Connecticut Education Association Statement
October 5, 2018
CEA Condemns Legislative Candidate’s Hate Speech
Connecticut Education Association President Jeff Leake today criticized Steve Baleshiski, candidate for State Representative in the 30th District, for comments that came to light this week attacking high school student David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland High School shooting.
“No candidates running for office, Republican or Democrat, should make vile comments and attacks regarding students who speak out on matters of public concern. That is the opposite of what we teach about democracy, respect for each other, and a civil society.”
The February shooting left 17 dead and another 17 wounded at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Hogg joined other students in condemning the violence and advocating for gun violence prevention. Baleshiski attacked Hogg in Facebook posts and wrote unconscionable comments about the young survivor.
This is not the first time Baleshiski has crossed the line. Earlier this year, he verbally attacked black Congresswoman Maxine Waters, questioning her intelligence. And last year, he posted offensive and volatile comments about a Christian woman who supported members of the Muslim faith.
“Elections are an opportunity to educate voters and young people about issues and our democratic process,” said CEA Executive Director Donald Williams. “The Connecticut General Assembly is no place for those who attack students or show disrespect for people of different races and faiths.”
The Connecticut Education Association is Connecticut's largest teachers' union, representing active and retired educators across the state.