Teachers are protesting Ted Cruz’s response to the school tragedy in Uvalde.

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 Teachers are protesting Ted Cruz’s response to the school tragedy in Uvalde.

Several dozen Texas teachers, school employees, and union officials staged a protest outside Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz’s office in downtown Austin on Tuesday afternoon, chanting “shame on you,” in response to Cruz’s comments in the aftermath of the Uvalde school shooting, which left 19 students and two teachers dead, according to the San Antonio Express-News.



The demonstrators also demanded safer classrooms, stricter gun regulatory measures, and a pushback against rhetoric advocating teacher arming in the classroom, according to the Express-News.



Teachers are protesting Ted Cruz’s response to the school tragedy in Uvalde.Image of Ted Cruz via Flickr/Gage Skidmore is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit



“Educators are here to teach, not to police,” said Zeph Capo, the Texas chapter president of the American Federation of Teachers.



Following the shooting, Cruz has focused on improving school security and has criticized ideas to tighten gun laws and purchasing restrictions.



Teachers are protesting Ted Cruz’s response to the school tragedy in Uvalde.Image of ted Cruz via Flickr/Gage Skidmore is licensed with CC BY-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit



“The elites who dominate our culture, tell us that firearms lie at the root of the problem,” Cruz said in a Friday speech at the National Rifle Association conference in Houston. “It’s a lot easier to moralize about guns and to shriek about those you disagree with politically, but it’s never been about guns.”



Cruz claims that anyone seeking to tighten gun laws is attempting to “disarm America.”



Members of the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers march through downtown Austin to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz’s Office calling for “sensible gun control.” #AFT #teachers #TedCruz #UvaldeMassacre pic.twitter.com/EZ8AmXuVMb



— MelanieTorre (@melanietorre) May 31, 2022



On Friday, Cruz sat down to a sushi dinner that was interrupted by a man who confronted the lawmaker over his hard-line stance on firearms, three days after 21 people were shot and killed at an elementary school in the state.



The man shouted above security personnel as they walked him to the door at the end of the altercation.



“Nineteen children died! That’s on your hands! Ted Cruz, that’s on your hands!” he says in a video of the incident.



Teachers are protesting Ted Cruz’s response to the school tragedy in Uvalde.Image via Twitter video screengrab



Benjamin Hernandez, the man, who confronted Cruz, told HuffPost that he was in Houston because his digital advertising firm was live streaming protests outside the NRA convention. “Oh, hell no,” Hernandez exclaimed as he saw Cruz stroll into the same restaurant where he was having dinner.



“A couple of days ago, I had caught that clip of Beto [O’Rourke] confronting [Texas Gov. Greg] Abbott, and I wrote something to the effect of, ‘Confront all these hypocritical assholes like Beto did.’ And it’s really easy to tweet, right?” Hernandez told HuffPost. “But then two days later, Ted Cruz is walking in this space where I am, and it’s like, OK, I have to go talk to him now.”



Teachers are protesting Ted Cruz’s response to the school tragedy in Uvalde.Image via Twitter video screengrab Conoce estos Remedios de Salud y Bienestar Caseros o Naturales, Tips, Recomendaciones y Propiedades. CUERPO Y MENTE SANA Remedios Naturales Caseros Trucos Y Consejos De Salud



Despite the fact that other Republican politicians boycotted the NRA gathering following the killing in Uvalde, Texas, Cruz showed up and delivered a speech in which he maintained that guns were not to blame for the terrible tragedy.



Hernandez faked to pose for a photo with his arm around Cruz at the restaurant as a friend secretly recorded a video of him turning to Cruz after the false photo to discuss gun legislation.



“You know, I would encourage you ― I gave about a half-hour speech today at the NRA convention ― I encourage you to watch it,” Cruz can be heard responding.



Teachers are protesting Ted Cruz’s response to the school tragedy in Uvalde.Image via Twitter video screengrab



In the aftermath of the Uvalde shooting, in which 19 children and two adult teachers were slain, Hernandez implores him to explain his views on gun control.“Background checks ― is that so hard?” he says.



“OK, you don’t want to listen,” Cruz tells Hernandez, glancing back at the person filming and appearing to grasp what’s going on. Hernandez then takes a breather, allowing Cruz to claim that the Democrats’ policies, which he did not explain, would not have prevented the gunman from killing himself. Salvador Ramos, who died at the scene, was eighteen years old when he lawfully purchased two AR-15 weapons and over 1,600 rounds of ammunition.



“You can make it harder for people to get guns in this country. You know that. You know that. But you stand here, you stand at the NRA convention ― it is harder, it is harder when there are more guns to stop gun violence,” Hernandez tells Cruz.



Teachers are protesting Ted Cruz’s response to the school tragedy in Uvalde.Image via Twitter video screengrab



Security officials place themselves between Cruz and Hernandez at that point, ushering him to the door.



Indivisible Houston, a progressive activist group, posted the two-minute video, identifying Hernandez as a board member. As Cruz’s security began forcibly taking Hernandez away, another sushi restaurant patron videotaped the incident from a different perspective.



“The time for civil discourse and debate ― when they allow it, which they don’t ― that’s over, to me,” Hernandez said later to local media.



“It is uncomfortable. Yes, it was uncomfortable for me to go and do that ― that’s not me. My mom was even surprised that I dropped the F-bomb. But this week has had me dropping F-bombs, because I’m just so incensed that they would stand there and not do anything about it,” he added.



Teachers are protesting Ted Cruz’s response to the school tragedy in Uvalde.Image via Twitter video screengrab



Cruz’s statement surprised him the most, he claimed, because it felt “scripted.” Cruz had given the identical response to a Sky News reporter who grilled him on gun control measures earlier in the week.



“You’re directing me to your 30-minute speech, and you just can’t answer a simple question? Background checks, can’t we start there?”



Teachers are protesting Ted Cruz’s response to the school tragedy in Uvalde.Image via Twitter video screengrab



Despite the fact that a bipartisan group of lawmakers has begun working on a gun control deal, Congress has mostly failed to implement real reform in the wake of multiple mass shootings over the last decade. A bill to extend background checks cleared the House but is stopped in the Senate, where Republican resistance is expected to prevent it from passing.





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