Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr., superintendent of Alexandria public schools, presided over the conversion this fall from teaching in-person to teaching online in the face of the COVID-19 epidemic. The effort seems to have been competently executed. Schools made sure that learn-at-home students were equipped with Chromebooks, partnered with Comcast to provide free internet to poor families, made training videos available, and set up a family helpdesk.
So, it was curious that Hutchings pulled one of his two children from Alexandria’s T.C. Williams High School and enrolled her at Bishop Ireton High School, a Catholic school which, like most private schools, remains open and largely COVID-free.
When queried by T.C. William’s student news outlet Theogany, Hutchings said in a statement: “I can confirm that our family made a decision to change my daughter’s school this school year. 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.”
One cannot help but wonder… Is Hutchings concerned that his daughter will receive a less adequate education in an online environment? Alternatively, does he believe that the risk of contracting COVID-19 in an in-person setting to be exaggerated? We have no answers to those questions.
However, the Powerline blog, which picked up the Theogany story, was less reluctant to draw conclusions:
His decision, in the wake of school closings, speaks to his lack of faith in remote learning. And it shows that he has no fear that in-person learning will have an adverse impact on the health of his child or his family.
Hutchings draws a $236,000 base salary. He can afford to enable his kid to escape from remote learning. Other parents can’t. Their kids are trapped in a learning environment that’s inferior for many students and emotionally harmful for some.
America’s nomenklatura may be woke, but you can still count on them to take care of their own.
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