By Elle Reynolds, featuring Julie Gunlock, director of IWF’s Center for Progress and Innovation

Voters will have the chance to oust members of the Alexandria City School Board on Nov. 2, in one of the woke Northern Virginia school districts that have angered parents with COVID closures, racist curriculum, deteriorating outcomes, and rank mismanagement.

In conjunction with Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, the school board failed to return students to their classrooms until August 2021, 17 months after COVID-19 prompted shutdowns and closures throughout the United States, and more than a full year after peer nations returned their children to in-person learning. However, that doesn’t mean the school board stopped pushing partisan political agendas and priorities.

In the same June board meeting, Superintendent Hutchings and most of the board appeared in matching “We’re on an antiracist journey” T-shirts. The shirts matched Zoom backgrounds with the same phrase that several attendees adopted.

Local mom Julie Gunlock called the matching T-shirts an “intimidation” tactic and cited a similar incident as “the final straw” that convinced her to withdraw her son from ACPS. “During the orientation three weeks before school started, we got online, it was a Zoom meeting, and the dean of the sixth-grade students, the backdrop was one of those ‘we believe’ yard signs,” she told The Federalist. “If that’s not ‘welcome to this school where we will indoctrinate your student with leftist thinking,’ I don’t know what is.”

“School boards are supposed to oversee the superintendent,” Gunlock added. “When they’re all wearing matchy-matchy T-shirts, they’re not overseeing a d-mn thing.”

Hutchings, who has said he has “a goal of being the U.S. Secretary of Education,” took the time to pursue a book project this past year, despite assurances from a Washington Post puff piece that he was so busy trying to reopen Alexandria schools it was “like running a country.”

Gunlock lambasted “the idea of his distractions during the pandemic while parents were suffering, while children were suffering, while special ed kids needed special attention,” Gunlock said, also noting that Hutchings had complained he was getting too many emails from frustrated, concerned parents.

Neither Hutchings nor any member of the Alexandria City School Board returned The Federalist’s request for comment.

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