Barbara Cargill: Protecting Texas Students from Planned Parenthood and Muslims!

by Dan Quinn

Barbara Cargill, who chairs the Texas State Board of Education and is running for re-election to her District 8 seat this year, still thinks she is one of a minority of “conservatives” on a state board in which 11 of 15 members are Republicans. And she also wants voters to know that she’s working to protect Texas kids from Planned Parenthood and Muslims.

The Conservative Coalition of Montgomery County (CCMC) this week posted video of a discussion with Cargill at a meeting last February. The group also posted video from a discussion with Cargill’s opponent in the May 29 GOP primary, Linda Ellis. Both candidates are from The Woodlands just north of Houston. (You can watch CCMC videos for Cargill, Ellis and candidates for other elective offices here.)

Cargill got into trouble just days after Gov. Rick Perry appointed her board chair last July, when she suggested that some of her Republican colleagues weren’t Christians and conservative. In her talk before the CCMC in February, Cargill left out the suggestion that five of her Republican colleagues aren’t Christians, but she made clear that she doesn’t think they’re conservatives:

“In looking at some of the other state board races, we would appreciate your prayers to get more conservatives on the board. If we could get seven or even eight, because eight is a majority of the 15. For four years we had seven, and that was so incredible because, you know, it’s right when the science standards were being adopted and then the history standards. So God’s timing was perfect. Then we just had to fight for that one vote to be a majority. So I’m really praying that we have some turnarounds on the board because, you know, now is the time we’ve got to do something and we’ve got to protect these precious children.”

And from what must the state board protect schoolchildren in Texas? Earlier in her talk, Cargill worried what school districts would do with the flexibility the Texas Legislature has given them (in passing Senate Bill 6 last year) to buy instructional materials even if the state board doesn’t approve those materials:

“I guess if I really want to stretch it and stir the pot, they could spend their money on things from Planned Parenthood.”

Yeah, stirring the pot might be one way to describe such a statement.

Cargill insisted that legislators must repeal SB 6, that school districts don’t really want the flexibility the new law gives them, and that the state board would do a better job keeping kids from being indoctrinated into Islam:

“There’s no error checking now. Because that was a big thing that we did when we appoint the panels to look through the textbooks, was to check for errors and to make sure that the content didn’t have, like, such a slant towards Islam, etcetera.”

Wondering where that came from? In 2010 Cargill supported a state board resolution (which passed) attacking Islam and falsely claiming that history textbooks are pro-Muslim and anti-Christian. Never mind, of course, that a Republican-dominated state board had approved those textbooks in 2002.

In her own discussion with the CCMC, Ellis stressed her support for local control and opposition to management of public schools from Washington as well as too much control in Austin.

All 15 seats on the State Board of Education are up for election this year. You can find a listing of candidates, district information and election news at tfn.org/sboe2012.

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