North Carolina House Majority Leader Paul “Skip” Stam told the state superintendent June Atkinson to “stick to her own knitting” on Monday after Atkinson argued that public and private schools should take the same standardized tests.
While Stam’s statement was obviously sexist, it was ignorant in criticizing a professional in the field of education for proposing educational reform.
Though Stam is a huge supporter of school vouchers, which some have called “Stam’s Crusade,” his position is evidently not in the interest of students.
In 2009, Stam voted against the prevention of bullying and violence and schools, including acts motivated by sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2010, Stam voted against reforming low-performing schools.
This is not the first time Stam has made offensive comments; he once called gay couples “things” during a state debate of marriage equality in 2011.
“The only thing unique about this latest sexist quote from Skip Stam is that it got reported on,” wrote Will Cubbison, a Twitter commenter. “He detests powerful women.”
Stam’s comments came on the same day as a teacher and parent rally against state education budget cuts, which ended tenure and cut teaching assistant positions, but expanded charter schools and school vouchers.
Neither Stam or Atkinson could be reached for comment.