Ted Cruz came to New York Wednesday talking about education, but he’s the one who got schooled.
The lesson came from a group of Bronx high school students who told the Republican presidential candidate to stay away.
Cruz was scheduled to speak at Bronx Lighthouse College Preparatory Academy until students wrote a letter to the principal asking her not to let Cruz come, prompting staffers to cancel the appearance.
“We told her if he came here, we would schedule a walkout,” said Destiny Domeneck, 16. “Most of us are immigrants or come from immigrant backgrounds. Ted Cruz goes against everything our school stands for.”
Destiny and her classmates communicated that sentiment to Lighthouse Principal Alix Duggins.
“A group of students will be leaving during 4th period, as (an) act of civil disobedience in regards to the arrival of Ted Cruz to BLCPA,” the letter said. “We have all considered the consequences of our actions and are willing to accept them.”
“The presence of Ted Cruz and the ideas he stands for are offensive,” the letter said. “His views are against ours and are actively working to harm us, our community, and the people we love. “
The letter called Cruz “misogynistic, homophobic, and racist.”
Their letter struck a chord.
“Your points are eloquently argued — in fact, so eloquently argued that upon reading your email, Khori Whittaker, the CEO of Lighthouse Academies has agreed to cancel the visit,” Duggins replied.
“I’d like to commend you and the other students for your commitment to your beliefs and values. I believe that I would not have been able to get the visit cancelled without your actions.”
During a Bronx appearance, Cruz talked about the benefits of charter schools and the need for school choice.
Read the full text of the students’ email below:
Hello Ms. Duggins,
A group of students will be leaving during 4th period, as act of civil disobedience in regards to the arrival of Ted Cruz to BLCPA. We have all considered the consequences of our actions and are willing to accept them. We respect you and all the staff at BLCPA as well as the expected guests. But we want you to understand that as passionate students, we have ideas and principles that should be heard and respected. This walk out isn’t a reflection of our discontent with BLCPA but our opportunity to stand up for our community and future. This walk out is taking place because we as students all share a common idea.
The presence of Ted Cruz and the ideas he stands for are offensive. His views are against ours and are actively working to harm us, our community, and the people we love. He is misogynistic, homophobic, and racist. He has used vulgar language, gestures, and profanity directed at a scholar and staff members, along with harassing and posing threats to staff and scholars according to the Disciplinary Referral slip. This is not to be taken kiddingly or as a joke. We are students who feel the need and right to not be passive to such disrespect.