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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Buckhorn: Nothing wrong with calling School Board members "mean girls"



In the heat of last month's firing of Hillsborough County schools superintendent MaryEllen Elia, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn had some strong and gender-specific words for the School Board members who ran her off. "Mean girls" was one phrase he used.

Might that characterization cost Buckhorn some female votes? Is he worried? Having second thoughts?

Not so much.

When asked about the quote during a party for Elia Monday might, Buckhorn had this to say:

"As the father of two daughters, I do everything I can to empower them. I expect my daughters to have the same chances as anybody else. That was a reference to a TV show."

He stood by the way he has characterized the board members. "It has nothing to do with making any derogatory comments," he said. "It was all about castigating and condemning a bad decision ... by certain school board members who happen to be women. I would have said the same thing if they were men."

The words just might be different, and not gender-specific. "I would have called it juvenile, I would have called it similar to eighth grade."


[Last modified: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 7:13am]


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