Sunday, December 6, 2020

Choosing Democracy: New NEA Leader Fighting Trump

Choosing Democracy: New NEA Leader Fighting Trump
New Teachers Union Leader Fighting Trump, School Reopening Battles

As president, Becky Pringle said her mission is to “lead a movement to reclaim public education as a common good.” She wants to transform the system into one that is racially and socially just and equitable.

Becky Pringle, who became president of the National Education Association in September, speaks at a human rights rally during NEA’s Conference on Racial and Social Justice in Houston in 2019., (Photo: NEA)
Becky Pringle was among the many Black mothers in the mid-1990s having “that conversation” with her teenage son about getting stopped by police: what to say, where to keep his hands, how to stand up for his rights.

Pringle had seen how Black school-age males were disproportionately subjected to suspensions or expulsions while teaching science at Susquehanna Township Middle School in a suburb of Harrisburg, Pa. As her son prepared to get his driver’s license, she knew she had to talk to him “so that he could come home safely,” she said.

“Much of the country is just now paying attention to George Floyd and so many others,” she said during an interview. “But as a Black mother, I've always been paying attention. This is not new. This has been happening forever.”

As newly elected president of the 3-million-member National Education Association, the nation’s largest union, Pringle, 65, is now the highest-ranking Black CONTINUE READING: Choosing Democracy: New NEA Leader Fighting Trump