffering from cognitive impairment? Is she also medicated? It is stunning to witness a once respected middle of the road politician after 4+ decades, combust so brilliantly in flames in less than 1 year. Either Jill is not paying attention, she really thinks dismally of Americans for not agreeing with her husband, or she is more stupid than we thought since writing that plagiarized phony doctorate, EdD. Jill should censor her husband.

      Biden Is Flailing, Literally and Figuratively
      The opposite, in both style and substance, of Reagan’s calmly and confidently delivered message of unity.
      By Kenneth L. Khachigian / WSJ

      …..Worse, President Biden appears bizarrely determined—as he did in Georgia last week—to rupture goodwill among his fellow citizens by descending to lower levels of anger and deceit. He apparently doesn’t see that his embrace of rancor and division has contributed to the 30-point collapse in his approval ratings…… The Atlanta speech’s baiting of Republican senators as aspiring Bull Connors was not only a perversion of American rhetoric. Mr. Biden’s stage theatrics magnified the negative effects of his message and muddled his mission. His staff won’t tell him, nor will his media sycophants, but it’s obvious that when the president pounds on the lectern and flails his arms, the overstated drama deprives his communication of any authenticity. It seems as if there are a director’s cues in his text: “It’s time to raise your voice, Mr. President. It’s time to slam your hand down.” If the honest ghost of Joe Biden spoke to President Biden, he would say, “C’mon man!”

      Mr. Biden desperately needs to sell his policies better, starting with occasionally dumping the teleprompter. With his head bobbing back and forth at outdoor events, or looking glazed into the camera, he’s conspicuously reading scripts from the prompter. In these staged settings, the president can’t help himself—chopping his arms to make his points, or raising them in a scolding fashion. These contrived and exaggerated hand and arm gestures, along with his pitched voice, exhibit faux passion. Each moment is more cringeworthy than the next and distracts from his core message.

      When Reagan shouted, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” it wasn’t accompanied by a fist pump. There was no teleprompter; Reagan simply looked up from his text to face the audience and, mythically, into Gorbachev’s eyes. That was his trait on the campaign trail; even with the most heated of rhetoric, he didn’t wave or swing his arms. The rare gesture he used was for a theatric purpose for which he was well-trained, which Mr. Biden is not.

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-is-flailing-literally-and-figuratively-speech-leadership-approval-ratings-atlanta-georgia-division-11642603952

      1. Replying to Estovir, 19 January, 12:59 PM:

        I think Biden should not follow this advice by Khachigian, but rather continue as he has. It is much better to show his true face and earn the scorn he so richly deserves than “act” his way through and fool more of the people more of the time…

  9. There is a growing conservative social media presence that will give a voice to those the Left seeks to silence, just in time for the 2022 midterm season. And they will have a ton of original source material produced by the Left like this, that was never expected to see the light of day.

    Picture this: people discovering Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are only giving them half of the story and the conservative sites are giving them all of it.

    This will be a mind-altering year for many people. Buckle up.

  10. “[T]he NEA labels such allegations as ‘misinformation’ . . .”

    “Misinformation” = opinions that expose us as propagandists, phonies, and frauds.

  11. For the last time, we do not live in a democracy. By design, we are a Constitutional Republic. That they have people believing otherwise is in and of itself troubling. All legal citizens already have voting rights. The dems know all of this oerfectly well. They are redefining despicable. I think they’ve crossed the Rubicon at this point and honestly don’t care about the consequences. This is what feudalism, aristocracy, plutocracy, socialism, communism, and yes – fascism – look like outside of the safe spaces of curated social media, universities, and lawnmower homes. We had better stop it soon or we won’t be able to.

    1. Jump over to Volokh for a little deeper dive into the term Democracy.

      Likewise, James Wilson, one of the main drafters of the Constitution and one of the first Supreme Court justices, defended the Constitution in 1787 by speaking of the three forms of government being the “monarchical, aristocratical, and democratical,” and said that in a democracy the sovereign power is “inherent in the people,

      https://reason.com/volokh/2022/01/19/the-u-s-is-both-a-republic-and-a-democracy/?comments=true#comments

  12. time to outlaw public unions from politics! The closed loop of public unions TAKING bribes from public workers is a CRIME!

  13. Democrats appear to HATE that Free Speech Thing! If you vote Democrat at this point…you Hate America.
    Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple are all communication companies. Ma Bell was broken up for much less! Next Democrats will want to TAKE away phones from Republicans!

    When GOP wins in a landslide this year…they need to go Scorched Earth against Federal Government around DC, Tech companies, Wall Street, and the Democratic Party!

    1. I’m sure Progressives already have their insurrection/hostile takeover (through legit voting, mind you 🙄) narrative ready to go, what we are seeing now is but a preview. I predict that if/when mass rioting by spoiled/unhinged/paid children begins this time they will *completely* ignore it, if not explicitly condone it. They are fine with a war so long as they win; such is their arrogance and depravity.

  14. NEA, Teachers Union, School Boards, DEMOCRATS, Social Justice Warriors they are all the same group shutting down free speech, critics and etc.Pretty soon they will ask the Justice DEPT to step in. Its time voters send all the radical social justice school board members out come election day.

  15. Guys:

    If this isn’t a clarion call for 2022 and 2024, I don’t know what is.

    Lefties feel the same way, but we have to stop them.

    We need to make sure that every thinking American votes so that we recover our majorities.

  16. It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare.
    Edmund Burke – Observations on a Late Publication on the Present State of the Nation (1769)

    1. Hate Speech is that like Hate Crimes? There is NO SUCH THING! Laws should apply regardless of your political’s, gender, color, etc! If a person is murdered…should the punishment be based on skin color, Religion, Gender or politics of the perpetrator or victim? Should certain people enjoy MORE Justice and others less? Justice is suppose to treat victim and criminal the SAME Regardless! Today we have a WARPED justice system!

  17. Misinformation is protected speech. Hate speech is protected speech. That’s because both are in the ear and eye of the beholder. How much so- called misinformation turns out to be true? A lot. Ask Galileo. All of this censorship nonsense is antithetical to the Constitution.

    1. It’s very interesting how a lot of what was considered “misinformation” and conspiracy theory material six months ago regarding the Coronavirus is now mainstream fact. Now it seems that these teachers’ unions want to make facts, such as their previous support for teaching very controversial subject matter, into the suff of “misinformation” and “conspiracy theory”.

      If these and many other groups had their way, Orwell’s Ministry of Truth would be an all to real government organization.

      1. I think it’s legitimately partly psy-ops. Convince people of something, such as ‘you have no voting rights’ and they won’t bother to register and vote. They know exactly what they are doing. It is totalitarian and racist as ****, and they don’t bat an eye.

  18. The three million members need to communicate with the PTA not the Justice Department or the Whitehouse. They may find a serious mission, for instance teaching math and stuff.

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