chula vista elementary school district

South Bay Superintendent's Mistake Becomes Teaching Moment

Chula Vista Elementary School Superintendent Francisco Escobedo, who was spotted in a photo with a student when the educator wasn't wearing a mask or social distancing, said, "I made a mistake"

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Controversy surrounds a photo of the Chula Vista Elementary School District’s Superintendent making a home visit to a student when the educator wasn't wearing a mask or social distancing.  

The photo was posted on social media by the student’s mother, who wrote in her post, “Thank you, Doctor Escobedo, for doing a house call to check on my kid’s progress in virtual learning, chatting with me and hearing my concerns.”

In a statement to NBC 7, Superintendent Francisco Escobedo wrote, “I made a mistake. Briefly lowered my mask to say hello to the teacher and students who were online during distance learning. It shows even a superintendent can experience a teachable moment.”

The teacher’s union, which is in negotiations with the district over how to reopen school safely, criticized the photo. 

“If we can’t get the leader of our district to model the safety protocols, how are we going to make sure they’re being implemented and adhered to by all the people on campus?” Susan Skala, the president of the Chula Vista Educators, said on Tuesday.

All the South Bay parents aching to send their children back to elementary school are going to have to wait a while longer, reported NBC 7's Omari Fleming.

“If we can’t get the leader of our district to model the safety protocols, how are we going to make sure they’re being implemented and adhered to by all the people on campus?” Susan Skala, the president of the Chula Vista Educators, said on Tuesday.

At a virtual town hall Monday night to talk about how to re-open school safely, the superintendent said “I am far from perfect. I made a mistake today. I went to visit a family that took pictures, and I removed my mask and I thought, 'Oh my God, I should have left my mask on,' so, yeah that constant discipline is so, so critical.”

The superintendent had the best of intentions, said district spokesman Anthony Millican, who said Monday’s trip to the family's home was the last scheduled home visit.

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