Educational error that ignited suburban parents and generated panic in McAuliffe in Virginia

In a Sept. 29 Virginia gubernatorial debate with Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin, Democratic candidate and former Governor Terry McAuliffe declared, “I don’t think parents should tell schools what to teach.”

Those 10 words, which deserve a prominent list in the Hall of Fame of Political Errors, may prove to be the turning point in a career in which McAuliffe was expected to come to victory, especially since Joe Biden won the Blue status for more than 10. He is on his way to the presidency in 2020.

Here’s how some outlets covered it:

CNN – “Virginia Republicans Seize Parental Rights and Schools Struggle in Final Weeks of Campaign

Washington Examiner – “McAuliffe Says Parents Shouldn’t Tell Schools What To Teach And Give Youngkin A Campaign Ad

Washington Post – “Is this the last hurray for Terry McAuliffe?

Recent polls show all the trends heading in Youngkin’s direction, particularly among parents who (at least in some cases) might have been left out of this year’s election out were it not for McAuliffe telling them their comments are not welcome when it is about the education of your own children.

Combine that gift-wrapped campaign ad for Youngkin with the suddenly toxic Democratic president sinking to 41 percent approval ratings among Virginians in a recent USA Today / Suffolk poll, and you have a pitch as to who will be the next governor of Virginia. In a related story, two-thirds of Virginia voters feel the country is on the “wrong track.” Translation: The president’s coattails do not exist in the state and can even be downright negative for Democrats on state ballots.

Nevermind: McAuliffe invited President BidenJoe BidenBiden to Meet House Democrats Ahead of Europe Trip: Report 21 House Democrats Call for Removal of IRS Bank Reporting Proposal from Spending Bill Overnight Health Care – Presented by Altria – Vulnerable Democrats Push Drug Pricing Plan MORE to campaign for him Tuesday night. And since the president has next to nothing going for him in the economy, inflation, the nation’s supply chains, the border, urban crime, or Afghanistan, Biden spoke about the one person who was the main driver of his own electoral victory a year ago. : Donald trumpDonald Trump Night Defense and National Security – Presented by Boeing – Milley Warns of ‘Sputnik Moment’ for China WSJ Releases Letter from Trump Continuing to Allege Election Fraud in PA Oath Keeper, Who Was on Capitol Hill Jan.6, Runs for the New Jersey State Assembly MORE.

In all, Biden spoke Trump’s name 24 times during his introduction to McAuliffe in a relatively short speech: 24 times. Because that’s all the Democrats have right now, just 10 months after this administration.

Regardless, it’s refreshing to finally see a political career (on one side at least) that focuses less on personalities and more on important issues that directly impact voters, particularly when it comes to education. Think about the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. How many times did Trump’s educational platforms or Hillary clintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump to attend World Series Game 4 in Atlanta Pavlich: The Department of Justice Weaponry is Back by Democrats Mellman: Trout in Milk MORE Or does Biden dominate even a single news cycle during long campaign runs? The answer is the same number that you get by multiplying any number by zero.

Heading into November 2020, for example, Gallup released a poll showing the 16 most important issues for American voters. Education finished in fifth place.

But what was once a boring topic (for lack of a better word) for the media to cover has now turned hot, at least in some industry circles. And at the center of it all is Loudoun County, Virginia, which reached a boiling point after the father of a 14-year-old student, who claimed she was assaulted by a skirt-clad boy in a transgender bathroom, was arrested. . for the crime of bringing your concerns to a school board meeting.

“I did not intend to speak and did not sign up to speak at the meeting, but I was very concerned about what the school board was considering, especially in regards to the safety of not only my daughter but also the children of others. parents. as well as, ” explained that the father, Scott Smith, 48. “When the school board abruptly ended the meeting, I was confronted and mocked by activists who supported the school board’s restroom policy. Despite being subjected to this unprovoked confrontation, I was unreasonably restrained by the police, completely violating my rights. constitutional “.

“While some media have tried to challenge my character, I am not a national terrorist,” he added. “I am a concerned parent who loves his family and will protect them at all times.”

Smith’s concern was understandable given the actions of Superintendent Scott Ziegler. According to WJLA, a local ABC affiliate in Washington, DC:

“A Bomb This Week in Loudoun County Public Schools: After Superintendent Scott Ziegler said at a school board meeting in June that he was not aware of any sexual assault in the school bathrooms, an email recently published it seems so, “says the report.

“The email was sent to the members of the school board on the same day of the assault in May. It says a student alleged that a student sexually assaulted her in a bathroom. Earlier this week, Ziegler told the June board meeting that he said no when asked if any assaults had occurred because he misinterpreted the question and apologized, “he adds.

Earlier this week, a ruling by a Loudoun County Juvenile Court judge ruled that a sexual assault had occurred. The accused teenager was charged with sexual assault in the first case, and also in that of another Broad Run High School teenage student. The second incident occurred on October 6.

A student strike at Broad Run High School followed the next day for school safety, further highlighting the problem.

All of these events are poorly reflected in state school boards. Bad at teacher unions. And bad with Terry McAuliffe, who sides with the top two against the parents of the state.

And you are paying for it.

McAuliffe can still win, of course. But if it falls on November 2, it is likely a preview of the red tsunami looming in the 2022 midterm elections, which would further shift Biden’s national agenda.

Joe Concha is a political and media columnist for The Hill.

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