A conservative candidate for the Fort Bend ISD school board is facing criticism after a series of inflammatory tweets accusing Democrats of sexualizing young children, and at least one of which opponents are decrying as racist.
David Hamilton, who is running for Fort Bend ISD School Board Position 7, posted multiple tweets accusing Democrats of trying to “sexualize kindergarteners” because of opposition to a Florida bill prohibiting some schools from teaching sexual orientation and gender identity.
One of the tweets included the so-called “bed intruder” meme, which features a Black man being interviewed by a television anchor after a home invasion. The meme sparked a debate over race in media after going viral in 2010. The tweet has since been deleted.
“The posts that surfaced from Mr. Hamilton’s Twitter page are not only insensitive and racist, but they’re untrue, and anyone who expresses this kind of hateful rhetoric has no place on the school board making decisions for our children’s education,” said Glenda Guzman Macal, president of the Fort Bend ISD local affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.
Macal noted that Fort Bend ISD is one of the fastest growing and most diverse school districts in Texas.
“The decisionmakers whom we’re going to elect to this position need to meet the needs of all of our children,” she said, “Mr. Hamilton’s posts don’t reflect that.”
The Fort Bend ISD school board election is meant to be a nonpartisan contest. But in his social media posts, Hamilton specifically targets Democrats — along with the Walt Disney Co. and the Washington Post — signaling his political leanings. Hamilton has also attacked COVID-19 mask mandates.
Hamilton defended his tweets in an interview last week.
“There have been a lot of politicians and a lot of media outlets that have described it as the so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, but it’s really about sex-ed for Kindergartners through third graders,” Hamilton said, “which begs the question, why would people be responding the way that they’re responding unless they want to sexualize Kindergarteners through third graders?”
Hamilton called the idea that any of his tweets were racist “absolutely absurd.”
The Fort Bend AFT has endorsed one of Hamilton’s opponents, Orjanel Lewis. Neither Lewis nor the third candidate in the contest, Shell McClue, could be reached for comment.
A representative from the Fort Bend ISD school board declined to comment.
In 2014, Hamilton ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for state representative against Democratic candidate Ron Reynolds of House District 27. Reynolds called Hamilton — who blasted the Democrat on social media after learning he spoke to Houston Public Media for this story — a “hyper-partisan” candidate.
“I think that is not the kind of person that should be serving at any level of government, but certainly not a school board trustee,” Reynolds said.
The Fort Bend ISD school board election is May 7.
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