Virginia Gov. Youngkin's day-one executive orders include investigating Loudon County officials, CRT ban

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Virginia’s newly sworn-in Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed 11 executive actions on his first day in office including ending the use of Critical Race Theory in schools, investigating officials’ alleged wrongdoing in Loudoun County, and allowing parents to decide if their children wear masks in schools.

Youngkin announced the list of executive actions in a news release after being sworn in as the commonwealth’s 74th governor, the first Republican elected since 2009, on Saturday in Richmond, Virginia. 

Gov. Glenn Youngkin speaks during an inauguration ceremony, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Richmond, Va. 
(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

The governor signed nine executive orders that address the following issues: 

  • To restore excellence in education by ending the use of divisive concepts, including Critical Race Theory, in public education.
  • To empower Virginia parents in their children’s education and upbringing by allowing parents to make decisions on whether their child wears a mask in school.
  • To restore integrity and confidence in the Parole Board of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • To investigate wrongdoing in Loudoun County.
  • To make government work for Virginians by creating the Commonwealth Chief Transformation Officer.
  • To declare Virginia open for business.
  • To combat and prevent human trafficking and provide support to survivors.
  • To establish a commission to combat antisemitism.
  • To withdraw from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears, left, speaks with Virginia first lady Suzanne Youngkin during an inauguration ceremony, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Richmond, Va.
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

In addition to the executive orders, Youngkin signed two executive directives that will “cut job regulations by 25%” and rescind the coronavirus vaccine mandate for state employees.

The executive order regarding wrongdoing in Loudoun County comes after the school district gained national attention during the campaign following the arrest of a 14-year-old male high school student, who identifies as nonbinary, who has been found guilty of raping a female student in a school bathroom. That student was transferred to another school where he allegedly raped another student and the district has been accused of covering up the crime which resulted in one of the alleged victim’s parents being arrested at a school board meeting. The offending student has been placed on the sex offenders registry for life as part of his sentence. 

Critical Race Theory was also a key issue in the race with Youngkin responding to complaints about the controversial curriculum being embedded in Virginia schools by promising to remove it and give parents a larger say in what is taught to their children. Youngkin’s opponent, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, dismissed parent concerns telling them that Critical Race Theory was not being taught and saying, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin greets supporters at a reception Friday Jan. 14, 2022, in Richmond, Va. 
(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Youngkin promoted optimism in his inaugural speech and told Democrats who voted against him that he will be their advocate as well.

“The spirit of Virginia is alive and well. And together we will strengthen it,” Youngkin said. “Together we’ll renew the promise of Virginia, so it will be the best place to live, work and raise a family.”

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