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Curriculum debate becomes flashpoint in Virginia governor’s race

NORFOLK, Virginia – When Laura Murphy says her son was assigned to read the book “Beloved” in an AP English class at a high school in Fairfax County, the graphic content left him with nightmares.

“When my son showed me his reading assignment, my heart sank”, Murphy said in a new ad for the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin.

The new ad garnered over a million views on Twitter in about a day and highlights what has become a big topic to come in Youngkin’s campaign against Democrat Terry McAuliffe – schools.

“Beloved” is a 1987 book by the late Toni Morrison and details the brutality of slavery.

Murphy didn’t think his son should have to read the book and took his fight to the GA. Lawmakers passed two bills that could have allowed parents to opt out of assignments if there was sexual material, but McAuliffe vetoed both bills, saying at the time they were going too far.

Democrats hit back at the announcement during a Zoom call with reporters on Tuesday, saying Youngkin is focused on culture war issues and wants to ban books from the classroom.

“He encourages censorship. Virginia, we’ve gone too far to let Glenn Youngkin take us back,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said.

They say there is already a process in place to deal with issues related to school programs: locally elected school boards.

“Where is a better place to deal with difficult material than in the classroom? We are preparing our children for the world,” said former Virginia Del. Debra Rodman.

Republicans responded as well, doubling down on the fact that the bills had bipartisan support and would have been beneficial for students and parents.

“These are attacks on our Virginia parents and the rights of parents to be involved in the education of their children. It is frankly disgusting and it is terrible,” said AC Cordoza, a Republican candidate for the House of Commons. delegates in the 91st district.

The issue has been a flashpoint at school board meetings in Hampton Roads and across the country, especially for Republicans.

Related: Local Bookstores Sell Dr. Seuss Titles After 6 Book Shutdown For ‘Hurtful’ Descriptions

“It has become a major issue to galvanize here in the Commonwealth, but I think it will also be one of the major issues to galvanize voters in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections,” Dr Eric Claville said. , Norfolk Policy Analyst. State University.

Click here for our full guide to the 2021 Virginia election.

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