A Republican state legislator is refusing to meet with a group of high school students from her district because they are Democrats.
Rep. Mary Franson (R), who represents Minnesota’s District 8B and is a staunch Trump supporter, says she will not meet with the Alexandria Area High School (AAHS) Democrats after the group reached out to her on Twitter.
“We’ve made some calls to your office, and haven’t recieved [sic] a response, but as politically active, community centered students we’d love to have a meeting with you soon to address our concerns, and have a respectful productive talk,” the students wrote to her on Twitter.
When the group proposed a meeting at Franson’s official legislative office, the lawmaker replied by dismissing the AAHS Democrats as a “partisan” organization, reports ThinkProgress.
“I don’t meet with partisan groups in my office — besides, isn’t your group actively campaigning against me?” she wrote.
AAHS Dems responded by noting that “[j]ust because we are of different parties doesn’t mean we shouldn’t meet and talk out our differences. We actually think that’s necessary, regardless of what campaign some of our members are on! We are constituents who have concerns.”
“AAHS Dems is a partisan group,” Franson fired back. “Thanks for playing.”
Franson came under such intense criticism for her brusque interaction with the student group that she locked down her official legislative Twitter account for a period of time over the weekend. On Monday morning, she responded to the uproar by tweeteing that “[t]here’s more to the story than meets the eye,” but added that she’s not at liberty to talk about it because “it would appear to be bullying AND THEY ARE MINORS.”
“I was in the high school page program at the state House and I was able to meet with her one on one, and I was a minor back then,” said Jack Ballou, who was elected this past summer as a National Officer for the High School Democrats of America. “We’re still constituents and I’m not sure what legal issue would arise.”
“Student debt — I’m a senior looking at college, and what can she do as a state legislator to make sure college can be more affordable and accessible to all students?” he said. “Climate — although she’s a climate denier, it’s still worth a shot. There needs to be those discussions or else nothing is going to happen.”
“I think we’re all concerned that it’s not really reaching this local community as much as it should,” he said. “There are a lot of reasonable people out here, and if they saw it I think it would change their votes.”
Fransen has blocked the group on Twitter.
We are again disappointed to see that Representative Franson has blocked us from her twitter. Especially since we’ve remained respectful. pic.twitter.com/plpNhoOncS
— AAHS Dems (@AlexMNHSD) December 18, 2017
Last month, Fransen deleted her personal Twitter account after tweeting a transphobic message in response to the election of two transgender candidates to the Minneapolis City Council.
I’d like to introduce you to @RepMaryFranson.
Mary is a state legislator in the MN House of Representatives.
I’ll leave this introductory tweet so you can take a guess as to which party she represents in Minnesota.
— Holly O’Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) December 16, 2017
“A guy who thinks he’s a girl is still a guy with a mental health condition,” she wrote.