Virginia parents say they should tell schools what to teach: poll

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The majority of Virginia parents say they should be able to tell schools what to teach their children, a new poll shows, amid the ongoing national controversy surrounding critical race theory being injected into curricula and parents across the country pushing back.

Fifty-seven percent of parents believe they should have a say over what their kids are being taught in Virginia’s schools, according to a Fox News poll published Friday in the run-up to their gubernatorial election.

Only 34 percent of the 1,000 parents polled believe they “should not” tell schools what to include in the state’s curriculum.

Weighing in on the controversial education debate, Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, who served as the state’s governor from 2014 to 2018, declared last month he was against parents telling schools what they should teach.

Angry parents and community members protest after a Loudoun County School Board meeting was halted by the school board because the crowd refused to quiet down, in Ashburn, Virginia, U.S.  June 22, 2021.
Angry parents and community members protest after a Loudoun County School Board meeting in Ashburn, Virginia, on June 22, 2021.
REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

“I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decision,” McAuliffe said in a debate against GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin.

“I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

Youngkin accused his opponent of trying to “suppress and silence” parents so woke schools can push a “radical political agenda” in classrooms.

Parents and community members attend a Loudoun County School Board meeting which included a discussion about the academic doctrine known as Critical Race Theory, in Ashburn, Virginia, U.S.  June 22, 2021.
Parents and community members attend a Loudoun County School Board meeting which included a discussion about the academic doctrine known as critical race theory, in Ashburn, Virginia, on June 22, 2021.
REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo

The results of the poll come after a series of recent clashes between parents and schools across the state over controversial issues ranging from critical race theory to transgender policies and mask mandates.

School board meetings in Fairfax County and Loudoun County have made national headlines of late as some parents accused teachers of trying to indoctrinate their children with critical race theory teachings, which place racial tension at the center of social interaction and in some cases even math and science subjects.

People talk before the start of a rally against "critical race theory" (CRT) being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Virginia on June 12, 2021.
People talk before the start of a rally against critical race theory being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government Center in Leesburg, Virginia, on June 12, 2021.
AFP via Getty Images

Parents in those counties also recently protested after Attorney General Merrick Garland directed the FBI earlier this month to investigate the “disturbing trend” of threats made against teachers and staff at school board meetings.

The issue of who controls local schools has taken center stage nationally in the wake of Garland’s directive.

Critics say the move is meant to criminalize dissent by parents on the controversial issues of CRT and masks.

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