Tuesday, February 28, 2017

TX: Senator Ambushed by Students

Texas GOP Senator Don Huffines is a huge fan of choice systems, and does his best to shill for them. But he ran into a rough time trying to pitch them to 7-12 grade students at Richardson ISD on, of all things, Texas PTA Day.

While the senator might have gotten just a bit over-salty with the students, his spokesman spun Huffine's behavior as nobly passionate:

It was dark. There were so many of them

While the policy was right, Senator Huffines' tone and delivery today did not live up to the level of civil discourse that he always expects of himself and others. Senator Huffines is unapologetic in his support for education choice, because it's a policy that supports students. He will not hide from passionate or heated debate on the issue. Where other politicians might have run, Don Huffines stayed and endured the ambush-style attack, then calmly answered more questions for 15 more minutes, including questions from students.

Yes, just like an ambush. You have to watch those wily middle school students. No doubt many students at Richardson are on that protestor payroll, raking in $1,500 a week to complain about GOP policies (and making more money than their teachers in the process, which means the all-powerful teachers union must be really falling down on the job-- honestly, it's a wonder that many of these global liberal conspiracies don't fall apart more often).

What did this terrible ambush entail?

One students pointed out that that Huffines' proposed voucher for students would not cover the cost of many of the higher-priced private schools.

Replied Huffines, "It doesn’t pay for all their education does it? The $5,000 won’t pay for it. So it doesn’t pay for it. So you’re saying that OK, since we’re not giving them enough money to pay for all their education then screw ‘em they can’t go to private school?” Huffines said. “Do you want me to give them $15,000, is that what you want? So they can all go to Hockaday, they can all go to Saint Mark. You want me to give them a full tuition? That is the most selfish thing I’ve ever heard!”

A parent questioned the use of public tax dollars for a private school.

Responded the senator, “What makes you think it’s your money? They’re the taxpayers. It’s the businesses. They’re the taxpayers. Sixty-two percent of all property tax is paid by business.”

You can see Huffines on a video taken by one of the parents and posted at this news outlet.  He paces back and forth, talks angrily, stabs forcefully at the table top with a finger.

Huffines is a real-estate developer who won office in 2014. He has received 100% ratings from Americans for Prosperity Texas, Texas Values, and  Texas Eagle Forum, and his stated goal is to "achieve unimaginable prosperity through limited government so we may cherish our liberty that God alone has bestowed upon us." Nowhere on his website is there anything about hectoring children who dare to ambush him with ideas that disagree with his own.


  1. The awesome thing about public figures is that their phone numbers are googlable.

  2. I taught middle school for 14 years. Very few senators could last 15 minutes without losing their tempers.

  3. My opinion.... Besides being paid protestors, (if that is even true??) I would bet that most of these kids are parroting the views of their parents or giving into peer pressure.

    There may be a few who are politically inclined on their own at these ages. ��

    But IMHO, I have a problem believing too many middle schoolers are interested in what is going on in the world today, much less rabid activists. Most are busy with their own lives.. Texting, homework, crushes on boys/girl, extracurricular activities, facebook, phone, etc.

    Heck, in "man/women on the street interviews" many adults and young people have no clue what vouchers are... Or when shown pictures of important public people they should know, they haven't a clue. (but they do know the faces of Lady Gaga, Miley Cirus, etc.)
    ...things like what year did Columbus arrive in the New World, most have no clue. Interest in world events??

    If a student overhears his parent's view points with no explanation ---- that is parroting​ what parents think.. So they must be right.

    It's okay if parents share their views with full explanation, comparing it to the opposing view. Then the student has a reason to protest.
    However, kids also need to be taught good manners, how to express their views in a civil way,..to call or write the speaker would much more effective in the long run. How not to crumble under peer pressure, thus experiencing the intrinsic satisfaction that they handled the situation reasonably.

    On the other side it is a shame the speaker's responses were not handled better.

    However, if I were one, and the ambushers were many... not behaving in a civil manner.... I might tend to respond in that same manner! Don't parents do this from time when in a battle with their child, especially the older ones! Sometimes enough is enough. As is said, you may have to hit someone in the head with a 2x4 to get their attention.

    Shame on the person who planned and executed this ambush. As a parent I would find out who taught my child what ambushing is and made the plan of action. As a parent I would not condone​ this behavior in my child. I would hope that I had taught my child better.... And it is okay to disagree.

    BTW, I'm personally not for vouchers... I'm a retired teacher of 27 years. I worry about what will happen to public schools and the kids who stay because their parents are uninformed or just don't care. Will the children who choose to stay in public schools have resources to receive an adequate education? I worry about how much money for voucher schools will be siphoned into the pockets of the administration of the voucher schools.
    People should look at the track records of private, voucher schools.... (especially the ones that have "gone out of business")
    Just saying you need to look at all information from all sides before deciding if vouchers are good or bad.