Supporting survivors, opposing Kavanaugh

October 5, 2018

Seattle teachers are showing their solidarity with survivors of sexual assault and their opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Jon Greenberg, member of the Seattle Education Association (SEA) and the social justice caucus Social Equity Educators, submitted the following resolution opposing Kavanaugh this week, which the SEA Executive Board passed unanimously. The resolution is scheduled to go before the SEA Representative Assembly on October 8 for a vote to make it the official union position. Seattle activists invite other unions to join them in passing similar resolutions.

WHEREAS too many of our students are survivors of sexual violence — the Associated Press tallied 17,000 reports at schools between 2011 and 2015;

WHEREAS we prepare youth academically to attend institutions of higher education at which their risk of being sexually assaulted increases — 20 percent of women and 21 percent of trans and gender nonconforming students report being sexually assaulted in college;

WHEREAS Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is proposing changes to Title IX that will limit the protections of students who have been sexually assaulted at school;

Activists take to the streets of Washington to protest Judge Kavanaugh
Activists take to the streets of Washington to protest Judge Kavanaugh

WHEREAS even now the vast majority — about 70 percent, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) — of sexual assaults go unreported;

WHEREAS too many SEA members are also survivors of sexual violence;

WHEREAS too often survivors of sexual violence are shamed more than the perpetrators of sexual violence, evidenced by the stories tagged with #WhyIDidn’tReport and the mistreatment of Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempted rape;

WHEREAS we must believe survivors like Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford, as well as Kavanaugh’s newest accusers, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick; and

WHEREAS the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford was far more credible than that of Brett Kavanaugh, who has lied in his recent answers, according to multiple journalists (here, here, here, here, to start), and evaded answering others at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on September 27, 2018;

Therefore, be it RESOLVED that Seattle Education Association publicly support survivors and oppose the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh — as soon as possible — through a press release to major news outlets, local and national, which includes an open letter to the Washington Education Association and National Education Association Board urging them to do the same.

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