There’s an article making the rounds on Facebook with the title “Plane passenger asked teacher a rude question about her job. Her response is PERFECT!”
The video featured comes from the YouTube account of the Campaign for America’s Future with this description:
“National Education Association president Lily Eskelsen García explains the vital work of public school teachers at the Campaign for America’s Future Awards Gala October 27, 2015 in Washington, where she received on one of the organization’s Progressive Champion awards. For more details on this event, go to http://gala.ourfuture.org.”
Listen closely as she speeds up her speech pattern and begins to list the types of students that teachers have to accommodate in public school classrooms (around the 1:50 mark).
The president of the “the nation’s largest labor union,” the group that represents over 3 million teachers, the men and women who work with our children every day, referred to children with special needs as “chronically ‘tarded and medically annoying.” AND this was during an acceptance speech for a “Progressive Champion” award!?
And we wonder why we still have to fight for inclusion….
If you’d like Lily to explain herself – let her know. She’s on Twitter
“Chronically ‘tarded & medically annoying” is neither progressive nor acceptable @NEAToday @Lily_NEA @OurFuture #UnacceptableExample
You can also let your voice be heard on the NEA Facebook page.
This speech was highlighted on Upworthy.com by Angie Aker with the headline “A plane passenger asked a teacher a kind of rude question about her job. She responded eloquently!”
At the bottom of the page, they offer a transcript of the video.
“We diversify our curriculum instruction to meet the personal individual needs of all of our students the blind, the hearing impaired, the physically challenged, the gifted and talented, the chronically [inaudible 00:01:54] and the medically annoying.”
Calling children #ChronicallyTarded & #MedicallyAnnoying is not eloquent! @Upworthy @Lily_NEA @ANGIEaker http://bit.ly/NotWorthyofUpworthy
Update (11/30/15): Two more national organizations have published statements condemning Garcia’s remarks:
Article appears in The Mighty
A public explanation/apology appears on her blog