A mayoral candidate from Houston, Texas, got into a heated exchange with a group of teenagers after he told them they "should keep their legs closed" during a meeting. The candidate, Dwight Boykins, said his comments at a Youth Advocacy Summit were meant to be part of an inspirational speech, according to reports.
The students, present at the event Friday, said they were stunned when they heard the city councilman make such inappropriate comments, according to KTRK. One of the attendees of the event, Diana Deleon, took to Twitter, saying: "We were with Councilman Boykins and he immediately set off numerous red flags. He refused any recording/cameras because he wanted to ‘tell it to us straight.' He looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘Women should keep their legs closed.'"
Other attendees claimed Boykins also made a 13-year-old girl attending the event uncomfortable when he pulled her onto the stage and joked about dating her. A 16-year-old, identified as Khloe, told the New York Post: "He made a young man stand up and he was holding another girl side by side and he was like, ‘If me and her were to do something, that young man wouldn’t want you in the future,’ and that really shows that he is invalidating young girls and not putting a good message across to the youth of America."
The students also claimed that after they called out Boykins on his controversial remarks, he refused to apologize to them. Deleon tweeted, saying: "Multiple brave girls stood up and challenged him calling his actions ‘inappropriate.' He continued to justify his actions saying he just wanted to ‘protect us’ and never gave a full apology." Shortly after the criticism, the councilman issued a statement the next day on Facebook saying he just "shared my perspective on life."
"During the discussion, I shared my perspective on life and the importance of staying focused while avoiding some of the pitfalls that far too often plague many of our youth, a message I have delivered to groups around the city,” Boykins wrote. “My words were met [sic] to inspire and I deeply regret the extent to which they caused anyone hurt or discomfort. That was never my intention, and to anyone who may have taken offense by what I said, I apologize.”