This week, the National Education Association met virtually for the union’s annual representative assembly and one of the items on this year’s agenda was the controversial “New Business Item 33“.
New Business Item 33 calls for the mandatory vaccination of students and staff in the upcoming school year and calls for permanent social distancing and masking of students.
“The NEA will call for mandatory safe and effective COVID-19 vaccinations and testing for all students and staff before returning to face-to-face instruction in the fall, subject to medical exceptions in accordance with existing law, and will widely publicize this position via social media. We will further call for and publicize that safety measures such as social distancing, masking, and proper ventilation be mandatory for all,” the NEA business item stated.
The NEA said it will fight vigorously for a policy that protects its union members this fall.
“COVID-19 has already killed over 600,000 people. Black and Latinx communities have suffered twice the deaths, and this inequality will deepen as variants spread. The pandemic respects no boundaries. We must fight for a policy that puts human life first,” the union said.
The union did not say to what length it would go to ensure their demands are met nationwide, which could include measures such as organizing sickouts or strikes.
Updated: The NEA has updated their website to show that this measure was defeated.