Richmond, Virginia—On Wednesday, multiple media outlets, including The Washington Post, filed a lawsuit against Glenn Youngkin for violating the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to release records related to the tip line he established. The wildly unpopular tip line, which has set parents and teachers against each other and left educators feeling intimidated and unsupported, was created for parents to use as a tool for reporting Virginia educators who are teaching “divisive” concepts in their classrooms. Members of the public are entitled to know what was submitted to the tip line, and the Governor’s attempt to hide it is a blatant lack of transparency and shows once again that Governor Youngkin has no idea how to govern.
“The unwillingness of our Governor to be transparent and forthcoming with information is concerning, as is this level of secrecy. He essentially waged a war on Virginia’s hardworking teachers, and now is going to great lengths to cover up the turmoil and chaos he caused,” LaTwyla Mathias, Executive Director at Progress Virginia said. “We already knew we couldn’t trust Glenn Youngkin, but this takes it to another level. A man who will pioneer a war against some of the hardest working members of our community for his own political gain is not someone who will stand up for our community. We hope this lawsuit will encourage Governor Youngkin to release the information that was submitted to his snitch line and turn over a new leaf when it comes to transparency in government.”
Media outlets file suit over Va. Gov. Youngkin’s teacher tip line [The Washington Post, by Laura Vozzella]
“Youngkin (R), who won the governorship last fall on a promise to stamp out “critical race theory” and other “divisive” concepts in public education, announced in January that he had created the tip line for parents to report on teachers who bring those things into the classroom.”
“At the time, The Post and the other media organizations separately requested copies of the tip line submissions under the Freedom of Information Act. The Youngkin administration denied those requests, saying that the submissions were covered by exemptions for a governor’s “working papers and correspondence.’”
“Filed in Richmond Circuit Court by a media coalition that includes the Associated Press, Tribune Publishing and NPR, the lawsuit contends that exemptions for working papers and correspondence do not apply to the tip line submissions — in part because, according to the suit, the submissions were shared with individuals outside of the governor’s office, including the American Enterprise Institute, a right-leaning think tank.”
“After riding a wave of parental grievance to the Executive Mansion, Youngkin has struggled to get most of his education priorities through a politically divided General Assembly. A few Senate Democrats sided with Republicans to deliver Youngkin his biggest win: passage of a law giving parents the right to opt their children out of school mask mandates.”