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Democrat Virginia gov. candidate condemned for saying parents shouldn’t tell schools what to teach


The Democrat frontrunner in the Virginia governor’s race has been condemned by parents after saying they shouldn’t tell schools what to teach amid the ongoing clashes over Critical Race Theory (CRT).    

Terry McAuliffe, who previously served as Virginia’s governor from 2014 to 2018, went head to head with his Republican rival Glenn Youngkin during the final debate of the governor’s race Tuesday. 

McAuliffe said he is ‘not going to let’ parents come into schools and veto books from their children’s curriculum because – in his view – they shouldn’t have control over what is being taught to their children.  

‘I’m not going to let parents come into schools, and actually take books out, and make their own decision,’ McAuliffe said.

‘Yeah, I stopped the bill that I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,’ he added.

The Democrat previously vetoed a bill that would have given parents ‘the right to veto books.’   

McAuliffe’s comments come at a time when parents and schools have gone to war across America over the teaching of anti-racist curriculum – known as CRT – to students.

Virginia, in particular, has found itself at the center of the controversy with districts including Loudoun County and Fairfax County hitting headlines as parents fight back over transgender rights and anti-racist teachings in public schools.

Terry McAuliff – the Democrat frontrunner in the Virginia governor’s race – has been condemned by parents after saying they shouldn’t tell schools what to teach

The issue was a hot topic of the governor’s debate with McAuliffe’s stance instantly sparking outrage on social media from parents and conservative thinkers.

Several people blasted the Democrat arguing that teachers’ salaries are paid for by taxpayers so ‘they work for us.’

‘Government, including school boards and teachers, work for the parents,’ one parent tweeted. 

‘We absolutely are able to tell you what we want you to teach and what we don’t want you to teach. We are the parents. It seems you all have forgotten that.’ 

Another person chimed in: ‘And we are paying your wages!’  

‘Let’s not forget that our taxes support their salary, receive state money which comes from our property taxes, which in turn supports the PS schools, so the schools, superindents, admins and teachers do work for us as tax payers,’, wrote another.

‘We have every right to object to the curriculum.’

Another social media user agreed and blasted McAuliffe as ‘arrogant’ for his comments.

‘Exactly, they work for us and we pay their salaries,’ wrote another.

McAuliffe (left) went head to head with his Republican rival Glenn Youngkin (right) during the final debate of the governor's race Tuesday

McAuliffe (left) went head to head with his Republican rival Glenn Youngkin (right) during the final debate of the governor’s race Tuesday

‘They are our employees and we tell them what they can and can’t teach our children. What an arrogant person this man is, and I’m betting has no kids.’

One person simply wrote: ‘Teachers work for us and we pay their salaries!’ 

Other critics slammed school boards Marxist and hit out at McAuliffe for being ‘pro-choice’ aside from when it comes to education.

‘Terry McAuliffe is pro-choice unless the decision belongs to the parents of a school-aged kid,’ one person tweeted.

‘The Marxist school boards haven’t forgotten that they answer to the parents. They just don’t care,’ another wrote.  

McAuliffe’s rival Youngkin also took aim at his competitor. 

Several people blasted the Democrat arguing that teachers' salaries are paid for by taxpayers so 'they work for us'

Several people blasted the Democrat arguing that teachers’ salaries are paid for by taxpayers so ‘they work for us’

‘Are you a parent who wants to have a say in your child’s education?’ he tweeted, along with footage from their debate.  

‘Too bad. Terry McAuliffe says you have to sit down and shut up.’

In the debate, Youngkin had argued parents should be more involved in decisions in school districts.  

‘What we’ve seen over the course of this last 20 months is our school systems refusing to engage with parents,’ Youngkin said. 

‘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.’

He added to McAuliffe: ‘You believe school systems should tell children what to do. I believe parents should be in charge of their kids’ education.’

McAuliffe's rival Youngkin also took aim at his competitor for his comments on Twitter

McAuliffe’s rival Youngkin also took aim at his competitor for his comments on Twitter 

However some social media users came out in support of McAuliffe, arguing that parents are not qualified to make decisions on curriculum.

‘You are parents but are not qualified to be teachers. If you want to teach your kids what YOU want then homeschool them,’ one person tweeted. 

‘And even then the state requires you teach a curriculum.’

Another person agreed: ‘Do you tell a surgeon how to teach a resident?? Teachers go to college, earn their degree and should be able to teach our children. 

‘We need to give teachers back their control because our children are lacking basic skills.’

Others hit back at the claims from some conservatives that they have the power to decide on the curriculum as taxpayers. 

‘No you vote for a school board to make decisions. Unhappy with what they choose? Feel free to speak up/ petition etc. Petition for a recall even. And get a candidate you prefer in the next time,’ one person wrote. 

Others hit back at the claims from some conservatives that they have the power to decide on the curriculum as taxpayers

Others hit back at the claims from some conservatives that they have the power to decide on the curriculum as taxpayers

CONTROVERSIES IN VIRGINIA SCHOOLS 

Virginia has found itself at the center of debates around CRT and anti-racist teachings in schools with two of its counties becoming battlegrounds between parents and school boards.

Loudoun County 

In Loudoun County – the most wealthy suburb in America – parents and school board members have gone head to head over several issues in recent months. 

In April, the county announced that they planned to allocate more then $6 million to ‘equity training’ which was met with strong opposition by some parents who claimed the training was part of a CRT push which would lead to students seeing themselves as victims or oppressors, depending on their race.     

Parents have been demanding the removal of several members of the school district board while school officials insist that CRT is not on the curriculum pointing to ‘misconceptions and misinformation’ in the media.   

In June, two people were arrested during a school board meeting that descended into chaos amid debates over CRT teachings and a new transgender policy.  

In August, the board voted to approve a policy requiring teachers to call transgender students by their chosen pronouns and for trans children to use the lockerroom and bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.   

Earlier this month, the county launched a study into the possibility of giving reparations to black people after it continue segregating schools until 1968 – 14 years after doing so was deemed unconstitutional. 

FairFax County 

Fairfax County in Virginia has also been hit with its fair share of clashes in recent months. 

Calls have been mounting for the removal of one board member Abrar Omeish after she said taking a moment of silence to mark the anniversary of 9/11 terror attacks would cause harm to minorities who faced persecution in its aftermath. 

Omeish, who has previously sparked outrage for alleged anti-Semitic comments and encouraging high schoolers to remember ‘jihad’, voted against the resolution.

She said it was not ‘anti-racist’ and failed to address ‘state-sponsored traumas.’

This came one month after the district was criticized for encouraging students to listen to an audiobook by a non-binary abolitionist suggesting they should not feel safe around police. 

‘In the mean time, the ones there were validly voted in by your community to run it.’

Tuesday’s debate was the second and final ahead of the November 2 election for governor of Virginia where Democrats have held the governor’s office in Virginia for the last decade.   

The two contenders sparred over COVID-19 vaccine mandates which was also debated in the context of schools. 

McAuliffe said he would require them for students, teachers and health care workers while Youngkin said he opposed mandates.

McAuliffe is currently leading by a narrow margin of less than three points, according to RealClearPolitics Average.

It is yet to be seen whether the debate around school curriculum will impact the result.

CRT and anti-racist teachings have been a hot topic of debate in the state.

In Loudoun County – the most wealthy suburb in America – parents and school board members have gone head to head over several issues in recent months. 

In April, the county announced that they planned to allocate more then $6 million to ‘equity training’ which was met with strong opposition by some parents who claimed the training was part of a CRT push which would lead to students seeing themselves as victims or oppressors, depending on their race.     

Parents have been demanding the removal of several members of the school district board while school officials insist that CRT is not on the curriculum pointing to ‘misconceptions and misinformation’ in the media.   

In June, two people were arrested during a school board meeting that descended into chaos amid debates over CRT teachings and a new transgender policy.  

In August, the board voted to approve a policy requiring teachers to call transgender students by their chosen pronouns and for trans children to use the lockerroom and bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.   

Earlier this month, the county launched a study into the possibility of giving reparations to black people after it continue segregating schools until 1968 – 14 years after doing so was deemed unconstitutional.   

Fairfax County in Virginia has also been hit with its fair share of clashes in recent months.  

Calls have been mounting for the removal of one board member Abrar Omeish after she said taking a moment of silence to mark the anniversary of 9/11 terror attacks would cause harm to minorities who faced persecution in its aftermath. 

Omeish, who has previously sparked outrage for alleged anti-Semitic comments and encouraging high schoolers to remember ‘jihad’, voted against the resolution.

She said it was not ‘anti-racist’ and failed to address ‘state-sponsored traumas.’

This came one month after the district was criticized for encouraging students to listen to an audiobook by a non-binary abolitionist suggesting they should not feel safe around police. 

In Loudoun County - the most wealthy suburb in America - parents and school board members have gone head to head over several issues in recent months. A meeting in June

In Loudoun County – the most wealthy suburb in America – parents and school board members have gone head to head over several issues in recent months. A meeting in June

Parents attend a packed Loudoun County School board meeting in June which descended into chaos

Parents attend a packed Loudoun County School board meeting in June which descended into chaos

A man is detained after a fight broke out during the Loudoun County School Board meeting

A man is detained after a fight broke out during the Loudoun County School Board meeting

Similar debates around teachings in American schools have rumbled on in recent months – with CRT at the center of much of the uproar. 

CRT highlights how historical inequities and racism continue to shape public policy and social conditions today.  

It has become a key focus on the curriculum of schools over the last year amid the nationwide reckoning for racial justice following the murder of George Floyd.

But it has starkly divided opinion. 

Conservatives allege that students are being taught a warped version of American history that claims the impact of slavery remains present throughout society. 

Critics say the teachings reduce people to ‘privileged’ or ‘oppressed’ based on skin color.

But supporters say it is vital to understand how race impacts society in order to eliminate racism.         



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