Tipped Off or Ticked Off?: Youngkin’s Teacher tip Line Faces Backlash

Contributed photo - Jennifer Williams reads to children at a local elementary school.

By Amie Knowles

February 7, 2022

In Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s first two weeks in office, a “tip line” for concerned parents to report any “divisive practices” was met with a lot of negative reactions.

There’s a call to recall throughout Virginia. During his first two weeks in office, Gov. Glenn Youngkin established a “tip line” for parents to report violations against fundamental rights, a lack of respect for students and any “divisive practices” in schools.

Since his open inbox inquiry hit the airwaves of The John Fredericks Show on Jan. 24, the line received an influx of emails. The issue? Rather than parents narcing on their kids’ teachers at [email protected], people instead spammed the line with everything from fake tips to song lyrics. Others took a different approach, flooding the inbox with positive messages about teachers who made an impact. 

On Feb. 3, eight Virginia education groups—Virginia Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators, Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals, Virginia Association of School Superintendents, Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Virginia Counselors Association, Virginia Education Association, Virginia Parent Teacher Association, and Virginia Professors and Educational Leadership—wrote a letter regarding the “tip line,” calling it “divisive itself.”  

The signers expressed concerns that the line would impede parent-to-school collaboration and directly undermine contributing factors to student success, like having high-quality teachers in classrooms. They called on Youngkin to immediately shut down the tip line and rescind Executive Order One, which focuses in part on Critical Race Theory. 

“Recognizing difficult moments in our nation’s past is not, in itself, divisive. Restricting age-appropriate and factually accurate discussion led by well-trained teachers is divisive,” the letter read. “Additionally, encouraging the community to report teachers, principals and other school staff on a tip line is divisive, unnecessary, and can be used to interrupt instruction and cause harm to educators. Appropriate processes are already established in every Virginia school division to address controversial or potentially inappropriate instructional practices.”

At Dogwood, we’re asking you to tell us about your favorite teacher and the positive impact they made on your life. If you send us a photo and story, be on the lookout—we might use your kind words to highlight our commonwealth educators over the coming weeks! Just email [email protected]—it’ll come right to me.

  • Amie Knowles

    Amie is Dogwood's community editor. She has been in journalism for several years, winning multiple awards from the Virginia Press Association for news and features content. A lifelong Virginia resident, her work has appeared in the Martinsville Bulletin, Danville Register & Bee and NWNC Magazine.

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