Governor Glenn Youngkin, inaugurated on Saturday, signed nine executive orders and two executive directives on his first day in office.
Republicans hadn’t won a statewide office in Virginia in 12 years, but 50.9 percent of voters rejected Gov. Youngkin’s opponent, former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe. The governor’s race took on special significance after Loudoun County became a flashpoint in the debate surrounding “critical race theory” (CRT), which leftists claim isn’t being taught in government schools while defending the idea of teaching it, “transgender” policies, and mask mandates.
According to exit polls, 24 percent of voters said education was their top issue. Gov. Youngkin’s first executive order promises to “restore excellence in education by ending the use of divisive concepts, including Critical Race Theory, in public education.”
The governor also signed an executive order authorizing the Attorney General to open an investigation into sexual assaults in Loudoun County schools. The executive order reads: “The Loudoun County School Board and school administrators withheld key details and knowingly lied to parents about the assaults.”
Virginia’s new attorney general is Jason Miyares, the first Hispanic to hold the office.
“Loudoun County Public Schools covered up a sexual assault on school grounds for political gain, leading to an additional assault of a young girl,” he said. “These investigations are not to solely go after or bring criminal charges against any one actor, but to learn what mistakes were made so that no other Parole Board [the governor also terminated the state’s current parole board] or schools ever repeats them.”
Gov. Youngkin’s second executive order reaffirms the rights of parents to make decisions about their children’s heath and declares that the “parents of any child enrolled in a elementary or secondary school or a school based
early childcare and educational program may elect for their children not to be subject to any mask mandate in effect at the child’s school or educational program.” And parents don’t have to give a reason for rejecting masks for their children.
The new governor also ended vaccine mandates for state employees.
Lieutenant Gov.-elect Winsome Sears, the first black woman voted to statewide office in Virginia, and Attorney General Miyares also were sworn in on Saturday.
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