Day: <span>June 3, 2014</span>

Bad news for a North Texas school district


Watching bigots in public places fall all over themselves with apologies has become something of a spectator sport in this day of social media. But it is far from entertaining.

The latest example comes from the Keller ISD in suburban Fort Worth, where newly elected school board member Jo Lynn Haussmann went on Facebook to berate voters in the community of Southlake for electing a Muslim to their city council. “What a SHAME!!!!!” she lamented.

The comments quickly blew up in her face. There were messages against her comments on social media, critical emails to the news media and a repudiation from other board members, who now will decide if the new trustee violated the board’s code of conduct.

Haussmann has apologized, both publicly and in a personal phone call to the Muslim surgeon who was the target of her comments. And she told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “I can’t believe I did anything so stupid.”

It may be easier to believe than she wants to admit, however, because she has made anti-Muslim comments before. According to the Star-Telegram, she posted this comment on a YouTube video during the 2012 presidential campaign: “DON’T SELL OUT YOUR COUNTRY TO BE A SOCIALIST/COMMUNIST NATION BY NOT VOTING ROMNEY!…I’d rather have a Mormon with HIGH MORALS than a muslim!” (Mormons may consider that a back-handed endorsement, at best.)

Of course, neither President Obama nor Vice President Joe Biden, his running mate, is a Socialist, a Communist or a Muslim. But Haussmann has given a strong indication, at least twice now, of being a bigot.

Even without her bigoted comments, she may be bad news for educators, students and parents in Keller ISD, a fast-growing, suburban school district that needs strong support from state government as well as local taxpayers. Her supporters included the Northeast Tarrant Tea Party and Empower Texans, groups intent on starving public schools and other critical public services.