Former Texas education official asks biracial student if he got into college ‘on merit’

"Were you admitted on merit or quota?"

George Clayton, a former Texas education official, tweeted at a biracial student, asking him whether he got into college "on merit." (CREDIT: League of Women Voters of Richardson, screengrab)
George Clayton, a former Texas education official, tweeted at a biracial student, asking him whether he got into college "on merit." (CREDIT: League of Women Voters of Richardson, screengrab)

A former Texas Board of Education official who claims to be running again for public office found himself in hot water on Friday, after he tweeted at a biracial high school student who had just announced his acceptance into Harvard University, credulously asking the student how he had gotten into college.

“It’s official, I’m Harvard bound,” high school senior Drake Johnson tweeted on Wednesday. “#Harvard2022.”

Days later, on April 20, former Texas Board of Education member George Clayton responded, “Congrats. Were you admitted on merit or quota?”

Without missing a beat, Johnson replied, “Thank you! Valedictorian, ASB President, World Champion, good SAT, and a couple handfuls of other involvements, so I would think merit?”

In his Twitter bio, Clayton, a Democrat-turned-Republican who served on the state school board from 2010 to 2012, describes himself as a “Candidate [for the] Texas State Board of Education, 2018.” However, according to the Dallas Morning News, which first reported about the interaction on Friday, there is no record of him ever filing for candidacy.


It’s not the first time the former education official has suggested non-white or minority students were incapable of getting into college on merit. On March 19, he responded to a young woman’s post about being accepted to Brown University, writing, “Are you qualified or was this a quota decision?”

Clayton has tweeted similarly racist comments to other non-white students on multiple other occasions.

For her part, Johnson’s mother told the Dallas Morning News that she had “no idea” how the self-proclaimed candidate found her son’s tweet. “Why do you care, and why are you asking that particular question to a kid who is clearly of some type of mixed race?” she said. “That is just so frustrating.”


Clayton, unsurprisingly, has a history of posting troubling content on social media. In the past, he has replied to non-white reporters’ posts using derogatory comments, and has tweeted various xenophobic responses to posts supportive of immigrants and refugees.

On April 16, for instance, Texas multimedia reporter Tiffany Liou posted a photo of her new WFAA press credentials, writing, “It’s official! Today is my first day at @wfaa. […] Hello, North #Texas!”

In response, on April 18, Clayton tweeted, “Just another bimbo pretending to know something.”

On April 15, responding to a post by education site Edutopia, about a group of mostly non-white high school students marching with their teachers to the post office to drop off their college applications, Clayton tweeted, “Coerced college applications gives a false story as to the true number of high school graduates who really want to go to college. This is a show produced by lying administrators who practically threated [sic] students to complete the application.”

Clayton provided no proof to support his claim that the students had been “coerced” or “threatened.”

The former education official is also among a growing list of conservatives who have targeted the young survivors of the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. On April 16, responding to a tweet from the Drudge Report about Parkland survivor and student activist David Hogg — a frequent target of right-wing figures and media outlets — Clayton wrote, “This little ass wipe suffers from acute nodickatall.” He has posted disparaging comments about Hogg on multiple other occasions, and, speaking to the Parkland students as a whole, Clayton once tweeted, “Today’s teenagers are, to a very large extent, dim witted, ignorant and meaner than hell.”

Additionally, the former education official has posted anti-LGBTQ content; has called books about refugees “political crap”; repeatedly called woman politicians with whom he disagrees “silly women”; and once tweeted that “First Ladies are very successful women…because of their husbands who, as I recall, were all male.”


Responding to a photo of President Abraham Lincoln’s embroidered bedroom slippers on April 15, Clayton tweeted, “A bit gay aren’t they?”

He has also seemingly targeted fitness model Ryan Hintze on several occasions, responding to several of Hintze’s underwear and semi-nude photos and, in a few instances, appearing to mock his posts.

Clayton has not yet stated whether he still plans to file his candidacy for the Texas Board of Education, as his Twitter bio specifies. He told the Dallas Morning News that he would not respond to the controversy because he is “retired from public life and no longer speaks to the press.”