- Students offended by the “presence of Ted Cruz”, accusing him of being “misogynistic, homophobic, and racist”.
- The group of students called Cruz’s ideas and very presence “offensive,” claiming that Cruz’s views are “actively working to harm us, our community, and the people we love.”
- Many of the school’s students are immigrants or from an immigrant background.
A group of charter school students offended by the “presence of Ted Cruz” wrote a letter in protest to a scheduled school event with the presidential candidate, accusing him of being “misogynistic, homophobic, and racist” and giving the school’s principal the opening she needed to cancel the visit.
The letter was addressed to the Principal of Bronx Lighthouse College Preparatory Academy, a charter school. In it the group of students called Cruz’s ideas and very presence “offensive,” claiming that Cruz’s views are “actively working to harm us, our community, and the people we love.” They threatened to walk out of their 4th-period classes as an “act of civil disobedience” against the scheduled Cruz appearance.
The New York Daily News posted the full text of the letter. One 16-year-old associated with the letter told the outlet that many of the school’s students are immigrants or from an immigrant background.
Cruz’s father is a Cuban immigrant to the United States. His immigration plan calls for securing the border, building a wall on the U.S. southern border, enforcing immigration law, and reforming legal immigration.
In the letter, the group of students argue, “We have ideas and principles that should be heard and respected” after declaring that they would walk out in protest to Cruz appearing at the school to share his views. The hypocritical stance resonated with the school’s Principal Alix Duggins, who subsequently told the students that Lighthouse Academies CEO Khori Whittaker agreed to cancel the Cruz appearance entirely.
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Duggins told the students, “I would not have been able to get the visit cancelled without your actions,” according to the NY Daily News report, indicating that Duggins may have wanted to cancel the event before she received the letter. It was not clear whether Duggins had spoken with the students about the appearance before the letter was drafted.
Cruz is making several appearances in the Bronx, campaigning ahead of New York’s April 19 Republican primary election. During a campaign stop in the Bronx Cruz blasted liberal positions:
…a minute ago I was meeting with a significant number of Hispanic pastors, African American pastors here in the Bronx, and one of those pastors, Senator Ruben Diaz, who is a Democratic state senator who hosted the gathering, said, I know what you mean by New York values. We fight them every day in our community. We fight them. They’re the values that led, for example, mayor Bill de Blasio, liberal Democrat, getting elected mayor, one of the first things he did was try to shut down charter schools in Harlem because he is captive to the union bosses who control him, so one of his first actions was to try to throw young African American and Hispanic kids out of the schools that were giving them hope and giving them a lifeline.