Arizona Education Association

Summer 2016

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SUMMER 2016 | ADVOCATE 23 N ine civics, history, and social stud- ies teachers, including AEA Vice President and past Isaac District Education Association President Marisol Garcia, went to Washington this past May. They demanded that Senators do their job and provide a hearing and vote on Presi- dent Obama's Supreme Court nominee to the Supreme Court, Chief Judge Mer- rick Garland. They joined a White House roundtable discussion with senior Obama administration officials to discuss the con- firmation process and how educators teach their students about the Supreme Court and its role in our national government. The nine teachers were from Arizona, Indi- ana, Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah. "Senate leaders are teaching the wrong lesson to our students by failing to do their job and hold a hearing and a vote on a highly qualified Supreme Court nominee, Chief Judge Merrick Garland," said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. "It's our job to teach our students lessons about the importance of the U.S. Constitution but apparently some Senators need a lesson as well. That's why these civics, history and so- cial studies teachers from across the country came to Washington: they are here to tell Senate Republicans to stop playing political games, stop delaying action on the Supreme Court nomination, and stop caving to the extreme voices of the Republican party. It's time for politicians to put their constitu- tional duty ahead of partisan politics." "The meeting is an opportunity to recommit to the critical work that remains, remembering that the outcome in Brown v. Board was never inevitable," said White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. "It was brought about by citizens from all walks of life across the country, including educators, who every day continue the important work of those who fought so hard for equality and build lasting bridges of opportunity for young people. Brown v. Board is resounding proof that – within the framework of our judicial system, and through the power of collective action – progress is possible. The anniversary of this historic Supreme Court case also reminds us of the critical role the Court plays in our system of government and how important it is that the Court is fully functioning. That's why senators should quickly move to consider Chief Judge Gar- land – an eminently qualified nominee who will be an outstanding Justice." In April, Garcia, joined a dozen teachers in sending a letter to the U.S. Senate de- manding a hearing and a vote on the presi- dent's nominee. In addition, the National Education Association launched an online petition asking the American public to join educators and the growing chorus of voices urging the Senate to act on the president's nominee. Garcia was among the twelve teachers who wrote, in part: "As educators in the classroom, we believe it is our responsibility to help students learn about—and appreciate—the role citizens play in our democracy. We teach that being a good citizen requires cooperation, mutual respect, and the ability to compromise. When our students work in groups, they work together and do their jobs, even when they are not friends or have disagreements. "Please help us teach our students the true meaning of democracy. Demonstrate that America's leaders can put aside their differences to do their jobs. For the sake of the students who are the future of America, we urge you to hold a hearing and up-or- down vote on Judge Garland, the President's nominee for the Supreme Court." Educators believe that Senate Republi- cans are playing a dangerous political game by refusing to consider President Obama's nominee. That is why they are urging the U.S. Senate to hold a hearing and a vote so that the court can continue to serve the American people at full strength. Arizona Teacher Goes to Washington to Demand Vote on Supreme Court Nominee

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