A high school student is alleging a Houston mayoral candidate told her and her friends at an event to “keep our legs closed.”
Houston TV station KTRK reports that Democratic mayoral candidate and current city council member Dwight Boykins allegedly made the comments to a group of teenage girls while speaking at the Youth Advocacy Summit last Friday.
“He was telling us we should keep our legs closed, that we shouldn’t taint ourselves,” a 16-year-old identified only as Khloe told KTRK. “In a way, saying that we should stay pure because otherwise, in the future, other men won’t want us.”
Attendees noted that Boykins pulled a girl sitting in the audience up to stand next to him to demonstrate his point.
“I’m going to lie and tell her how much I love her and how beautiful she is, how sweet she is, because I’m running game. And once we do something, he finds out, he isn’t going to want to marry her,” Boykins could be heard saying as he stands next to the girl.
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Boykins was reportedly invited to the summit to discuss issues involving high school students but deviated from the planned program.
Boykins issued an apology in a Facebook message posted Saturday, writing that he has “always been plain-spoken and have always spoke from my heart.”
“My words were met to inspire and I deeply regret the extent to which they caused anyone hurt or discomfort,” he wrote. “That was never my intention, and to anyone who may have taken offense by what I said, I apologize.”
Boykins said in a statement to The Hill that as he has done “on countless occasions throughout my district and around the city when speaking to our youth, I sought to encourage them to remain focused on their future hopes and dreams while drawing attention to the pitfalls that plague many young people.”
“As I mentioned in my initial statement, it was never my intention to cause anyone discomfort but to speak frankly about the pitfalls which I have seen derail the future of many of our youth, including teen pregnancy…an issue I have firsthand experience with in my own family,” Boykins said.
“I regret that a few seconds of my discussion with these young people have apparently overshadowed my entire conversation which was meant to ensure that our youth have the best opportunity to succeed in life,” he added.
The group that organized the youth summit put out a statement saying that it notified parents and authorities of the incident and condemned Boykins’s remarks.
“We do not and will not tolerate inappropriate behavior at our events regardless of whom the perpetrator might be. The safety and well-being of our young advocates are our paramount concern,” the statement read.
–This report was updated on July 2 at 12:05 p.m.