Glenn Youngkin’s “tip line”

Gabi Altinok, Staff Writer

In addition to his unmask order in schools, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has recently attempted to ban “divisive practices” and “critical race theory” (CRT) being taught in schools, despite the fact that CRT is not currently included in any VA public school curriculum. He came out with a tip line of sorts that parents are to email with complaints concerning their children’s school. If teachers are found speaking of these alleged “divisive practices,” then their career can be in the hands of an email.

Youngkin’s attempt to ban CRT in schools is essentially him trying to prevent teachers from teaching the truth about history, thus sugarcoating the instances of racism that are proven to be evident in various U.S. social institutions such as our education system, criminal justice system, healthcare system, etc. Opponents of Youngkin’s ban argue that this tip line, if anything, is solely made for the purpose of appealing to his right-leaning supporters.

Youngkin declared that emails would be kept private due to them being considered “correspondence of the Office of the Governor.” So, it has not been publicly said just how this administration would handle or organize these emails. He allegedly wants to gain an understanding of CRT that is being taught throughout the VA school system in order to root out such practices, again, despite it not being an official part of any of our school curriculums.

It is no question that this tip line was put in place to prevent students from learning about racism, and in turn excluding those who are on the receiving end of the oppression. There is nothing more dangerous than disinformation in our youth. It can lead to more confusion, violence, and allowance of systematic racism throughout the U.S. This term of “Critical Race Theory” and “divisive practices” is used as a façade to the clear motive of erasing American history from our school system.

In response to the release of the tip line, countless individuals immediately took action to flood the hotline with satirical emails in order to combat the threat on teachers and schools. Twenty-one-year-old Sofia Ongele, a student activist, even utilized her knowledge of coding to create automatic email formats for users to spam the tip line.

Famous singer John Legend decided to use his Twitter platform to share his opinion on the new tip line as well: “Black parents need to flood these tip lines with complaints about our history being silenced. We are parents too.”

Especially at a time of staff shortages and economic issues, this tip line has created even more unease for teachers. Some are even scared of the unknown consequences that may come after being reported. What exactly can be considered a divisive practice? How are these teachers penalized? It goes without saying that this new addition to Youngkin’s advancements as governor will only further the confusion and difficulty for the teaching community, as well as possibly limit the scope of important education for students.