Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin tells mask opponents to 'love your neighbor,' but also says tide is turning against 'the left liberals'

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin tells mask opponents to 'love your neighbor,' but also says tide is turning against 'the left liberals'
Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia.AP Photo/Steve Helber, File
  • Gov. Glenn Youngkin told citizens opposed to school mask mandates to "love your neighbor."
  • Youngkin made the statement during an interview where he discussed school boards defying his mask order.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Monday told anti-mask parents who are upset that their children's schools are defying his ban on mask mandates to "love your neighbor" — but also said the tide was turning against "left liberals."

During an interview with conservative radio host John Fredericks, the newly-inaugurated Republican executive said that parents who were dismayed by challenges to his statewide order should remain composed and allow the legal process to play out within the judicial system.

"This is one of these moments where I know people might want to do some things that might want to make a strong statement — just love your neighbor," Youngkin said, adding that he would take "aggressive" action in the courts.

He continued: "I am not going to stop fighting for the rights of parents to make these decisions for their kids. ... And it may not be exactly what you want to hear today but keep your kid in school that's really important. And the legal process will sort this out because parents have this fundamental right in Virginia."

Youngkin then said the push for mask mandates was losing steam and called out teachers' unions for their role in opposing his executive order.


"I think that many, many, many school systems absolutely wanted to stand up for parents, but again, there was this constant drumbeat from the education unions that consistently tried to work against parents' rights," he argued.

He added: "Let's be real. Virginia was only one of 16 states that had a statewide mask requirement, and this whole sentiment is moving against the teachers, the teachers' unions and teachers associations, and the left liberals."

Last week, a parent in Page County, Virginia, who firmly opposed COVID-19 mask mandates for students threatened to bring "every single gun loaded" while speaking during a local school board meeting.

She was ultimately charged with making a threat while on school property and was released on a $5,000 bond.

Youngkin — who on his first day in office also signed an executive order banning the teaching of critical race theory, an academic concept rarely taught in pre-university education — said he was creating a hotline for parents to report their children's teachers for "behaving objectionably."


"We're going to get these inherently divisive teaching practices out of the classroom," the governor told Fredericks later in the interview.

He continued: "What this executive order clearly states is practices like teaching that one group is inherently privileged and another is a victim or that in fact people today should be held responsible for sins of the past ... these are the kinds of teaching practices that exist in our schools and we are going to get them out."

Opponents of Youngkin's order have argued that critical race theory is not taught in Virginia schools, with Democratic officials criticizing the governor's focus on the issue as a "dog whistle" meant to appease his conservative base.