Amid the national debate over parental rights in education, candidates and leaders in Texas’ Republican Party hosted a press conference on Monday morning to speak out on the issue. 

Jeremy Story, a father who was arrested at his home for asking questions in a Round Rock ISD school board meeting, described the meeting of candidates—some of whom are running for the same elected positions in the March 1 primary elections—as “speaking with one voice today regarding protecting Texas children.” 

“We’re not running against each other. We’re running for you. And, especially, we’re running for our children,” said Lt. Col. Allen West, one of the three primary Republican challengers for governor. 

West began by citing Texas’ educational ranking as 46th out of 50 in the nation, and the fact that 67 percent of fourth-graders cannot read at grade level. He said those troubling statistics continue while taxpayer-funded education officials—such as at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M—are more concerned with teaching critical race theory. 

“Why are we providing them taxpayer-funded money so they can produce the next generation of little Marxists and socialists?” he said.

West added the recent arrests of parents who have spoken out at school board meetings is also unacceptable.

“I say no. I say we stand up and fight for our liberties and freedoms. We fight for our children. We pass on a better Texas than what was left for each and every one of us.”

Gubernatorial challenger and former State. Sen. Don Huffines said the biggest pushback in the Texas Legislature against bills that would protect children is not from Democrats, but from RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), and the recent wave of parental involvement in schools is helping move toward holding elected officials accountable. 

“I am so glad that we’ve got this movement,” Huffines said. “It’s a movement of mothers, it’s a movement of parents that have finally woken up and said enough is enough. Stop the Marxism. Stop the CRT. Stop the pornography in the elementary school libraries. Stop the drag queen story hours in our public libraries. Let’s take back our education system.” 

Huffines, a businessman, spoke about school choice and improving children’s education in terms of the free market. “Competition always lowers the price and increases the quality of every single thing it touches. And of course it’s got to do that with a government monopoly, our education system,” he said. “I’m a big champion for making sure that we have parental choice in education, freedom, whatever works for the kids.”

Gubernatorial challenger and media personality Chad Prather said the current government-controlled system has become far too corrupted.

“I’ve said that the public education—which is not education—the public school system, it really needs to be burned to the ground,” he said. “We need to start over. It’s built on an ideological humanist system, the Dewey-Mann philosophy of education; it leads to socialism.” 

“We don’t teach [children] critical thinking skills, no complexity of thought,” Prather added. “They go off to college, where this governor [Abbott] has placed wild-eyed leftists with a board of regents over our universities, and these tenured professors have never tested their weird theories in the real world. They only push papers around in an academic bubble. Our kids go in and get further brainwashed. When they come out of there, they’re deeply in debt with a degree in ‘undecided.’ They don’t know who they are. They’re letting culture shake them. We’ve got to stop this. There’s no place for things like CRT in free society.”  

“We’re going to make sure parents have the final authority over the children. They don’t belong to the state. They don’t belong to the system. They don’t belong to the ideology,” said Prather, promising that issues regarding sexuality, identity, and educational options will be dealt with in the home.

“​​It’s vital that parents get involved in their school district, and it’s vital that we elect a governor, whomever that may be, who will stand up and say this isn’t okay,” said Story, noting that the public school system influences about 90 percent of children in Texas. 

Land commissioner candidate Weston Martinez plans to set up a recall system for citizens to use for school board members who violate parental choices in education. Encouraging people to vote tomorrow, Martinez said, “RINOs in Texas are a non-natural game animal. You can hunt any game that is not native to Texas by any means possible.” 

Martinez recommended the ballot box.  

Lieutenant governor candidate and former President of Texas Eagle Forum Trayce Bradford spoke of her time advocating for bills to protect children in the Texas Legislature, stating that legislators told her, “No, it was too controversial.” 

“This game is over with this group,” Bradford said. “We need new people who have the guts to protect our children.”

Republican Party of Texas State Executive Committee Legislative Priorities Chair Jill Glover voiced her plea for voters to turn out en masse in Tuesday’s election.

Please vote for these challengers who are willing to stand up for our kids. Our very nation depends on it. Our liberties and our freedoms depend on it.

“What I want to say to you is that you can help make a difference as an activist,” said True Texas Project President Fran Rhodes, calling for “a grassroots activist army to hold our elected people accountable.”

The Republican primary election is March 1, and polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.