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Students Present at Youngkin’s CNN Town Hall Angered by His Weak, Harmful Responses

High school student Callie Walsh: “The Governor did answer my question...under the ruse of ‘family values’ he was able to get around it."


From Generation Ratify Virginia:


Generation Ratify Virginia is the youth-led feminist movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and advance gender equity in VA and was the only student group with a presence inside the CNN Town Hall on Thursday, March 9th, 2023.

FAIRFAX, VA – On Thursday, March 9th, Governor Glenn Youngkin responded to questions
about his education policies in a CNN Town Hall with Jake Tapper. Since he took office, Virginia students have been targeted by his dangerous education policies. His proposed transgender model policies present the largest rollback of the rights of Queer students in Virginia history. His suggested history standards attempt to erase Black history, Queer history, and labor history. In addition, his administration’s calculation error cost Virginia public schools $200 million dollars in critical funding. Governor Youngkin’s education policies have created hostile learning environments and removed crucial educational opportunities from Virginia students.

Only three students–one middle school student and two high school students–were able to ask questions of the governor despite being the constituency group most impacted by his education policies. One of the high school students, Callie Walsh, is a Generation Ratify Virginia member and asked Governor Youngkin if he would have signed a bill banning books from school libraries. He responded that he would have signed the bill into law if given the opportunity. Walsh later replied, “The Governor did answer my question, however, under the ruse of ‘family values’ he was able to get around it. My focus is not on sexually explicit materials being removed from our libraries, but instead why Tony Morrison, LGBTQIA+ literature, and so many books that offer vital educational opportunities are being targeted by him.”

“I am disappointed that Governor Youngkin refuses to fight for my rights and ignores the needs of countless Virginia students. Instead, he pushes his own political views, which have caused fear for so many students. We are forced to advocate for our rights because he sure isn’t.” declared Bora Yoon, a sophomore at Battlefield High School.

Spoorthi Nadkarni, a junior at Westfield High School, said, “I believe that education is liberation and that all students should have the right to feel safe while receiving a quality education, and I am worried that those fundamental rights will be impeded upon by Governor Youngkin.”


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