The issue of education hangs like an albatross around the neck of Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe in the lead-up to Election Day on Nov. 2.
Having blown an early lead in the race over leading Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin, McAuliffe is now in a dead heat according to a new poll conducted by Cygnal, which is ranked as the most accurate national polling group. The data has Youngkin with a significant lead among parents of K-12 children, receiving 56 percent of the votes among parents of school-age children, as McAuliffe lags 17 points behind at 39 percent.
McAuliffe, who previously served as governor of Virginia from 2014 to 2018, was already dealing with a controversial statement that parents should not be telling schools what they should teach, made during a debate last month with Youngkin.
In the 2019 C-SPAN Book TV clip, McAuliffe was plugging his book “Beyond Charlottesville: Taking a Stand Against White Nationalism,” when he touched on education.
“We don’t do a good job in our education system talking about diversity, inclusion, openness and so forth,” McAuliffe said. “We don’t. We got our textbooks, but, you know, that has to be a big part of how do you fit into the social work of our nation and our fabric. How we deal with one another is to me as important as, you know, your math class or your English class and so forth.”
.@TerryMcAuliffe in 2019 said “diversity” and “inclusion” are “as important as” math and English in Elementary schools. This video is resurfacing in the wake of the pivotal race between McAuliffe and @GlennYoungkin, who champions parents’ role in education pic.twitter.com/kEHKEbnCWL
— Tyler O’Neil (@Tyler2ONeil) October 26, 2021
Diversity and inclusion is seen as code for critical race theory in the eyes of many, and parents around the country, to include Virginia, have been vocal in their opposition to the divisive concept that claims systemic racism is rampant in America and teaches children to judge one another by the color of their skin and also encourages white students to see themselves as oppressors.
Youngkin has pledged to ban CRT in Virginia schools if he is elected governor.
“Terry McAuliffe introduced political agendas like critical race theory into the Virginia education system back in 2015. He lowered academic standards and dragged our children’s math and reading performances down with those diminished expectations,” Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter told Fox News on Monday.
Inclusion also results in permissive policies regarding transgender students. The issue has exploded in Virginia after a female student was reportedly raped and sodomized in a Loudoun County school bathroom by a “gender fluid” boy wearing a skirt. The girl’s father, who was arrested at a school board meeting, alleged a cover up after the superintendent claimed he was not aware of any such incident.
There was a student walk-out Tuesday in support of sexual assault victims by students asking for safer schools in Loudoun County.
Here is the walk out of students at @LCPSOfficial Broad Run High School in Loudoun County. Students in support of recent sex assault victims in the District including this school & asking for safer schools. @7NewsDC #7NewsITeam #Loudoun pic.twitter.com/CdZjqTBIdK
— Scott Taylor 7 News I-Team (@ScottTaylorTV) October 26, 2021
Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel appeared on Fox News Tuesday to talk about education and its impact on the tightening race between McAuliffe and Youngkin.
“I’ve been seeing this since the pandemic when parents were finally in tune with their kids’ education,” she said. “Many of our kids were virtual, we were paying attention to what was happening in the classroom.”
“And then you come into Virginia and you have a governor candidate in McAuliffe saying parents shouldn’t have a say in their education,” McDaniel continued. “Coming out of a time when we were going to work and we were figuring out how to do Zoom and get our kids educated, this is so offensive to so many parents across the country. And we want to say we don’t want our kids being taught things we don’t agree with and to have Democrats side with unions over parents has really created a division in Virginia, especially in the suburbs.”
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