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CTA and NEA Presidents Declare Racist Symbol Has No Place In Our Neighborhood Schools

Concerned educators are committed to working with the community to ensure all students have a safe and nurturing learning environment.


CTA President Eric C. Heins and NEA President Lily Eskelsen García issued the following comments today regarding a recent photograph of Pamdale, California educators posing for a photograph holding a noose in a California school district: 

“We are shocked and saddened at the deeply disturbing photo taken recently at a school in Palmdale. Such a picture, and its resulting hurt and division, has no place on any school campus or in our education communities. A noose is a painful and racist symbol of our history.

“The California Teachers Association and the National Education Association have a deep and long-standing commitment to human rights, social justice and equity. We work regularly with school districts and our local chapters to further these causes and are committed to working with the educators and parents of Palmdale on eradicating the institutional racism that leaves many students without access and opportunity; but also to the individual, implicit bias that blinds many people, including educators, to the harmful impact of their actions. As the school district's investigation continues, we will continue to do all we can to ensure that our schools remain safe and caring environments for all students and staff.

“As educators, we are called on to model high standards for our students. This is an opportunity to reflect on the history of racism in our nation and what effect that has on who we aspire to be as a country. We must continue to talk deeply, intentionally and meaningfully about institutional racism and individual biases if we are to achieve the foundational and aspirational principles of equality and respect.” 



The 325,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3 million-member National Education Association.

CONTACT: Claudia Briggs at 916-325-1550