Popular conservative social media account Libs of TikTok called Republican State Rep. Travis Clardy of Nacogdoches “the living definition of a hypocrite” in a new article.
Libs of TikTok accused Clardy of opposing school choice legislation in the Texas House and taking campaign funds from organizations that fight against education freedom while sending his children to a private school.
The group also contacted Clardy and asked about potentially sexually explicit materials discovered at schools in his district, including the book “Flamer” by Mike Curato.
“Flamer” is categorized as a young adult graphic novel and chronicles the experiences of main character Aiden Navarro as he attends summer camp before starting ninth grade.
According to the book’s description, as Navarro “navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can’t stop thinking about), he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance.”
The graphic novel features scenes depicting discussions of sexually explicit topics, partial nudity, and allusions to masturbation.
In response, Clardy said he rejected “the idea that woke indoctrination is happening in my district and in east Texas rural public schools. My teachers and school administrators are hard working individuals that have committed to provide quality education to our kids and they’ll continue to do just that.”
Libs of TikTok found that one of Clardy’s donors, the Charles Butt Public Education PAC, aims to “pursue a public education policy and advocacy mission.”
Another of Clardy’s donors, the Association of Texas Professional Editors, “adamantly” opposes school choice. One of the organization’s 2023 Legislative Priorities called for “keeping public schools public” and blocking any voucher, tax credit, scholarships, or other programs to “fund private or home schools using taxpayer resources that public schools need to serve all students.”
Libs of TikTok reported that Clardy had accepted $25,000 in donations from school choice opponents.
Earlier this year, Clardy voted in favor of an amendment to Texas’ budget that would have prohibited the state from using public funds for school choice programs.
22 other Republican lawmakers joined Democrats in approving the amendment.
School choice advocate Corey DeAngelis called Clardy out on social media for sending his children to a private school while opposing school choice for Texas families.
“I’m glad his family had that opportunity,” said DeAngelis. “But @travisfortexas shouldn’t fight against school choice for others.”
In closing, Libs of TikTok slammed Clardy for what the group views as “hypocrisy.”
“Public schools are no longer what they once were,” wrote the group. “They are now a breeding ground for woke ideologies. There is no logical reason to vote against parents from choosing and having control over where their child goes to school. But there does seem to be 25,000 reasons to vote that way!”
Clardy refuted Libs of Tiktok’s claims in a statement to Texas Scorecard.
“I have always been a strong believer that parents are the most important decision-makers and educators in their children’s life,” said Clardy. “Judy and I have always made the best choices for our children which has included both public and private schooling. I believe in parental and family choice. I do not, however, believe that it is anyone else’s responsibility or obligation to pay my child’s private school tuition. As a conservative, I’ve always fought against redistributions of wealth by the government.”