Valley teachers react to Youngkin’s tip line

Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 5:33 PM EST
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has created a tip line where parents can report their children’s school if they see ‘divisive’ practices, like Critical Race Theory, being used in the classroom.

Many teachers in the Shenandoah Valley say they’re worried this will create more division in education systems.

“Education has gone through so much in the last two years, and teachers feel like they are under a microscope already. This is something that is making teachers feel like we’re just being scrutinized even more,” said Riverheads High School math teacher Laura Doyle.

Doyle said the tip line itself is divisive because it creates a divide between teachers and parents. Kate Collins Middle School science teacher and co-president of the Waynesboro Education Association Margaret Migas said you should communicate with teachers and administrators if you have a problem with a school, not through a state tip line.

“If you want to know what’s going on, talk to teachers. I think parent voices are very valid and important, but they should not be the only voices. You should talk to administrators, you should talk to teachers, and you should talk to students,” said Migas.

While many have gone through the education system, Migas said being a teacher in a public school is something other people don’t understand.

“It’s very different being a student in a public school. It’s very different being a parent in a public school. When you have your own classroom, or you work in a school every day, you actually see what it’s like,” Migas said.

The teachers agree they want to focus on the good of their students, not on politics.

“How can we, as a team, educate our kids, and do what’s best for them? Instead of separating us, playing one against the other, we should be focusing more on how can we work together,” Doyle said.

Doyle said she’s worried this will only increase the number of teachers leaving the field.

Migas said she’d rather see lawmakers talk about things that affect students, like literacy rates, quality and price of school lunches, finding and retaining good teachers and helping kids through the ongoing pandemic.

Migas has found a way to use the tip line for good. She submits her own positive stories about her sixth grade science class, and she advocates for families to share great things going on in public schools.

If you would like to support a local teacher, Migas recommends you contact a teacher or administrator or attend a school board meeting. You can also check out the organization Donors Choose and financially support classroom projects.

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