The New York Times reports that the private school which President Donald J. Trump’s son Barron attends, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, has announced it will not fully reopen in September out of concern for the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The school stated in a letter to parents that it was still in the process of deciding whether to institute a hybrid learning format in which the students would rotate between on-campus and distance learning or whether to hold the semester fully online.
- The announcement stands in contrast to Trump’s repeated insistence that America’s schools hold classes fully in-person in the coming fall semester, even going so far as to threaten to “cut off funding” for schools that do not hold in-person classes.
- And when reporters asked Trump on July 22 how he felt about his son Barron and any school age grandchildren attending classes in person, he replied, “I am comfortable with that.”
- However, faced with the pandemic, “states, localities and private schools increasingly are defying him,” the Times explains.
The St. Andrew’s letter, signed by Head of School Robert Kosasky and Assistant Head of School David Brown, reads in part as follows:
We are hopeful that public health conditions will support our implementation of the hybrid model in the fall… As we prepare to make a decision the week of August 10 about how to best begin the school year, we will continue to follow guidance of appropriate health officials and refine both our hybrid and distance learning plans.
Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, expressed in an interview that she hopes this development will help Trump understand how complicated a school reopening truly is and how difficult it is to provide for both students’ educational needs and their health needs, as well as those of the faculty and broader community. She said,
The president now has to face what every other parent in America and every other teacher in America is grappling with right now, which is: In the midst of a pandemic, how do schools keep their kids and their faculty safe?
…Hopefully, Donald Trump will have a scintilla of empathy and consideration for what Americans are going through now that he is experiencing it himself.