Burke, Va.— Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin called for an investigation into the Loudoun County, Va. school board on Tuesday in the wake of two sexual assault allegations against students in the school district.
“I am calling for an immediate investigation into the Loudoun County School Board for their gross negligence,” Youngkin said to cheering crowds.
“They had a duty of care and they failed,” Youngkin continued. “They endangered our students and violated the Virginia Constitution.”
“As a father, I am ignited by an unwavering resolve to not just fix this but to hold those who have failed our children accountable,” the Republican said.
Youngkin’s remarks come after a high school student in Loudoun County was charged with sexually assaulting a student at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn earlier this year. Another assault allegedly took place at Broad Run High School earlier this month.
Parents claimed at a school board meeting last week that the student was allowed to transfer to Broad Run High School after the first incident at Stone Bridge High School. The Loudoun County Sheriffs Office said that it found out about the first allegation on May 28 and conducted a "thorough investigation and evidentiary analysis.”
The sheriff’s office has not confirmed whether the teen charged is the same suspect in both cases.
Virginia Republicans, including Youngkin, have seized on the allegations, saying they are fault of those in power in Richmond.
“Instead of running a political campaign of division, Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring should be investigating those responsible,” Youngkin said on Tuesday.
“That is his job and he won’t do it,” he added before the crowd broke into chants of “do your job.”
Herring is running against Republican Jason Miyares.
“Those who are responsible must be fired or resigned immediately,” Youngkin said, referring to the alleged mishandling of the allegations.
Youngkin and his Republican allies have been zeroing on education-related issues in an effort to excite his conservative base. Recently, Youngkin’s campaign hit his Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe for saying that he did not believe parents should tell schools what to teach.
“He was exposed just three weeks ago when we were debating and he spoke from his heart,” Youngkin said.
Youngkin’s campaign has also tapped into the tumultuous debate over critical race theory in classrooms, which was ignited at Loudoun County School Board meetings over the summer.
The Department of Justice announced last week that it will work to address rising criminal conduct “directed toward school personnel.”
Youngkin continued to hit back against the Justice Department’s move on Tuesday.
“Instead of investigating parents, the Department of Justice should be investigating those who covered up a heinous crime in our schools,” Youngkin said.
McAuliffe’s campaign fired back in a statement, accusing Youngkin of touting “angry Trumpian conspiracy theories and constant threats against public school funding.”
“Glenn Youngkin has shown time and time again he's running for governor for one man only: Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHeadaches intensify for Democrats in Florida Stormy Daniels set to testify against former lawyer Avenatti in fraud trial Cheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll MORE,” McAuliffe spokeswoman Christina Freundlich said in a statement. “Terry McAuliffe, however, is running for all Virginians and will build a stronger Commonwealth that invests in public education and lifts everyone up."