Youngkin rejects claims by Democrats to drop Martin Luther King Jr. on educational standards – Fox News | Team Cansler

The office of Republican Governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin pushed back on claims by Democrats that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would fall in the state’s revised educational standards.

Youngkin’s revised 2022 draft history and social sciences education standards is currently before the Virginia Board of Education as the first subject for review to receive public comment. However, that hasn’t stopped Democrats from pushing a narrative that the Republican governor is trying to shut down student education about King’s work.

Documents obtained by Fox News Digital show that the revised draft educational standards included educating students in kindergarten through fifth grade about all holidays, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.


Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office pushed back false Democratic claims that its educational standards prohibit teaching Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The documents also noted that the original draft listed example holidays but did not include the civil rights leader’s example holiday, and current draft standards before the Virginia Board of Education were updated to include the example holiday.

According to one of the documents, the holidays would be taught, regardless of whether it is an enumerated example within the framework of the draft educational standards.

Additionally, the document said that under the new standards, Virginia’s civil rights curriculum was expanded to include other notable leaders of the state, as well as greater depth of reporting on King’s legacy itself.

The documents also noted that former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration did not include any reference to King in its K-5 educational standards, aside from educating students about the holidays.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam answers a reporter's question about the state's COVID-19 updates during a news conference at the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond, Virginia, Tuesday, November 10, 2020.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam answers a reporter’s question about the state’s COVID-19 updates during a news conference at the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond, Virginia, Tuesday, November 10, 2020.
(Bob Brown/Richmond Times dispatch via AP)

Macaulay Porter, a spokesman for Youngkin, removed Democrats’ claims that Youngkin beat Martin Luther King Jr. Day from the state curriculum when Fox News Digital reached out for comment. She targeted the previous government for its “significant flaws” in its educational standards, such as not including “historical references to hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan.”

“The August 2022 draft policies developed under the previous administration had significant flaws in their standards, including omitting key historical references to hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and Senator Hiram Revels of Mississippi, the first African American to serve in Congress, and more, which have now flowed into the new draft,” said Porter.

“Despite various claims to the contrary, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is included in the revised standards, and indeed they have expanded the depth of content necessary for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is required,” the Youngkin spokesperson continued. “Through public comment, review, and input from Virginians, state and national historians, and various community organizations since January 2021, the draft standards are being shaped to ensure our students learn our entire history—the good and the bad.”

“The draft history standards are in the early stages of the State Board of Education’s review process and will continue to be revised, which will be informed through public board meetings and hearings,” she added. “This process is focused on ensuring that Virginia has the best history standards and curriculum for our students.”


The Republican governor’s office also told Fox News Digital that the new drafts contain information deleted by the Northam government, including a section that said: “The Holocaust is an example of prejudice, discrimination and genocide, directed against Jews and other groups.” Another nixed section from Northam discussed how the Bill of Rights outlines American civil liberties.

Youngkin’s office said the standards have not been changed to exclude historical figures and influential figures, and that King’s leadership and the heroic work of his fellow civil rights activists are prominently recognized at all grade levels.

Democrats have claimed that the state’s revised educational standards – which are awaiting public comment rather than final review – “prohibit” the teaching of King’s work to elementary school children.

“Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia is introducing a new policy that will ban elementary school students from learning Martin Luther King Jr.,” the far-left blue organization Occupy Democrats claimed. “[Retweet] TO PUT GOVERNOR YOUNGKIN’S LAUNDRY ON HISTORY!”

Virginia’s Democratic Party claimed that the “Youngkin administration changed its policies to include MLK day only after they were caught.”

“That [Virginia governor] now trying to hide the fact that they have attempted to remove MLK from all elementary school syllabuses, including mention of the MLK holiday,” Virginia Democrat Rep. Don Scott claimed while taking aim at former Maine GOP Gov. Paul LePage.

“He must have gotten that idea while campaigning in Maine with this openly racist Maine governor,” Scott continued. “Worst governor ever.”

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin made education a core part of his successful gubernatorial campaign.

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin made education a core part of his successful gubernatorial campaign.


Elected to the governorship of the Old Dominion in 2021, Youngkin defeated former Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe, who was seeking to succeed Northam.

The Republican governor made education a core part of his campaign, focusing on parental rights in education.

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