Tennessee State Sen. Stacey Campfield was attempting to pass a bill that linked academic performance to a family’s welfare benefits, that is until 8-year-old homeschooler, Aamira Fetuga stopped him dead in his tracks!
Apparently the precocious child shamed the lawmaker into relenting on the bill by following him around the Capitol and presenting him with a petition and a choir! It’s been reported that under Campfield’s bill (Senate Bill 132–Education to End Poverty Act), families could have lost up to 30 percent of welfare benefits from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program if a child did not attend school regularly and make “satisfactory academic progress.” The bill is affectionately called by opponents, “The Starve The Children Bill.”
At one point, Aamira explained that she was worried about her lights getting turned off.
Campfield kept walking away from the adorable little girl, and supporters called him out, claiming, “You are so weak, to not listen to a child.” But Aamira lingered on and asked, “Why do you want to cut benefits for people?”
“Well, I wouldn’t as long as the parent shows up to school and goes to two parent-teacher conferences and they’re exempt,” the state Senator explained.
Campfield grew irritated and at one point said, “Using children as props is shameful.” But it was affective because he dropped the bill! Campfield said, “This may be a slight detour, but honestly I think this could hopefully make it even better.”
So this isn’t the last time we’ll see this bill. It will be brought back up again next year. Let’s hope Aamira’s around!
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