(Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe said during a debate against Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin that he does not believe that parents should tell schools what they should teach children.
"What we've seen over the course of this 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."
McAuliffe responded to Youngkin's remarks and to the recent activism by parents in pushing back on far-left woke ideologies in their kid's schools by saying that he was "not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions."
"I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach," McAuliffe said.
Glenn Youngkin: "I believe parents should be in charge of their kids' education."— Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) September 29, 2021
Terry McAuliffe: "I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach." #VAgov pic.twitter.com/LqIlRMLKgj
Youngkin responded to McAuliffe's claim that he was "clueless" about the laws in Virginia by posting the following on social media:
McAuliffe faced widespread backlash online by numerous politicians, commentators, journalists, and others who were horrified by elitist and autocratic nature of what he said:
- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX): "Always dangerous when Dems are accidentally honest: McAuliffe thinks he should decide what school kids are taught, and pesky parents should shut up & obey!"
- Matt Whitlock, Republican strategist: "Yikes. Good reminder that McAuliffe values teachers union money more than parent's votes. The parent pushback to absurd teachers union behavior in Northern Virginia covers the entire political spectrum."
- Mark Hemingway, writer: "Ooof. There's a soundbite you'll be hearing in a month's worth of ads."
- Stephen Miller, former Trump official: "Make sure every parent in Virginia hears this before they vote."
- Larry O'Connor, radio host: "This may go down as one of the biggest debate blunders in recent history."
- Ryan T. Anderson, president of EPPC: "Parents have the primary responsibility for and authority over the education of their kids. Schools should be accountable to parents. And public schools to citizens. Of course parents/citizens should be telling schools what they should teach."
- Blake Hounshell, editor: "I don't know if this is what McAuliffe meant to say, but plenty of apolitical parents would disagree with this statement."
- Mark Meadows, former Trump official: "Today's Democrat party, summed up in a clip you have to see to believe."
- Curtis Houck, editor: "Terry McAuliffe apparently wants graphic sexual material to be read by minors without parental consent!"
- Tim Murtaugh, former Trump campaign official: "Anyone with school-aged kids should be appalled by this. This follows on school boards treating parents as nuisances. McAuliffe cares more about teachers unions than he does about the parents and kids."
- Republican State Leadership Committee: "Virginia House Democrats should immediately denounce Terry Mcauliffe's reckless position to put teachers' unions over Virginia families."
- Charles Hoskinson: "Parents: Remember this when you vote. We pay to build the schools We pay the teachers' salaries. Our children are why they have jobs. Education is the public's business. Our business. Nobody tells me to butt out of it. Ever."
- Tim Kennedy, UFC fighter: "As a father of 4 and a school owner — this is the most ludicrous sentence ever uttered from an entitled egomaniac politician."
- Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, fellow at EPPC: "It's not a conspiracy theory if they say they're doing it."
- Andrew T. Walker, editor: "Education now exists as a statist operation to enforce ruling class norms over and against the concerns of the unwashed masses. It's not education; but ideological colonization. This has been the case for a long time, but at least the sentiment was finally voiced out loud"
- Jess Jensen, YAF: "This is the Left's end game, friends. He said the quiet part out loud."
- Rebecca Kleefisch, political candidate: "They're afraid of parents regaining control over their child's education because when you empower families, you take power away from the special interests in charge of government schools."
- Chris Krok, radio host: "McAuliffe: Parents don't know what's best for their own kids."
- Michael D. Brown, former U.S. official: "Ladies & Gentlemen, I am a Democrat. And I believe that all forms of government know better what's best for you, not you plebes."
- Jason B. Whitman, CEO: "Parents must rise up and battle these clowns at the local level. There is no other way to stop this utter insanity."
- Jason Church, U.S. Veteran: "I'll rephrase this: 'Parents, you're too stupid to tell a local school board (made up of your fellow citizens & parents) what to teach our children. Just leave it up to the bureaucrats & public sector unions.' Just another example of Democrats thinking they know better than us."