Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Schools in Conflict in the U.S.

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
A teachersÕ union has been accused of discriminating against religious conservatives. The Ohio affiliate of the National Education Association was criticized by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for "unnecessary delay" in its responses to members who applied for "religious objector" status during the last school year, Education Week reported. The religious members want part of their annual state dues, about $400 apiece, to be dedicated to charities of their choice rather than used to support the union's political agenda, which they say, backs abortion and homosexuality. Federal law allows union members to donate their fees to charity if supporting the union violates their religious beliefs. Forty-six of 97 applications for religious objector classification were denied last school year, said Christopher A. Lopez, the general counsel for the Ohio union. He said the time frame of six to nine months to determine eligibility status was not unreasonable. The union is trying to intimidate religious conservatives, a rights group says.

The delays are "designed to harass and humiliate teachers of faith," Randy Wanke of the National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation told Education Week. The Springfield, Va.-based nonprofit group is representing the complaining union members. (From Crosswalk) See also below.

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