Letter – Why is Tynes not talking?

Published 6:40 pm Thursday, July 6, 2023

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Two articles in last week’s paper (“Why teachers leave” and “School Board’s Tynes draws challenger”), and two more times Denise Tynes has refused to comment. I honestly can’t remember when Mrs. Tynes offered a public statement in an article.  

She can’t accuse the Times of mistreating or generating negative press about her. If anything, the Times has avoided pointing out any perception of her record being controversial. While the Times pointed out contentious issues in articles about challengers for Jason Maresh and Mark Wooster, the article regarding the District 1 race mentions nothing about Mrs. Tynes other than she refused to comment.  

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The Times has a litany of issues to choose from, considering this will be her ninth local election since 2007. Just in the last past 18 months, she has been responsible for the following:

  • Voting not to employ safeguards to prevent sexually explicit material from school curriculum.
  • Refusing to allow screenshots of controversial and sexually explicit material from Isle of Wight County Schools-issued student media devices to be displayed during a public hearing to “protect the public.”
  • Reducing the time limits for public comments at School Board meetings and moving the comment portion to the end of the meetings to discourage comments from parents.
  • Pushing an unpopular effort to rename the Career and Technical Education Center after Dr. Jim Thornton, even after being told that she was doing it through a false policy, then refusing to correct that policy or to allow IWCS to address the issue until after the November 2022 election.
  • Appointing highly controversial Michael Vines to the School Board.
  • Slandering her fellow board members as racists without cause.
  • Voting herself a raise twice in the past year.

It is clear this paper has been more than fair to Mrs. Tynes. Still, she doesn’t comment because she doesn’t believe citizens deserve answers or information. In Mrs. Tynes’ view, she is the only one entitled to something, and that something is any elected office that will have her.


Lewis Edmonds