Virginia’s Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe says parents shouldn’t be telling schools what to teach their children in the classroom.
The comments from the former governor and now-candidate came in response to statements issued by GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin during Tuesday’s Virginia governor’s debate, wherein the Republican businessman emphasized the importance of local control over education and having parents involved with school curriculum.
“What we’ve seen over the course of the last 20 months is our school systems refusing to engage with parents. In fact, in Fairfax County this past week, we watched parents so upset because there was such sexually explicit material in the library they had never seen, it was shocking,” Youngkin said. “And in fact, you vetoed the bill that would have informed parents that they were there.”
“You believe school systems should tell children what to do. I believe parents should be in charge of their kids’ education,” he added.
In response, McAuliffe argued that parents would have “had the right to veto books” under the bill he vetoed, while adding that he’s “not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decision.”
“I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” McAuliffe said. The Virginia Democrat was previously the governor of the commonwealth from 2014 to 2018.
Terry McAuliffe: "I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach." pic.twitter.com/7S15pTv1gY
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 28, 2021
Since announcing his candidacy for governor last year, McAuliffe has received significant campaign donations from major American teachers unions. In May, The Washington Free Beacon reported that the Virginia Democrat had accepted a $25,000 donation from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). AFT President Randi Weingarten has previously praised the New York Times’ “1619 Project” as a “‘factual version of oppression in America’ targeted by ‘people who have no idea what [critical race theory] means.’”
Moreover, AFT regularly lobbied the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep schools closed and children at home, with Weingarten even going so far as to say that she supported teacher strikes if schools opened without her preferred measures in place.
— Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) September 29, 2021
Polling for the gubernatorial race has shown the contest to be a dead heat, with a recent University of Mary Washington survey showing Youngkin leading McAuliffe by 5 points among likely voters (48 to 43 percent). Among registered voters, McAuliffe leads Youngkin 46 percent to 41 percent. The poll was conducted among 1,000 Virginia adults, with a margin of error of 3.1 percent.
McAuliffe and Youngkin will face off at the ballot box on Tuesday, Nov. 2.