Parental rights advocates leading in several Virginia school board elections

(The Center Square) – Parental rights advocates are leading in several local school board elections in Virginia, although each of the localities are still counting votes to determine the final winner.

Virginia Beach held six school board elections Tuesday and parental rights advocates are leading in four of those races, as of Thursday afternoon. In each of the races, all but one of the precincts have reported.

A parental rights group called Students First VA endorsed a slate of candidates in the school board elections it deemed as supporters of parental rights and opponents of critical race theory in education. The group also supports raising education standards in the public education system.

In the 8th District and the 9th District, the parental rights candidates are comfortably leading by more than 10 percentage points and in the 6th District and the 10th District, the parental rights candidates have a narrow lead. In the 2nd District, the parental rights candidate is trailing in a close race and in the 4th District, the parental rights candidate is trailing by more than 10 percentage points.

Loudoun County also held school board elections, which showed mixed results. In the Leesburg District, the parental rights candidate is down by about 9% with 92% of precincts reporting in. However, in the Broad Run District, the parental rights candidate is leading by less than one percentage point with 93% of precincts reporting in.

Parental rights became a major topic in the commonwealth during the 2021 gubernatorial race when then-candidate, now-governor Glenn Youngkin made the issue one of his top priorities.

Since taking office, the General Assembly passed legislation that allows parents to opt their children out of sexually explicit coursework, the governor signed an executive order that bans critical race theory being implemented in the classroom and the Virginia Department of Education adopted new transgender guidelines that requires schools to keep parents informed and prohibits schools from providing gender-affirming counseling services to students without parental consent.