California Gov. Gavin Newsom sent his children back to their private school this week, while at the same time, the state has forbid hundreds of thousands of other kids from attending school in-person. Many people saw this development as an unjust double standard.
Newsom said his four children have returned to in-person learning at their private school, according to Politico.
“They’re phasing back into school and we are phasing out of our very challenging distance learning that we’ve been doing, so many parents are doing up and down the state,” Newsom said on Friday.
Newsom and his family lives in Sacramento County, where some schools have opened.
“All school grade levels in Sacramento County are permitted to conduct in-person instruction with required mitigation measures maintained (social distancing, face coverings, and sanitization) in compliance with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Sacramento County Public Health,” the Sacramento County website states.
Sacramento County was allowed by the state to reopen schools as of Oct. 13 after the county moved into the Red Tier 2, which means that there are “substantial” cases of coronavirus, but it is not “widespread,” that would equate to much more stringent restrictions.
Politico noted that the “county’s large public school districts — including San Juan Unified, which serves Newsom’s neighborhood,” have yet to reopen. The report added that San Juan Unified hopes to reopen in January.
There are nine counties, including highly populated Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties that have over 12.5 million residents, that the state will not allow schools to reopen fully for in-person instruction because they have been deemed to have “widespread” coronavirus cases, according to the California state COVID-19 website. Newsom has ruled that these counties may not reopen until they move into the “substantial” tier of COVID-19 cases for two consecutive weeks.
In counties with a lower adjusted coronavirus case rate and COVID-19 positivity rate, local school officials decide whether and when schools reopen. In schools that are not open, students must learn remotely.
“We absolutely believe that the social-emotional learning that occurs in the classroom is the best place for our kids, certainly the best place for their parents as well,” Newsom said. “And so it is absolutely incumbent to do everything in our power to provide support to our districts so that they can safely reopen, emphasis on safely reopen.”
Newsom’s announcement that his children were going back to school raised eyebrows with many, and was met by backlash.
Melissa Melendez of the California state Senate wrote on Twitter, “Kids across California are locked down at home, struggling to get an education. So glad Newsom has been relieved of his ‘challenging distance learning’ situation. Talk about white privilege.”
Buzz Patterson, candidate for California’s 7th congressional district, tweeted, “This is yet another instance of the political elitism in CA. Our kids are still unable to attend but Gavin’s kids can? ‘Let them eat cake.’ Newsom sends his children back to private school classrooms in California.”
“California Governor Newsom is sending his 4 children to private schools with in-person instruction I’m glad his family has that opportunity All families should have that choice,” Corey DeAngelis, director of school choice at the Reason Foundation, said.
“Democrat CA Gov. Gavin Newsom has sent his kids back to private school while many Californians still can’t send their kids back to public school. This is who Democrats are. Hypocrites,” conservative commentator Robby Starbuck said. “Vote Republican if you think we need to give parents school choice!”
Adam Housley, former MLB player turned journalist, tweeted, “This is the complete double standard that pisses so many of us off. So your kids can go back, but all the public kids can’t. Differ t standards cause disgust and distrust in government.”
“Gavin Newsom sends his children back to private school classrooms while California public schools remain closed. This is government double standards in a nutshell,” one person wrote.