Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Hutchings recently dumped on parents who pulled their kids from public school to put them in “learning pods”, stating the move would “cause inequalities”. Then news broke that he pulled one of his kids from the Alexandria City Public School system and enrolled the child in a private high school.
“I can confirm that our family made a decision to change my daughter’s school this school year,” Hutchings told a student newspaper. “Decisions like these are very personal family decisions and are not taken lightly. This in no way impacts my absolute lifelong, commitment to public education, to which I remain as personally dedicated as ever.”
This is a helluva statement from a public official actively involved in dictating what parents can do with their own children. But the hypocrisy doesn’t stop there.
The private school in question is combining in-person classes with distance learning at a time when Hutchings and other school board members are forcing the public schools in his area to stick with virtual learning, a model that has been shown to be woefully lacking in the last few months.
It’s extremely odd that Mr. Hutchings has no problem with his child attending in-person classes while he and other school officials in the area do everything in their power to keep public schools closed “to prevent the spread of COVID-19.” But this is the model that is being played out across the nation, and not just in Hutchings’ school district.
Public school teacher unions throughout the United States have put politics ahead of education by making outrageous, political demands that must be met before they will allow state officials to re-open public schools for in-person learning. Teacher union leaders claim they are making “science-based decisions” while ignoring the fact that over 6,000 scientists and doctors have recently signed a petition stating that lockdowns are not the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19. Even the WHO has backtracked from its original position, noting that lockdowns are not only ineffective but also cause severe hardship for vulnerable individuals.
Hutchings is clearly a good parent who has his child’s best interests at heart. However, the same can, and should, be said of parents who dump the public school system in favor of more effective alternatives. Every parent should have the right to select an educational model that best fits a child’s needs and the family’s budget. Restricting school choice to “keep everyone equal” isn’t the answer to the problems.