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NEA president: Jeff Sessions' record makes him unfit to serve as U.S. Attorney General

Lily Eskelsen García urges Senate Judiciary Committee: Reject Donald Trump’s nominee

WASHINGTON - January 10, 2017 -

The National Education Association and its 3 million members urge the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to reject President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to serve as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García issued the following statement:

“Sen. Jeff Sessions is alarmingly unfit to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the office of attorney general. Sessions fought against equitable funding for public schools, opposed rights for students with disabilities and undermined additional civil rights across a range of issues. He has also voiced hostility toward immigrants, LGBTQ students and Muslims. Chillingly, during today’s hearing he channeled President-elect Donald Trump in reiterating Trump’s position to deprive aspiring Americans—people who came to the U.S. as children—of the opportunity to continue to contribute and thrive in this country.

“Given the racist remarks he is alleged to have made, Sessions’ nomination alone is an affront to those of us who have fought—and continue to fight—so hard to advance civil rights in this country. More to the point, however, throughout his public career, he has demonstrated an inability and unwillingness to fight for equal educational opportunities for all students and has repeatedly failed to defend the equal rights of students.

“Today, years after he left his post as Alabama’s attorney general, public schools there remain segregated and are weighted down by chronic underfunding in large part due to his actions. Sessions used his office to defeat a landmark school equity lawsuit, which unfortunately helped preserve Alabama’s long history of separate and unequal education. In the end, it’s the students who pay the price for the failed and discriminatory decisions of people like Sessions.

“The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.’ In just a few days, America will celebrate the national holiday honoring Dr. King’s extraordinary life and service. It is with his words in mind that we speak up about Senator Sessions’ troubling track record on public education and civil rights.

“We strongly urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject Donald Trump’s nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to serve as the nation’s attorney general.”

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The National Education Association ( is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez