‘Parental Rights’ Tested in Virginia Beach

School Board elections in Virginia Beach next month are shaping up as a key first test of the local power of the “parentals rights” movement championed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Recent campaign finance disclosures suggest that a slate of six parental rights candidates – backed by a group called Students First VA – held an organizational advantage through September. The slate received twice as much money from donors who gave to more than one candidate than other school board candidates running in the Nov. 8 ballot.

Note: Parents created the group, Students First Va, to push back against school closures and mask requirements imposed by the local School Board after the COVID pandemic, which began in March 2020. The group's agenda includes a a recall petition against a six-member majority on the 11-member board, banning "pornographic" books in school libraries and eliminating 'critical race theory' training for teachers. Virginia Beach has a history of at-large elections where city council and school board members run city-wide. This year, Virginia Beach elections are being held in a new, court-mandated system of voting districts.

Source: Campaign finance reports filed with the Virginia Dept. of Elections. Donors in the chart are limited to those who have given to two or more candidates for Virginia Beach School Board running on the November 2022 election. Time period is the first three quarters of the year.

Oct. 21, 2022