See below for video of an excellent, timely speech by Del. Karrie Delaney (D-Fairfax/Loudoun) delivered earlier this afternoon on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates. Clearly, the Youngkin administration isn’t listening to parents like Del. Delaney, but they certainly SHOULD be.
“In these past few weeks, there has been a lot of talk about listening listening to parents, about whether their children should wear masks in order to protect a vulnerable classmate or what should be taught or not taught in our school.
But what does it mean to listen? It means considering a perspective that you may not relate to or agree with and giving someone the space to express themselves and be heard. We can’t truly hear when we lay our own thoughts over someone else’s words. So while we hear this administration is going to listen to parents, it does seem like a lot of parents are not feeling heard – parents like many in my district who support the local authority of those duly elected to make local decisions to decide what CDC guidelines our school district will implement or on how we educate our children on sensitive and uncomfortable aspects of our history.
But whether this administration is truly listening to parents or only the voices they agree with, I can tell you who is hearing every word – our kids. They are listening to increasingly divisive talk that encourages us to consistently put ourselves above others, to stand on the vulnerable in the name of self-preservation, that a simple gesture of wearing a mask in a classroom to protect the immuno-compromised child sitting next to you is a violation, that the discomfort of listening to the truth of a friend whose history is painful can be too much. I fear that the message we’re sending this generation is less about how we can live our lives in service and love and more about how to hold your own comfort and your own personal opinions above all else.
So I’m calling on this administration to really listen not just to the voices who elected you or the ones that support your agenda but to those who you don’t always agree with. I’m urging this administration to consider the message we are sending our kids. And I call on this administration to set the example, showing how to be devoted to one another in love and honor one another above ourselves.”