Gov. Youngkin expresses optimism about the future of Virginia: ‘Ready for a new way forward’

Gov. Youngkin expresses optimism about the future of Virginia: ‘Ready for a new way forward’

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Virginia’s newly sworn-in Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Sunday discussed some of his first executive orders that he signed Saturday and expressed his optimism about the future of Virginia, saying Virginians are “ready for a new way forward.”

“What we heard from voters on November 2, from all voters, not Republicans versus Democrats, but from Virginians, was that they are ready for a new way forward. We won the independent vote, we had droves of Democrats come across the aisle,” Youngkin said on “Fox News Sunday,” his first interview since being sworn into office. “We won the Hispanic vote and the Asian vote. We had a greater percentage of the Black vote than any Republicans got in recent memory. What this demonstrates to me is that Virginians are ready for a new direction.”

Youngkin said his campaign has pledged all along that they would “stand up for parents” and that his administration would give the power back to them compared to the last few years, where he said “bureaucrats and politicians have absolutely stopped listening to parents.” 

Gov. elect Glenn Youngkin waves to the crowd before his inauguration ceremony, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Gov. elect Glenn Youngkin waves to the crowd before his inauguration ceremony, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

“In Virginia, it is clear under law that parents have a fundamental right to make decisions for their children’s upbringing, their education and their care, and so we are providing parents an opt-out,” Youngkin said. “We’re providing them the ability to make the right decision for their child with regards to their child’s well-being. We are going to use all the authority that I have to consider all options to protect that right, and I think this is exactly what Virginians voted for in November and we delivered yesterday.”

VIRGINIA GOV. YOUNGKIN’S DAY-ONE EXECUTIVE ORDERS INCLUDE INVESTIGATING LOUDOUN COUNTY OFFICIALS, CRT BAN

Later in the interview, he pushed back against critics who claim critical race theory (CRT)is not being taught in Virginia schools, telling “Fox News Sunday” host John Roberts that “anyone who thinks that the concepts that actually underpin critical race theory are not in our schools has not been in the schools.” 

He said his administration will “increase transparency” for parents and that he has already instructed his Secretary of Education and others at the Virginia Board of Education to review and “get racially divisive and other divisive concepts out of the school system.” When asked whether he would ban the tenets of CRT, Youngkin said that is “exactly what we did yesterday.”

Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin speaks during his election night party at a hotel in Chantilly, Virginia, U.S., November 3, 2021.

Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin speaks during his election night party at a hotel in Chantilly, Virginia, U.S., November 3, 2021. (REUTERS/ Jonathan Ernst)

Youngkin was also asked about his executive order to investigate the wrongdoing in Loudoun County regarding the school district after it gained national attention during his gubernatorial campaign and was accused of covering up multiple rapes. Youngkin said it is “paramount that our school systems” live up to the value of keeping children safe and “people should have already resigned” in response to the scandal, saying there was a “dereliction of duty.” He said he expects resignations after his administration does a full-scope investigation.

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A 14-year-old male high school student, who identifies as non-binary, was found guilty of raping a female student in a school bathroom and then transferred to another school, where he allegedly raped another female student. The school district was accused by the father of one of the victims for trying to cover up the crime.

Other issues covered by Youngkin’s executive orders on Saturday include: restoring integrity and confidence in the Parole Board of the Commonwealth of Virginia, declaring Virginia open for business, as well as combating and preventing human trafficking and providing support to survivors.

Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.

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