NEA President Becky Pringle calls for truth and honesty in education

In an op-ed in USA Today, NEA President Becky Pringle stressed the need for truth and honesty about America’s legacy of racism. ”Today, more than 25 states have introduced or passed laws to censor teachers from speaking about race and racism and deny students the right to a truthful and honest education,” she wrote. “We can teach about the horrors of slavery, internment and forced resettlement. We can have honest discussions about today’s injustices and the threats to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that still exist for many. We can objectively present to students the good, bad and ugly of our past so that they can build a better, brighter future. Our students need to learn about the times when this country has lived up to its promise, and when it has not. Honesty. That’s what they need from us. Truth. That’s what they expect.”

29 responses to “NEA President Becky Pringle calls for truth and honesty in education

  1. Well, Becky Pringle, when was the last time you visited a National Cemetery or studied the American Civil War?

    1. Considering her credentials I’d be willing to bet she’s studied the Civil War quite a bit. Considering most people haven’t visited a National Cemetery ever, I don’t see how that is relevant.

  2. For those who are stating that CRT is being taught in K-12, what exactly does that mean? Do you have examples? Do you have citations to research, reports, and data/evidence?

    This seems eerily like the debate about the Big Lie. Claiming the Boogie Man is in the bedroom when there is nothing to support that statement.

    Please, please show me what you are talking about.

  3. As a parent and educator I do not support the teaching of Critical Race Theory. CRT is a misguided idea that is not supported by evidence and has much evidence against it. CRT is not not honest and does not speak truths. I would encourage you to poll your members to see if they support CRT.

    1. Do you have citations of this behavior? Do you have proof that what you say is happening is actually happening? I’m very curious how a graduate level pedagogy for legal studies has been suddenly transferred into K-12.

  4. I believe history should be taught as happened. After all, Lucilleit DID happen – good or bad. Our children must learn the good and the bad of history – otherwise how will they know how to correct the future?

  5. Mrs. Pringle thank you, thank you, thank you for speaking aloud and proud of the hidden and untold true history of racism regarding America History.
    I too, am a retired educator after teaching 38 years in the public school system. During my teaching tenor I shared with my students about racism and how it is also experienced as being bullied because of one race or ethnic origin. I also shared how parts of history was left untold within the history books. When I attended Jr. college black history was taught. I was surprised to see within five years later it was dropped from the curriculum and never taught again within the state of Florida at non-black colleges at least that I am aware of.
    The question remains – why the change? The truth hurts, but it is the truth! Own it, do not continue to bury it! The truth always prevails over a lie or cover up! Let the truth be told!
    God made each of us in His image as humans, not to be trodden, neglected, or looked down upon because of our race or ethnic origin.

  6. Truth is a foundation of Healing, truth binging light to racism is essential to know wrong from right toward Human Rights! I was awarded the NEA Civil Rights award and my message to the audience was: Lets Decognative Racism! Congratulations on your leadership at the NEA Deni Leonard

  7. I fully support the teaching of the truth about everything. I do not believe in attempts to perpetuate guilt like it is something that can be inherited. Those that have committed acts of injustice bear their guilt. Practices and structures established to perpetuate injustices should be identified and corrected. Remembering at all times that injustices NEVER justify hatred or attitudes equated with revenge. Two wrongs do not make a right.

  8. How is it even possible that in America today, some think that it ought to be illegal, forbidden to speak the truth, especially in education? If anything, the truth if not the whole truth, should be required.
    Our attitudes and opinions are based upon what we know, and the most important truth is what we believe. unfortunately, what we believe may not be truth at all if we are not allowed to teach or learn the whole truth, all the known facts. We should insist on the best possible education of our youth and for that matter, our adults. What if next we decide the media cannot report certain facts and realities?
    How can we celebrate our freedom of speech and the press if before any of these, we prevent the teaching of truth and knowledge? What can possible go wrong with denying reality? How can the knowledge of truth be more dangerous than not knowing?

  9. Dear President Pringle (you never know…….)
    Teachers are the MOST important people who guide and help and honor the TRUTH, whether it be sad or glad. Please keep up your wonderful work.

  10. Thank you for promoting education that includes the true history of racism in our nation. Our children need to know how white supremacy and our National caste system has hurt every one of us.

  11. Hello Becky, thank you for stressing the message.. Everyone needs the chance to receive the full truth of our history.

  12. Thanks so much, Becky. I enjoyed your first digital RA as President. I’m retired, but am all in on teaching the truth. I was a history teacher and my students and I learned from each other about ALL people. I taught the good, the bad, and the uncomfortable. In my 38 years of teaching, that was NEVER a problem till now. I’m glad I’m retired because I would not be erased from teaching the truth. I am African American and my gut alerts me to racism and suppression. I see past a “smiling face.” It is what it is, but I stand strong with the in-service teachers in teaching the truth. If it’s ok to teach about “your” history, it’s ok to teach about mine.

    1. Thank you, Janice. I am not a teacher; I’m a mother. In 1968 I was 14, watching my younger brother while my mother was busy in the kitchen. My dad came from work and announced that Martin Luther King III had been assassinated. But why was he happy? I asked him, and he half-threatened me and said things that did not make sense to me. What he said and how he behaved did not fit with what we learned in church, either. That single event set me on a lifelong aim to learn more and teach my children.

      Critical Race Theory may actually drive home the issue if my experience tells me anything. The uproar will set a match for many young minds. Thank you and other educators for staying in your chosen fields.

  13. This is critical race theory & should NOT be taught in schools. This will only further divide the country. It is Marxist in its roots.

  14. For many years, NEA has always supported the Democratic Party and stressed teachers to vote their way. I know I taught for 34 years! Now they are pushing Socialism/Marxism education which is NOT American and should never use aggression to finalize their plan. Parents are speaking up for their children to learn true History of America which has been flawed the past years. Education needs to follow our Constitution and students need to know and understand what our Country was made of from 1776! Granted the history of slavery is important, but not if our children are made to feel guilty when they had no part of those demonic times. Children do not see Black/White/Yellow Red in making friends and do not need to be forced to hate America because of the past of those who governed slavery. Americans are getting more powerful for freedoms, democracy and living in harmony and do not need NEA to institute, command, and instruct racial divisions and anti-American education.

    1. I’d really like to see some proof of the claim that students are being taught to hate America. Do you have any proof? Or is this your opinion?

    2. As a primary teacher we teach about slavery. We teach about black courageous leaders. I feel it is a good curriculum. Our social emotional curriculum teaches children to be kind, united, and empathetic. As a school our goals are to be respectful, responsible, safe and ready. My concern with CRT is that it divides our community. It does not teach content of character. How can we teach this when it goes against everything else we strive to teach?
      I also believe we can teach about America’s history without saying America is bad. Very bad things have happened in our country. But we have grown and can continue to strive to become better without teaching our students to disrespect our country. We can respect the values and freedoms of our country, and strive to improve where those values and freedoms are not being met.

    3. Will said Patricia. This CRT is just a theory not fact. I believe Becky Pringle needs to re-evaluate her leadership role.

    1. Many of the teaching faculty, where ever they are, are often ave to present their approach to working with learners are required to make administrators happy! We also want to make the students happy also. The teachers view often takes a back seat regarding,from parents. This is difficult, but often administrators can protect children from the parental view in favor of good administration. All is lost, however, when the administrator and teacher are on opposite sides. When a teacher has a good reason for their approach , there is almost a need for a third party. I have, as a teacher usually had no difficulty with administration, but when it comes up often, the administrator should have some need to bring in a third source. This should occur in practice, but often does not. This is rare, but should have a safety valve available. It is a source for many conflicts that could be avoided. This kind of conflict across levels of education, and it is trouble because it is personalized. It is an opportunity. I am that

    2. Well Done Becky! I am surprised to hear over half the states in our country have these laws either in place or introduced. We will get there. I am from Kent, Ohio, where we just celebrated 50 years ago the Kent State shootings for several decades after high school teachers in the town were told they could not discuss what happened at Kent State. This did change with the push of forward thinking parents and school members who could see the dysfunction and danger of not teaching the children in the community about it’s own history

  15. Having grown up in Georgia when the governor threatened to fire any teacher who used the word integration in the classroom I applaud President Pringle. We must resist the movement to censor discussions about race.

  16. As long as tells all sides with honesty and truth, this is right way and it is time for the truth. Not enough history is taught in public schools. Not enough enough government is taught in schools either
    Respect for rules, law and the flag should a must.

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