North Carolina House Majority Leader Paul “Skip” Stam had some choice words Monday for the state’s superintendent of public instruction –- words that he would most likely reconsider if the schools chief were a man.
Stam's comment came after the superintendent, June Atkinson, expressed her belief to reporters that private schools and public schools in the state should take the same standardized tests. He said she should focus on her mandate of helping public schools, according to North Carolina outlet The News & Observer.
“She should stick to her own knitting,” Stam said.
However, as ThinkProgress points out, Stam’s comment not only has “sexist implications” but also “ignores the fact that education is Atkinson’s proverbial ‘knitting.’”
Some Twitter users also found Stam’s comments to be sexist:
— Will Cubbison (@wccubbison) August 13, 2013
— Tori Taylor (@toritaylor) August 13, 2013
Stam’s comments Monday came on the same day that teachers and parents rallied in Charlotte against state education budget cuts. The North Carolina legislature recently passed a budget that puts an end to teacher tenure and cuts positions for teachers assistants, but expands charter schools and school vouchers.
Stam is a big supporter of school vouchers, which are scholarships to private schools paid for by tax-payer money. In April the News Observer wrote an editorial decrying Stam’s position on vouchers, titled “Stam’s Crusade.”
Neither Stam nor Atkinson could be reached for comment.