Battle over Toni Morrison novel sparks Virginia governor race

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Battle over Toni Morrison novel sparks Virginia governor race

This year, Mr Youngkin is focusing his closing message on “parental rights” – an all-encompassing rubric for conservative causes such as opposing mask mandates, vaccine requirements and transgender rights, and the way race is taught. goes, inciting apprehensions about him. School.

For months, conservative media have drawn national attention to local incidents in suburban Loudoun County, VA, including a sexual assault case that revived Republican criticism of gender-inclusive bathroom policies in schools, and a physical education teacher. Suspension of those who refused to address transgender students by the pronouns they identified with. Conservatives also falsely claim that Virginia schools are teaching “critical race theory,” an advanced pedagogical concept that is not part of classroom instruction in the state.

Polling indicates that those themes have resonated with conservative voters in Virginia.

“I don’t have any school-aged kids, but I’m a big believer in what parents definitely say their kids should learn,” says Tom Allen, 64, a retired airline pilot from Herndon, VA. he said. He went to a community center on Monday to cast an early vote for Mr Youngkin. “I don’t think anyone should put political opinion around these little kids’ necks.”

Yet Democrats, too, have seen an opportunity to energize their supporters – by portraying Mr Youngkin, who opposes abortion rights, not only for women’s control over their bodies but for shaping young minds. as a threat to the ability of schools to

“He has gone from banning a woman’s right to banning books by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author,” President Biden said of the Republican nominee at a rally with Mr McAuliffe in Arlington on Tuesday night.

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There, McAuliffe staff members handed out copies of “Beved” and other books by Ms. Morrison, as well as bookmarks declaring that Mr. Youngkin would “ban books in Virginia schools.” Liberal television quickly conducted interviews with scholars who praised the importance of his work.

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