Tennessee Clergy Fight Campfield's 'Starve Our Children' Bill



The Tennessee-based Clergy for Justice is fighting Sen. Stacey Campfield's bill to cut welfare assistance to the families of kids who screw up in school. So far, the ministers have collected more than 3,000 signatures on a change.org petition against the bill.

"We must make it clear to the Governor, Lt. Governor, and our State House Representatives that we, as citizens of Tennessee, will not stand for the passing of HB 0261/SB 0132, the 'Starve our Children' bill," the petitioners state.

Among the petition's comments:

"I thought this was an fake news story from the Onion. I ashamed that this is real."

"I don't want to live in a state where children go hungry to punish their struggling parents."

Think Progress publicized the petition with this post and pointed out:

Research shows that children from impoverished homes “>tend to struggle more in school than children from economically secure households. Social and economic instability during formative years can cause chronic stress and stunt basic skills other children take for granted. As one petition signatory, a former teacher, noted, “I have seen first hand what lack of food does to a child in an educational setting. When you are hungry, you cannot learn. It is just that simple.” Threatening to cut off a family’s already meager source of sustenance can only harm children’s educational prospects, not improve them.

Update: Loving the attention, Campfield responds to critics on his blog. Welfare mothers need to keep their hands off "other people's money," he says.

Liberals have fooled people into thinking that they are automatically entitled to other peoples money without having to do anything to get it. That any sort of standard of accountability for that money is some sort of "unfair punishment" on them. There is a solution for this "grave indignity" perpetrated against them. Don't apply for the money. There are plenty of others who would be happy to do what it takes to take their place.

Update II: Clergy for Justice delivers 133 baskets of loaves and paper fish to the offices of each legislator to urge Tennessee to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and Democratic Party chairman Roy Herron speaks out against Campfield's welfare bill.

"There will be some child who will catch unmitigated hell because some struggling parent or some demented parent takes it out on the child when their food is not there and the benefits are not paid. We should be protecting and providing for our children, not starving them if they struggle in school."


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