District 12 Texas State Board of Education candidate Gail Spurlock is building a reputation for extremism that might well win her fans (and votes) among far-right conservatives. But to a large swath of mainstream Texans, her latest comments are downright insulting.
Spurlock, who has gone on record with her belief that the Pilgrims were communists and her opposition to comprehensive sex education because kids are “gonna figure it out” on their own, dropped another whopper at a candidate forum last week when she blamed women — specifically professional women — for the decline in public education.
Speaking at an Allen Area Patriots candidate forum (along with Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, Spurlock’s primary opponent in Tuesday’s Republican runoff) Spurlock used her opening statement to say the following (video below):
“I’m running because our school system has really let us down. For the past 26 years we’ve seen a steady deterioration in our academic achievement of our students — that also parallels, interestingly, about from the early 70s when women decided it’s time to go back to work, and, you know, being someone’s employee is so much more of an identity than being someone’s wife and mother. That parental involvement with our school systems also parallels the deterioration.”
First of all, 26 years ago was not the early 70s. By my calculation, 26 years ago would have been 1986. (But then, I took math classes after the “steady deterioration” in our schools had set in, so who knows?)
Secondly, this is a galling message to send to working women — some of whom work in the classroom as teachers — who are basically being told they don’t belong in the workforce. It will also insult men, many of whom have women in their lives who work just as hard at their careers as they do at being a parent.
Sadly, this regressive attitude has a precedent on the Texas SBOE. In 1994 religious-righters on the board called for the removal of a textbook photo of a woman carrying a briefcase. They preferred a photo showing a woman baking a cake. Some things never change.
Here’s the video of Spurlock’s comments: