Antigay Rep Heads Education Subcommittee

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com January 06 2011 6:25 PM ET

As states and school districts are looking for ways to reduce harassment and bullying in the classroom, a representative who was vehemently opposed to the passage of last year's Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act will head the higher education subcommittee in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Virginia Foxx, a North Carolina Republican, was once a college president and professor at several colleges in her home state, after she earned her Ed.D in higher education/curriculum at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Foxx previously served on the Education and the Workforce Committee from 2005-2008.

Shortly after the House passed the hate-crimes law to bolster local police's abilities to prosecute and investigate hate crimes, Foxx said that while Shepard's death was unfortunate, the idea that it was a hate crime it was a hoax.

“Education is a cornerstone of a prosperous and secure society and if the United States is to remain competitive in the global marketplace quality higher education will be one of keys to maintaining our edge,” Foxx said in a statement Tuesday. “So I’m very honored to chair the subcommittee on higher education and am excited to roll up my sleeves and work towards making our higher education system even better while carefully stewarding taxpayer dollars.”