A teachers union conference in July encouraged educators to lobby for gun control, according to a conference agenda revealed by the Defense of Freedom Institute.
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the nation’s second-largest teachers union, held a “Together Educating America’s Children” (TEACH) Conference July 21-23 featuring professional development workshops to teach educators tools and strategies to “help kids and communities succeed,” according to the teachers union’s website. One professional development session offered, “Speaking of Gun Violence: How Do We Ensure Educator Voices Matter?” was taught by “Teachers Unify To End Gun Violence,” an organization that works to help pass gun control legislation, and encouraged educators to “collectively raise [their] voices for change,” according to the conference agenda. (RELATED: Teachers Union Doubles Down On Killing Test Required For Graduation)
“Join Teachers Unify to End Gun Violence to explore ways we can collectively raise our voices for change,” the session description reads. “There is not one educator or school staff member in our country who is untouched in some way by gun violence—from direct impact to impending fear, caring for and supporting students dealing with gun violence in their families and communities, to navigating traumatic drills, our voices should and do matter. Educators, students and school staff are on the frontlines of this public health crisis.”
The professional development session detailed “practical ways” teachers can support students and colleagues affected by gun violence, according to the session description. The session taught teachers how to “elevate” the stories of those affected by gun violence in an effort to “shed light on this public health crisis.”
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— Defense of Freedom Institute (@DFIPolicy) August 16, 2023
The “TEACH Conference” featured several other professional development courses, including one that detailed how teachers could have their student loan debt canceled, the conference agenda showed. Another session titled “Affirming LGBTQIA+ Identities in and out of the Classroom,” taught educators skills to create an “identity-affirming space” within the classroom.
“A separate session on lobbying for gun control ignores the fact that the unions’ prioritization of ideology over safety measures makes it more difficult for teachers, administrators and school resource officers to keep students and teachers safe,” the Defense of Freedom Institute report states. “Rather than advocate for the safety of their members by promoting common-sense measures like metal detectors, the unions instead condemn these tools as “prison-like” and train teachers how to lobby for gun control writ large.”
The AFT and Teachers Unify To End Gun Violence did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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