Texas GOP Candidate Shelley Luther has decided to target transgender students alongside Chinese ones. She found her place in politics after being briefly jailed for refusing to follow pandemic safety orders in 2020.
The former teacher publicly advocated for the bullying of school children at a forum in northeast Texas on Saturday. She complained about the transgender children in her classroom, explaining they make her uncomfortable. She then complains that other students are unable to mock them.
“I am not comfortable with the transgenders,” Luther told the audience of Republican voters. “The kids that they brought in my classroom, when they said that this kid is transgendering into a different sex, that I couldn’t have kids laugh at them … like, other kids got in trouble for having transgender kids in my class.”
Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas, a group advocating for gay and transgender rights in Texas, responded to Luther’s comments. He argued that all school children should “feel a sense of belonging in school so they can focus on academic success.”
“Lamenting not being able to allow students to laugh at, bully and harass transgender kids isn’t leadership, it’s cruelty plain and simple,” Martinez said. “All children in Texas are guaranteed a public education under the constitution, deserve privacy and the ability to learn in a safe environment.”
Luther backpedaled in an email to the Houston Chronicle stating that she “respected and supported all students in [her] classroom,” but claimed it made teaching difficult because “the topic of gender transition became the top discussion every day in my classroom.”
“When the center of focus becomes a student and not the actual lesson being taught, it is unfair to the other students,” she said. “We should focus more on learning instead of arguing about which bathroom someone should use. Bullying is never acceptable, and did not occur.”
Businessman Tim Dunn bankrolled Luther’s failed attempt for state Senate last year with over $1.7 million. She is now competing with Rep. Reggie Smith, R-Sherman, in the March 1 GOP primary for district 62’s state House seat.