- The Washington Times - Friday, April 12, 2013

An 8-year-old girl fueled by her anti-welfare reform caretakers followed a lawmaker around the Tennessee Capitol on Thursday until he was shamed into dropping his bill that tied a portion of benefits to students’ academic progress.

“You are so weak, to not listen to a child,” one parent told state Sen. Stacey Campfield, as he walked from the 8-year-old girl, home-schooled Aamira Fetuga, and her accompanying crowd of pro-welfare activists singing, “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” Raw Story reported.

Raw Story reported the girl carried a petition in protest of the welfare reform, and she asked Mr. Campfield, as she tried to hand it to him: “Why do you want to cut benefits for people?”

The girl followed him on the long walk to the Senate floor. At one point, Raw Story said, Mr. Campfield reportedly decried the political theater, and said, “Using children as props as shameful.”

But the tactics worked. He ultimately withdrew his bill — though vowed to reintroduce it at a later time. The bill would have tied 30 percent of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families funding to student performance: The funds would be jeopardized if the family receiving welfare could not show their child attended school regularly and made “satisfactory academic progress,” Raw Story reported.