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Former VA Gov. Terry McAuliffe says parents shouldn't tell schools what to teach their kids

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CORRECTION: Ralph Northam is the current governor of Virginia. Terry McAuliffe previously served as governor of Virginia (2014–2018) and is running in the gubernatorial election on Nov. 2.


Former Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said that parents shouldn't have the right to tell schools what to teach their kids.

McAuliffe made the comments during the second and final debate between himself and Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin in Virginia's gubernatorial election.

"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!" he added. "You believe school systems should tell children what to do, I believe parents should be in charge of their kid's education."

"So first of all this shows how clueless Glenn Youngkin is, he doesn't understand what the laws were, because he's never been involved here in helping Virginia," replied McAuliffe.

"But it was not, the parents had the right to veto books, Glenn, not to be knowledge about it, also to take them off the shelves," he added. "I'm not gonna let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decision."

"You vetoed it," replied Youngkin.

"Yeah, I stopped the bill that – I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach," McAuliffe said.

The reaction

Critics of McAuliffe pounced on the comment and criticized him on social media.

"Always dangerous when Dems are accidentally honest: McAuliffe thinks he should decide what school kids are taught, and pesky parents should shut up & obey!" tweeted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

"Parents have the primary responsibility for and authority over the education of their kids," replied Ryan Anderson, the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. "Schools should be accountable to parents. And public schools to citizens. Of course parents/citizens should be telling schools what they should teach."

"This should tell Virginians all they need to know about who to vote for in November," said Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas).

"Schools are institutions run by a democratic government, who does that government work for? They're obviously run for parents," tweeted journalist Zaid Jilani.

Polls show the incumbent governor ahead of his Republican challenger by only 3 percentage points. The Virginia gubernatorial election will be decided November 2.

Here's the video of McAuliffe's comments:

Terry McAuliffe says parents should have no say in their child's education www.youtube.com

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