AFT Resolution

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION IN AND AROUND PUBLIC SCHOOLS

WHEREAS, students and communities are being exposed to cancer-causing pesticides and fumigants used in agricultural fields that are adjacent to local schools; and

WHEREAS, legislators and elected officials need to prioritize the health of schoolchildren; and

WHEREAS, environmental racism is affecting communities of color, farm-working communities and low-income, predominately Mexican-American families; and

WHEREAS, in the case of Garcia v. U.S. EPA, the findings showed that the Environmental Protection Agency’s conduct for compliance with the Civil Rights Act needed to be reviewed by a judge; therefore, on April 15, 2016, oral arguments were heard at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit; and

WHEREAS, California’s air monitoring network consists of six machines in the whole state and is not sufficient for monitoring the large agricultural communities that exist throughout California; and

WHEREAS, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation has begun to address the need to develop a plan for the use of pesticides around schools, but it is slow in the process and is considering protective buffer zones:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will encourage and support affiliates in lobbying state legislatures and county and city officials on creating a one-mile pesticide-free buffer zone around schools; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will encourage and support affiliates in lobbying the state legislature and county and city officials on providing local farmers impacted by the one-mile pesticide-free buffer zone around schools with economic incentives to produce organic farming techniques; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will encourage and support affiliates in lobbying the state Legislature and county and city officials on regulating the Department of Pesticide Regulation to monitor additional communities in alternating years to capture data in a wider range of locations to give the air monitoring network data on exposure; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will address these issues with the Department of Education to protect schoolchildren by requiring schools to provide only organic fruits and vegetables to public school meal programs; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will address these issues with the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. congressional leaders.

(2017)

Please note that a newer resolution, or portion of a resolution, may have superseded an earlier resolution on the same subject.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.