AFT Resolution

OUR MANDATE—PROTECTING THE SAFETY OF STUDENTS AND DEFENDING EDUCATORS

WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers represents more than 1.7 million members, including teachers and support personnel in schools across the country; and

WHEREAS, teachers, school support staff and union representatives hold sacrosanct both our ethical responsibility to keep our students safe—including reporting situations involving potential harm or abuse of students—and our legal duty of fair representation, which means an obligation to ensure that educators are afforded an expedited, fair investigation and due process rights; and

WHEREAS, our union has a responsibility to ensure that our professions, our communities, the services we deliver and our members are not scapegoated, smeared, demonized or discredited by groups that want to defund, destabilize and destroy public education and the labor movement, which is why we must be vigilant against the right-wing-funded group Project Veritas, which uses unscrupulous and unlawful tactics to deceitfully represent union officials and educators as uncaring about kids; and

WHEREAS, through their furtive and underhanded filming, by infiltrating union offices and even schools as imposters, and splicing and editing encounters with educators and their representatives, Project Veritas seeks to discredit educators and their unions, divide parents and educators, and silence the very organizations that give voice to educators who fight every day for their students:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will continue to do everything in our power to protect children and ensure the safety and well-being of our students; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will continue to fight for the resources, training and support that educators and school personnel need to create safe and welcoming schools; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will continue to support local, state and federal policies and programs that increase the safety of students; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will continue to meet its duty of representation in a fair and responsive way, utilizing, in situations when educators are accused of misconduct, the template adopted by the AFT executive council in 2011, “A Framework for Addressing Allegations of Teacher Wrongdoing,” developed by noted attorney Kenneth Feinberg, a specialist in dispute resolution procedures. In addressing claims of teacher wrongdoing, the framework calls for a precise and rational process that balances fairness and speed, protects students and teachers, and fairly and expeditiously leads to a resolution that allows for a range of sanctions depending on the seriousness of the findings; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will combat those groups who want to destroy public education and the labor movement and diminish opportunity for millions of students and their families by demonizing teachers and school support staff through unsubstantiated claims; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will contest these deceptive, dangerous and fraudulent political attacks by groups like Project Veritas by exposing unethical and unlawful tactics, providing training and support to affiliates, and pursuing legal action against these attacks where applicable.

(2018)

Please note that a newer resolution, or portion of a resolution, may have superseded an earlier resolution on the same subject. As a result, with the exception of resolutions adopted at our most recent AFT convention, resolutions do not necessarily reflect current AFT policies.