Youngkin visits Henrico school for ‘Parents Matter’ campaign stop

Gov. Youngkin's main message was making sure parents are involved in their children's education.
Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 5:51 PM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Gov. Glenn Youngkin held his third “Parents Matter” campaign at Crestview Elementary School on Tuesday morning, where he heard from local parents.

The main message was to ensure parents are involved in their children’s education and know what’s happening daily.

“We have to first get parents at the table,” Youngkin said.

He heard from parents about their experiences and concerns with the state’s education system. This comes as his latest change to public school guidelines requires students to use bathrooms and locker rooms associated with their legal gender.

Some parents are concerned about schools pushing back on this rule.

“What are the parents’ next steps to make sure that they do?” asked Rachel Kulak, a Henrico County parent.

While the governor didn’t specify any consequences schools may face for opposing the change, he says it’s mandatory.

“This is not one of these moments where people get to choose. It’s in code. Follow the law,” the governor said.

Youngkin says ensuring schools are transparent with guardians about education and developmental status is vital, especially for children’s mental health.

One Chesterfield mother, whose child has autism, said she wished the governor spoke more about the needs of the special education system.

“For too many years, special education has been broken. Leadership needs to focus on the kids that are suffering now and the parents that are suffering now,” said Wendy Little.

The governor also told the parents that he’s working to make sure they aren’t stuck in a “one-size-fits-all school system.”