WASHINGTON (CBSDC)– Several parents are upset after a congressman’s presentation to young students took a dark turn.
Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., was speaking to second- and third-graders at San Tan Charter School when he began telling the students about vetoes, as reported by KPHO.
“It should have probably just been a good civics lesson for kids who initially were excited to meet their congressman,” parent Scott Campbell told KPHO.
Campbell says it was soon after the topic of vetoes came up that Salmon used an example of the current situation in Iran.
“[He] made some inappropriate comments about, ‘Do you know what a nuclear weapon is? Do you know that there are schools that train children your age to be suicide bombers?'” Campbell told KPHO.
Campbell and other parents say they were shocked and concerned following the discussion.
“Just from my observation, it was a terrible lack of judgement in that particular case,” Campbell said. “I was shocked initially. When I was hearing it, I was shocked and saddened.”
Salmon’s spokesman told The Washington Post in an email that the congressman apologized and spoke with some of the concerned parents.
“The content of those remarks wasn’t anything beyond what children could expect to see or hear on any timely TV or radio newscast,” spokesman Tristan Daedalus told The Post. “It was never Congressman Salmon’s intention to offend any parents present, so our office was happy to meet with them and discuss their concerns.”
Campbell reportedly personally called Campbell to express his remorse.
“After the meeting, Rep. Salmon called me personally to apologize to my family,” Campbell told The Post. “In today’s political climate that was a genuine and welcome gesture. I might not agree with his opinions on policy and what he did in this specific incident was wrong, but it did restore some of my faith in our democracy. People must speak truth to power when they are in the wrong and I have regained a lot of respect for him today.”