Glenn Youngkin quietly shutters CRT ‘hotline’ because he didn’t get the responses he wanted

Glenn Youngkin quietly shutters CRT ‘hotline’ because he didn’t get the responses he wanted

When pretend not-Trumper Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia decided to take a page from Ron DeSantis’ bigotry playbook and open up an email hotline to expose school teachers “indoctrinating” children with critical race theory (CRT), everyone around these parts knew it was a terrible joke. Creating a snitching hotline for people to voice their dislike of history and attack labor in the form of public school educators isn’t something done in the best interests of children. It’s something that is ultimately done in the best interests of big business.

But Youngkin’s hotline was of a piece with his executive order signed in January 2022 forbidding teachers to teach CRT to K-12 students. The whole thing was racist and anti-labor. At the same time, activists and people using more than the lizard level of their brain made sure to take advantage of the “hotline,” sending out a nonstop stream both mocking the hotline as well as calling into question the failed logic of the racist’s endeavor.

It has been less than a year since Youngkin’s attack on teachers and children of color went into effect. During that time the Virginia governor’s tip line has been been inundated with a certain kind of call, the kind that Youngkin and his ilk are less interested in dealing with: advocates demanding that resources be provided for special needs students, many of whom are children of color. 

A new report found that Youngkin quietly deactivated the tip line in September. When reporters asked why, a spokesperson from Youngkin’s office said that it “received little to no volume.” Evidence suggests that the “volume” wasn’t the issue at all.

RELATED STORY: Virginia’s racist Gov. Youngkin sets up email hotline to expose teachers—it’s not going as planned

USA Today reports that after months of waiting, a settlement between the Virginia governor’s office and 13 media organizations (including USA Today) was reached allowing 350 sample emails to be released and seen by the news outlets. The sample is from the first couple of months of the hotline’s lifespan. We know that it is not particularly representative of anything more than what the Youngkin administration thought they could part with without taking too much blowback.

Based on USA TODAY’s analysis of the sample, which may not be representative of what the governor has received, much of the activity may not have been what he was looking for. CRT, the graduate school-level framework that examines how racism continues to shape society, came up rarely.

In fact, the majority of what the newspaper received from the governor’s office showed that special education advocate Kandise Lucas’ emails made up a large number of the emails received. She told USA Today, “My main concern is that his mantra of ‘parents’ rights’ doesn’t apply to all parents.” Lucas actually supported Youngkin and took his “parents’ rights” rhetoric as truthful. She was wrong. 

The other emails seen by reporters showed people being bent out of shape that their kid had classes with other kids who weren’t “native English speakers.” Some parents thought the tip line could be used to find out if accelerated math options would be reinstated in their district.

Former teacher Sheila Jones, a member of the Virginia Education Association, reportedly used the tip line to promote good teachers she saw. She told USA Today that she did it because Youngkin’s CRT campaigning was divisive and put a focus on teachers as the villains of dissatisfied conservatives.

Jones said she never received a reply.

RELATED STORY: Youngkin’s anti-CRT snitch line has Black parents asking, ‘What about our children’s trauma?’

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