State Senator from Richardson, Don Huffines, recently met with a group of parents, teachers, administrators, and students, when the discussion quickly turned hostile. The conversation turned to vouchers to pay for students to attend private schools, and Huffines began raising his voice and spoke defensively.
One of the students, some as young as 13, mentioned that this voucher program would not provide sufficient funds for students to attend prestigious Dallas private schools, to which Senator Huffines responded:
“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? 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 spokesman for Huffines issued an apology for the incident that read:
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.
Despite the tension, the gathered group of students, teachers, parents, and administrators are willing to extend another invitation to meet with Senator Huffines again, this time hopefully with a lot less yelling and arguing.