National Education Association president Lily Eskelsen García is apologizing profusely now that video showing her describing disabled children in an odious way has gone viral.
Eskelen García made the statements she now regrets back in October at a gala sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future, a left-leaning political outfit.
“We diversify our curriculum instruction to meet the personal individual needs of all of our students the blind, the hearing impaired, the physically challenged, the gifted and talented, the chronically tarded and the medically annoying,” the teachers union boss declared. (Here’s the video, which EAGnews.org and other outlets unearthed this week.)
On Sunday, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) released a statement condemning Eskelen García’s remarks.
“AAPD condemns this statement and the disrespect it not only shows to students with disabilities, but all Americans with disabilities,” the group said. “As the nation’s largest labor union, representing over three million teachers, the NEA should know better than to insult students and must do more to be inclusive of all students.”
The disabilities group also tweeted its displeasure: “‘Chronically ‘tarded & medically annoying’ is neither progressive nor acceptable @NEAToday @Lily_NEA @OurFuture #UnacceptableExample”
“I meant to say ‘the chronically tardy,’ but that’s not what came out,” the union boss swore. “I was making the point that we adapt daily lesson plans and schedules to meet the needs of students who, often through no fault of their own, are never on time. Tardiness can be a huge factor in poor academic performance.”
Eskelen García also said she is totally sorry for concluding that “medically annoying” would be a good choice of words.
“I had in mind those commercials we’ve all seen for prescription drugs in which a lengthy list of possible side effects is stated at warp speed, while smiling people go on a hike or enjoy a candlelight dinner,” Eskelen García explained.
“Epic fail. In my attempt to be clever and funny, I stepped on a word in one phrase, and I created another phrase that I believed was funny, but was insulting. I apologize.”
A Change.org petition demands that the teachers union head honcho resign over the incident. “LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!” the petition urges. “Sign the petition and tell the NEA that Lily Eskelsen Garcia needs to resign her post IMMEDIATELY and also publicly and formally apologize to the families she has offended!”
As of early Wednesday morning, the anti-Eskelen García petition had garnered 1,475 signatures.
The NEA — which spends millions and millions of dollars influencings American elections — is notable for its massive support for a militant group in Wisconsin that spends its time and energy organizing angry anti-police protests. The group, Wisconsin Jobs Now, received $125,000 from the teachers union last year alone. (RELATED: OWN IT: ‘ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS’ SIGN Shows Up At NEA-Funded Protest)