Shelley Luther, a former teacher who is a Republican candidate for the Texas state House of Representatives, has shocked people all over the country after complaining she wasn't allowed to let her students "laugh at" transgender classmates when she was a teacher.
The Houston Chronicle recorded Luther making the comments during a candidate forum last weekend. In them, Luther called her trans students "the transgenders" and said she was "not comfortable" teaching them.
She also cited transgender students as the reason she supports "school choice" so that parents can keep their children away from transgender students. Watch her comments below.
*Be forewarned that this video contains offensive language.
In her comments, which were rife with ignorant and outdated language about transgender children, Luther said:
"I am not comfortable with the transgenders."
"The kids that they brought in my classroom when they said that this kid is transgendering into a different sex, that I couldn't have kids laugh at them … like, other kids got in trouble for having transgender kids in my class."
Luther is a former Spanish teacher and hair salon owner running as a self-proclaimed "true Christian Conservative Republican" for House District 62 in Northeast Texas. She rose to prominence in 2020 after defying Republican Governor Greg Abbott's shuttering of hair salons and barber shops in Texas during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Luther kept her salon in Dallas open and was sentenced to seven days in jail for violating the state's order. She was released after two, and became a conservative hero for defying the state's pandemic precautions, particularly after Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz made a point of getting a haircut at her salon.
In addition to virulent bigotry towards transgender children, Luther's platform also includes a xenophobic obsession with "communist Chinese infiltration" of America and is calling for a ban on Chinese students from Texas's colleges.
Her campaign website reads:
"We should not allow Chinese Nationals into our colleges where they can obtain classified information, steal technology, and essentially learn how to defeat the United States."
Luther also calls permitless gun ownership a "God-given right" and calls for stricter bans on abortion in Texas, which already has the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.
On Twitter, people were reviled by her rhetoric against transgender children.
Luther faces incumbent Republican Representative Reggie Smith in the Texas Republican Primary, which will be held on March 1. She previously ran for the Texas State Senate in 2020, which resulted in a double-digit loss.