Union resolutions

Resolution condemning the Kavanaugh confirmation process and Trump's attack on a sexual assault victim

WHEREAS, Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at California’s Palo Alto University, has credibly accused Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, of attempted rape in 1982; and

WHEREAS, sexual assault survivors, including Ford, come forward with their stories risking harassment, ridicule, threats, and other significant emotional and physical burdens; and

WHEREAS, sexual assault survivors deserve to be heard and respected; and

WHEREAS, although sexual harassment and assault affects people of all genders and ages, women and girls are most frequently its targets and, since the United Federation of Teachers’ membership is more than 75 percent women, this issue is of particular concern to our union; and

WHEREAS, Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee was compelling and credible, as well as a stirring and inspiring example of a woman’s fortitude and determination; and

WHEREAS, Kavanaugh’s own testimony was an alarming display of belligerence, entitlement and partisanship wholly unbefitting any judicial appointment, much less a seat on the Supreme Court; and

WHEREAS, this sham of a confirmation process sends a clear and distressing message to our students that perpetrators will not be held accountable for sexual misconduct if they are powerful, and that victims will not be believed when it’s inconvenient;

WHEREAS, this confirmation process has denigrated the institutions of democracy, giving our students an ugly lesson in partisan politics; and

WHEREAS, sexual assault is pervasive in the United States, with one in five women and one in 59 men having reported being raped at some point in their lives, according to the CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey; and

WHEREAS, according to the National Sexual Violence Resources Center, at least 64 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to the police in the United States, only 2 percent are deemed false, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center; and

WHEREAS, the UFT has previously taken a firm stance in favor of consent education in New York City’s middle and high schools with a resolution on the subject in 2016; and

WHEREAS, as a union, the UFT’s foundations are built squarely on due process rights and the right to a fair hearing; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the UFT unequivocally condemns the Senate confirmation process as a sham since the Republican leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee has failed to evince any determination to adjudicate the truth of Ford’s claims or Kavanaugh’s fitness for the country’s highest court and have instead gone through the motions of the confirmation proceedings with the clear goal of placing Kavanaugh on the bench at all costs; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT condemns in the strongest possible terms President Trump’s cruel ridicule of Christine Blasey Ford at a campaign rally in Mississippi on Oct. 2.

RESOLVED, that UFT members and their families should be mindful of their representatives’ behavior during this Supreme Court confirmation, and hold them accountable when next they run for re-election.

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