We might be exaggerating if we said the Texas Legislature never saw a dumb law it didn’t like, but far too many state politicians contribute to that stereotype.
The Texas House of Representatives played true to form last week when it set aside trivial issues like the state budget, a public school finance plan and voter ID to focus on a much more pressing subject — high school cheerleaders.
Representatives, evidently having nothing better to do, approved a bill that would ban sexually suggestive cheer routines, 85-55. The bill’s author, Rep. Al Edwards, D-Houston, thought high school cheerleaders’ dances were too sexually oriented.
The measure would allow the state education commissioner to reduce funding for a district that allows such a performance. Of course, the bill didn’t specify who would decide exactly what might be considered sexually suggestive.
Thankfully, the members of the Texas Senate seem to have their priorities straight. Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, head of the Senate Education Committee, told the San Antonio Express-News that state government should not scrutinize cheer routines. “That’s why we have local control.”
And one of South Texas’ senators, Judith Zaffirini — a former high school cheerleader — told the Express-News the bill will die as soon as it arrives in the Senate.
We wish more House members had that kind of common sense.
The Texas Legislature has no business getting involved in the waving of pompoms. Dance routine monitoring should remain the province of, first, parents and, second, the schools. The actions of the House did nothing more than invite national ridicule upon the state.
They should be ashamed of themselves for engaging in such foolishness, wasting taxpayers’ time and money.
The Texas Legislature meets in regular session just once every two years. Lawmakers should not squander precious hours on inconsequential matters.