Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin on Monday released a new ad featuring a mother who lobbied for the 1987 novel “Beloved” to be banned from her son’s English program in Fairfax County, Virginie, about eight years ago.
Laura Murphy is the centerpiece of the 60-second ad, titled “McAuliffe Shut Us Out,” which details her willingness to require schools to tell parents whether their child’s curriculum books contain explicit content and allow students not to read the material. . Murphy said she met with lawmakers, who agreed with her on the issue.
“It was bipartisan. It gave parents the flexibility to choose an alternative for my kids,” Murphy said. “But Governor Terry McAuliffe has vetoed it twice. He doesn’t think parents should have a say. He said that. He kicked us out.”
Murphy, whose son Blake was in high school at the time, did not specify that the content in question was the novel by Toni Morrison, which tells the story of former slaves after the Civil War and depicts some of the horrors of the slavery in graphic detail. . However, a 2013 Washington Post article resurfaced with an interview with Murphy and his son.
Blake Murphy told the publication the book was “disgusting” and “difficult for him to handle,” adding that he ultimately gave up.
Murphy said she didn’t want the book banned altogether, rather until new policies dealing with explicit material for students were put in place.
“I’m not a crazy book burner,” Murphy said. “I have a great deal of respect and admiration for our educators in Fairfax County. The school system is second to none. But I do not agree with the administration at the political level.
Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe argued that the legislation would have led to censorship and banning of books. He released a statement Monday, accusing Youngkin of “banning books and silencing esteemed black authors is a racist dog whistle.”
“I have said for a long time that Glenn Youngkin uses our schools and our children as political pawns to advance his dangerous, disconnected and bigoted agenda, as well as that of Trump here in Virginia. It is disturbing, disgusting and disqualifying, ”McAuliffe said. “Make no mistake, this is yet another example of Glenn Youngkin’s total adherence to Donald trumpDonald Trump Six Major Off-Year Elections You May Miss Twitter Suspends GOP Representative., and Virginians will reject both Youngkin and Trump at the polls next week. “
Youngkin’s campaign fired back, citing 18 Virginia Democratic lawmakers who supported legislation that McAuliffe vetoed.
“The bipartisan bills that McAuliffe vetoed would have simply informed parents of sexually explicit reading duties and given them the choice to have their own child given an alternative,” Youngkin’s campaign said. “McAuliffe continues to confirm every day that he wants to silence parents because he doesn’t think they should have a say in their child’s education.”
The latest back-and-forth comes as Youngkin and his GOP allies have sought to make education and parenting rights a major part of their campaign message one week before Election Day.