News & Politics

Moms Demand Action's Shannon Watts Mum About Member Who Bullied Teenage Girls

Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts has yet to weigh in on last week’s ugly incident involving fellow MDA member and Texas Councilwoman Kellye Burke. As PJ media reported here, the unhinged Burke loudly assailed a group of teenage girls in a West University Place cookie shop because one of them was wearing a MAGA t-shirt.

While the girls were waiting in line to buy cookies for a church function, Burke got in their faces, screaming, “Grab em by the (expletive) girls!” She also mocked them by chanting, “MAGA! MAGA! MAGA!” and took a picture of them.

Watts, as Twitchy pointed out, likes to present herself as “a champion of standing up for bullied teenagers.” For instance, she chastised that brute Laura Ingraham over her insensitive tweet about that poor, helpless Parkland survivor David Hogg:

Watts is very aware of who Burke is, having championed her in previous tweets.

This is really not tough a tough call. Berserk Burke’s conduct was way out of line. She was charged with disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor, for verbally abusing a group of innocent girls who were minding their own business. Laura Ingraham merely tweeted something insensitive to a teenager who has become a particularly strident public advocate on a controversial issue.

A petition to recall Burke from the West U City Council has even been started on

While Watts seems tongue-tied, Mayor Susan Sample has been proactive, telling local reporters that she has repeatedly reached out to Burke to ask about her intentions, but has not yet received a reply.

Sample later said that she was “giving Burke ‘space’ to come to her own decision about her political future.”

Burke was AWOL at the first city council meeting since the blow-up Monday night, opting to have Houston attorney Christopher Downey read a prepared statement from her.

In it, she explained that she had been advised not to attend the meeting (she didn’t specify by whom) because of security concerns over the charged atmosphere. (Later, West U City Manager Chris Peifer told Instant News that the recommendation had not come from the police department.)

Downey said the response included vociferously negative emails and social media comments —  and even death threats that had forced her to “flee” her home.

In the statement read by Downey, Burke said she immediately regretted her words during the incident and tried reaching out to the families of all of the girls involved, and that one family had responded and accepted her apology. Burke said she has continued to reach out to all of the parties to apologize, to no avail.

“I’ve made every effort to sincerely apologize in person. I was born and raised in Goliad,Texas, the daughter of two loving parents who expected to work hard, be joyful in hard times and do right by God,” Burke said in the statement. “I’ve done my best to live up to that standard of grace, but sometimes I make mistakes. And when that happens, as my parents would say, I take my lumps by acknowledging that hurt and doing my best to make amends.”

Burke acknowledged in her statement that she believes her remarks were “in bad taste” but felt that her contributions to her community “both before and during her time on Council” outweighed her verbal assault on the teens. For that reason, she said she has no plans to resign.

Members of the public both for and against Burke spoke at the meeting.

“Kellye made a mistake, but she is a warm and energetic great mom to two kids, a smart and enthusiastic community volunteer. She does not deserve this,” said a friend of the embattled councilwoman.

Another woman wearing a blue “Trump: Make America Great Again” shirt strongly disagreed.

Therese Tusa, a retired West University Elementary School teacher and Houston resident, said she participated in a rally for Trump in 2016 where she was “verbally and physically” accosted by a man who demanded to know why she — a woman — would support Trump.

“The experience was extremely frightening and traumatizing,” she said, adding that the incident involving Burke and the teenage girls reminded her of that incident.

“I’m an adult and I can take care of myself,” Tusa said,

“But I cannot imagine the fear experienced by these young girls buying cookies at the cookie shop being verbally assaulted by an adult, not knowing to what extent the woman’s anger might reach.”

The woman ended her remarks by calling on Burke to resign.