Virginia Gov.-Elect Glenn Youngkin (R) walked up a flatbed trailer outside the Loudoun County Public Schools Administration Building in Ashburn on Saturday, with a beaming smile and a thumbs up raised in the air.

Dusk had fallen and the temperature hovered in the upper 30s, as hundreds of supporters erupted into cheers and applause as Youngkin took to the stage, from which he spoke for about 25 minutes.

Youngkin thanked Loudoun parents frustrated with the school district’s handling of various issues — including critical race theory, mask and vaccine mandates and a pair of alleged sexual assaults — for their support during his campaign.

“Before November 2 — [former Virginia Gov.] Terry McAuliffe [D] didn’t think parents mattered,” Youngkin said. “He knows parents matter now!” The governor-elect’s supporters cheered.

Youngkin defeated McAuliffe in the Nov. 2 gubernatorial election, garnering 50.6% of the vote statewide. But he lost Loudoun County by 11 percentage points, where McAuliffe received almost 18,000 more votes.

“I hope you all know that right here, Ground Zero, Loudoun County had the eyes of the nation on you,” he continued. “You had the eyes of the nation on you because you all stood up for our children.”

Youngkin added, “Virginians stood up and voted and made a statement on your behalf. You all did this. Thank you so much!” The crowd applauded and cheered again.

He also said in his remarks that, “We wake up and our kids are being taught things we don’t want them to learn. We ... wake up and Virginia has moved to a place that looks like California east. Well guess what? We must stay engaged.”

The governor-elect said his administration would work toward reducing Virginians’ cost of living by cutting taxes and doubling the state’s standard tax deduction. “Grocery tax is going to go away,” Youngkin said, and that his administration would fund “the largest education budget,” which would raise employee salaries, fund special education and launch more charter schools.

Some Loudoun County elected officials, however, have criticized the governor-elect for capitalizing on what they say is disinformation about the school district as well as racial animus to propel him to victory in the Commonwealth, which last elected a Republican governor in 2009.

Supervisor Juli Briskman (D — Algonkian District) told the Times-Mirror via email ahead of the rally, “I’m confused as to why Glenn Youngkin would be coming to thank Loudoun voters, where he lost by 11 points, unless he wants to thank the anti-school disinformation campaigners for manipulating parents and spreading lies about our school board.”

Briskman said the allegations against the school board have “resulted in racially-tinged death threats against them and forced one [former Leesburg District member Beth Barts] to resign because of their bullying and intimidation.”

Ashburn resident Tim Reavis attended the rally, carrying a “Grand Parents for Youngkin” sign. He said the school board had ignored Loudoun parents’ concerns on several issues for months, including that of critical race theory, which LCPS officials insist is not being taught in Loudoun public schools.

Reavis said he has a five-year-old granddaughter attending a Loudoun County school. He recalled asking the child in conversation, “Who’s the oppressor? Who’s being oppressed?”

Reavis, who is white, then gestured toward himself, and quoted his granddaughter as saying, “‘We’re the oppressor,’” and then pointing away from himself, “‘And they are the oppressed.’”

When asked if his granddaughter was referring to white people in her comments, he said yes. “They didn’t say, ‘white,’” Reavis said. “But that’s what they meant.”

Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall (D At-Large) told the Times-Mirror on Saturday that inequity against people of color has been a historical reality in the United States, and that denying that legacy prevents Americans from being able to move past it.

“If your child [is being taught] critical race theory, then your child’s brilliant,” Randall said. The subject is “normally at taught the grad school or law school level.”

She described critical race theory as, “a theory to discuss how systematic racism in our country impacts us today.” And while many people might want to deny that racism has played a defining role in structuring American society, “denying history just doesn’t make ... what you want to be true.”

“Of course, there’s systematic racism,” Randall continued. “We don’t get better as a people until we admit it. And I am so pleased that we continue to work on those issues in our county and our commonwealth and our country.”

Briskman also said, “I think Youngkin really should be holding his rally in front of the Sheriff’s Department with Mr. Chapman, whose heavy hand plays a huge part in the distribution of information to the public and in turn to parents.”

Chapman (R), who was present at Youngkin’s rally, led the crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Youngkin rally 4

Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman (R) leads a crowd of Youngkin supporters in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance on Saturday outside the LCPS Administration Building.

Briskman said Title IX guidelines prohibit school officials from conducting an independent investigation of an alleged crime committed at a school until after a law enforcement agency has concluded its own. School officials have previously said that LCSO requested they not begin an investigation of a sexual assault reported on May 28 until after the one opened by the sheriff’s office had concluded.

The sheriff’s office did not publicly disclose any information about an alleged sexual assault at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn on May 28 — which was not made public until the Daily Wire reported it on Oct. 11.

Many Loudoun responded with outrage, calling for resignations from LCPS superintendent Scott Ziegler and members of the school board.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj (D) confirmed to media outlets on Oct. 13 that the same suspect had been involved in another alleged sexual assault on Oct. 6 at Ashburn’s Broad Run High School.

“I find it very interesting that information about all other alleged school-based sexual assaults are disseminated to the public via LCSO’s daily incident reports and press releases,” Briskman said. “But somehow [Chapman’s] office neglected to inform parents and the public about the May 28 incident or the July 8th arrest of the perpetrator.”

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office issued a response to Briskman’s criticism Saturday night in which a spokesperson called attention to the delicate nature of the May 28 incident because the suspect and victim knew each other and said an announcement could have identified a juvenile victim.

The spokesperson also cited a letter Chapman sent Ziegler in which the sheriff “clearly addresses that Loudoun County Public Schools knew of the alleged sexual assault the day it occurred, and an official notification of the suspect’s July 2021 arrest was made to LCPS by Juvenile Intake as required by law.”

“Sheriff Chapman further states in the letter that LCPS was aware of the Juvenile Intake, Commonwealth Attorney, and judicial process throughout the case — and despite that LCPS opted to place this individual in another school,” the LCSO said.

LCPS did not respond to a request for comment.

(4) comments

Nova4you

Youngkin is on a victory tour, yet he hasn’t released any plans or details on how he will deliver on his campaign promises, in particular improving schools. So far all I’ve heard is the plan to ban and burn books.

Virginia just jumped from fifth to the fourth-best public schools overall in the United States, ranking fourth for quality and third for safety. School safety jumped from fourth. In the last year. Virginia public schools were found to have the fourth-highest math test scores in the country. Virginia schools also have the fourth-lowest bullying incidence rate and have "no significant shortcomings" when assessed for safety from violence, bullying, harassment, and substance use.

The ranking are based on each state's public schools for "Quality" and "Safety" using 33 relevant metrics. Metrics included high school graduation rate among low-income students, math and reading scores, median SAT and ACT scores, pupil-teach ratio, the share of armed students, assaults, number of school shootings between 2000 and June 2020 bullying incidence rate, and more.

J Smith

Interesting statistics, Nova4you.

Here’s another, Virginia ranks 50th in teacher pay according to business.org. 50th. That’s last place. Actually, I guess we beat whatever DC is paying their teachers.

https://www.business.org/hr/workforce-management/best-us-states-for-teachers/

Gov-elect Youngkin identified this major problem that went unaddressed by the democrats in control of our state over the last 8 years and said his administration will address it.

Kudos to him. I bet teachers all across the Commonwealth are up for a pay raise. They’re going to need it with the prices of food and gas and everything else going through the roof. Hopefully, Virginia’s General Assembly gets on board with Youngkin.

My question, why did the Virginia Department of Education under Northam eliminate advanced math classes prior to 11th grade? Let me answer that. Because the democrats that were in control didn’t believe that children of color could reach advanced math classes. So, in the name of “equity,” the democrats eliminated advanced math. How belittling and racist of them.

Watch for a republican administration under Youngkin to reinstate advanced math classes with the belief that standards don’t need to be lowered to enable people of color to succeed.

Representing the Mambo

Chapman leading the crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegience??? He is a shameless schemer and poser who is just using his position as Sheriff to angle for a job in the Youngkin administration. He has two Public Information Officers; one to handle the day to day police reports, etc., and one who's only job is to promotes Mike Chapman in the press and social media. Anyone who has actually had to deal with this malignant narcissist in other than a superficial way realizes very quickly what an unethical, lying bully he actually is.

J Smith

Well, Governor Youngkin hasn’t even been sworn in and the attacks by Ms Briskman and Ms Randall from our Board of Supervisors have already begun.

Gov-elect Youngkin came to Loudoun County to thank those who voted for him and to state that his administration would work toward reducing taxes for everyone in Virginia and increasing funding for our education and for our educators.

That sounds good to me. But apparently, by the tone of Ms Briskman’s comments, she would prefer that our future governor stay away from Loudoun County. I think she fails to realize that Mr Youngkin cut into Biden’s margin of victory from a year ago in Loudoun County by 15 points.

That’s a mammoth swing and Ms Briskman would be wise to pay attention. But she holds the parents of Loudoun County in low esteem and must believe that they can’t think for themselves or aren’t really aware or engaged in their children’s education.

Ms Briskman, for the last two years, parents and grandparents have done nothing but ask their kids and grandkids what they learned in school today. It’s hard for me to believe that you still don’t understand why parents would be so “engaged in education” when their 5-year old tells them that they are an oppressor or oppressed based of the color of their skin.

Calling the rising up of parents in Loudoun County the result of a “manipulative anti-school disinformation campaign” is condescending to parents of all skin colors. But keep trying. It’s great for getting parents out to vote and for helping people realize that democrats need the race card to win votes.

Speaking of the race card, Ms Randall knows how to play it pretty well. She’s a firm believer in critical race theory and systemic racism. Interesting for her to say that as a black woman holding the chairmanship of the County Board of Supervisors.

When looked at more closely, critical race theory suggests that minorities are incapable of achievement based on their own merit. They need help in some form of “forced equity” in order to have the same, or similar, outcome as whites. How demeaning to minorities!

People of all colors in Loudoun county are coming to the realization that the democrat party “needs race” to win elections. The democrats will never let race go. It must always be present for them to have a chance at winning an election.

That’s why democrats simultaneously defend critical race theory and then proclaim it isn’t being taught in our schools. But 5-year olds know better.

Critical Race Theory turns upside down Dr King’s dream of seeing his children judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.

Ms Randall, do you think the republicans selected Winsome Sears, to run for lieutenant governor because she was black or because she needed “assistance” to have an ”equitable” outcome? No. Ms Sears beat out 5 other well qualified candidates in a hard-fought race because she was better than the rest. I bet you like to think the same about earning your current position.

Republicans don’t care about the color of your skin. They care about the pursuit of excellence. And when they see it, they reward it. Looks like a growing wave of voters in Loudoun County are coming to the same conclusion.

Mr Youngkin, the people of Loudoun County congratulate you on your hard-fought victory and wish you every success as you lead our state back to the pursuit of color-blind excellence.

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