Virginia Democrats who voted to remove concerned parent Suparna Dutta from the state’s Board of Education on Tuesday should be “ashamed,” according to Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office.
“In an appalling show of partisanship, Senate Democrats said the quiet part out loud: Parents aren’t qualified to advise on education in Virginia,” Youngkin spokeswoman Macaulay Porter told The Daily Signal. “Suparna Dutta immigrated from India, exemplifies the American dream, and is a Fairfax County public school parent, who has continually advocated for parents and students to have a voice in their education.”
“Democrats should be ashamed that they are pandering to their liberal base in an effort to stop the popular Youngkin agenda heading into election season,” Porter continued.
The Virginia Senate, including the wife of Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., removed Dutta from the board after she defended the Constitution and argued that public schools should teach socialism as “incompatible with democracy.”
Dutta, a Fairfax County public school mother and an immigrant from India, became involved in education policy after noticing shortfalls in her children’s education. She attended government schools in India and said her children’s education in Fairfax proved lacking compared to her education in India.
“Let’s not play games,” Dutta said. “Let’s just make sure our students can read and write and do math.”
State Sen. Ghazala Hashmi, D-Powhatan County, introduced an amendment to remove Dutta, citing the pursuit of “equity” and accusing Dutta of “white supremacy.”
“When we think about the Board of Education, it is a board that has to be dedicated to the role that education plays for all of our children, all of our communities,” Senate Democrats said in the amendment. “It’s very critically important that we appoint individuals to this particular board who are determined and focused on the opportunity to bring equity, to bring resources, and to uphold the promise of public education for every child in the Commonwealth.”
Youngkin nominated Dutta to the board in July. As an engineer and advocate for STEM education and Asian American rights, Dutta is more than qualified to serve on the board, according to Porter.
“Democrats are repeating loudly their clear beliefs: parents don’t matter, criminals first victims last, and petty politics above Virginia’s best interests,” Porter said in a statement. “It’s shameful. Virginians deserve so much better.”
Board member Anne Holton, Kaine’s wife, said she was “uncomfortable” with Dutta’s defense of American founding documents.
“You cannot reference the Declaration of Independence and Constitution as remarkable documents without also acknowledging that they contain fundamental flaws of enshrining slavery and limiting the protections that they provided for only to white, propertied men,” she said.
Asra Nomani, Asian American author and Muslim rights advocate, said Holton used her “white privilege” to remove Dutta.
“Let’s be very clear: @timkaine’s wife @AnneHolton used her white privilege in @virginiadems to kill the nomination of a brown immigrant woman of color—just because Suparna Dutta dared to speak her mind. Watch the new racism of the @DNC,” Nomani said.
Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.