IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Glenn Youngkin's teacher snitch line in Virginia is finally dead

The Republican governor created an email account for parents to rat out educators teaching "divisive" subjects. It didn't go well ... at all.

By

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin still doesn’t want to reveal all of the reports — and fictitious reports — sent to the tip line he created for parents to snitch on educators who teach “divisive” topics.  

But after a settlement with a coalition of news organizations that sued, the Republican’s office has released a small fraction of the responses. As you may know from previous ReidOut Blogs, Youngkin has tried to hide submissions to the snitch line from public view. 

The conditions of the settlement with several news organizations — including NBCUniversal, which owns MSNBC — allowed for the release of only 350 emails that had also been forwarded to the Virginia Department of Education.

Unsurprisingly, there was evidently no there there when it comes to the released emails.

Youngkin said he set out to remove “divisive practices” and critical race theory, a college-level field of study Republicans have scapegoated to push whitewashed curricula. But according to NBC4 Washington, “after combing through 350 emails that the governor’s attorneys say were randomly selected, News4 found zero reports of critical race theory or so-called divisive practices.” 

And sadly, it appears the snitch line is no more! An official told The Washington Post the administration quietly killed it in September as submissions slowed. And, what’s more, the administration doesn’t appear to have released any of the many, many prank emails that Gen-Z for Change activists helped generate. 

So, what did arise?

The Post gave a good summary of the most pressing matters, according to emailers: 

One parent complained about a reading assignment that was “sympathetic” to immigrants. Another raised alarm about free online tutoring offered by a local school district, seeing it as “a potential path for unknown perverts” to prey on students. Some voiced concern that the concept of “gender identity” was included in the family life curriculum. A Spotsylvania mother called for seven books to be pulled from school libraries, writing: “These books are, in my opinion, making children desensitized to healthy sexual relationships and are grooming in nature.” Several parents were upset that certain schools were requiring masks early this year, at a time when the courts were still sorting out if Youngkin’s executive order attempting to ban mask mandates was legal.

So, in short, a cocktail of right-wing bigotry and anti-scientific Covid skepticism. And, remember, these are the emails Youngkin’s team agreed to hand over. It’s entirely possible there were emails sent to the tip line that include more plainspoken bigotry that would embarrass Youngkin and paint right-wing concerns about curricula as hysterical.  

Fortunately, the progressive watchdog American Oversight has a separate lawsuit against Youngkin making its way through court that may jar even more emails loose. Stay tuned.