Pittsburgh Public Faculties superintendent Anthony Hamlet faces controversy over the Florida journey

There is fresh controversy surrounding Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent Anthony Hamlet over pictures of a recent trip to Florida. Andy Sheehan from KDKA reports.

Video transcript

ANDY SHEEHAN: Well, these pictures from the Superintendent’s night in Florida are causing a stir among the parents of the Pittsburgh Public School. They say their children can’t go to school and have problems at home.

Jennifer Murtazashvili: – I was outraged.

ANDY SHEEHAN: I was absolutely outraged. Jen Murtazashvili has three children in Pittsburgh public schools. At least until three weeks ago.

Jennifer Murtazashvili: And we took them to school because the quality of distance learning was so bad and our children weren’t studying. They suffered from real mental anxiety from sitting in front of screens all day.

ANDY SHEEHAN: Today, like others, she saw these pictures from Superintendent Anthony Hamlet’s private Facebook page that he recently saw with friends at a restaurant in Palm Beach, Florida. Hamlet and the others are huddled together and are not wearing a mask. “Drink according to the woman who originally posted the pictures quote” drinks for adults. All of this when Murtazashvili says her children and others are stuck at home.

Jennifer Murtazashvili: And seeing our superintendent having a great time in Florida with people while these children in our school district are suffering so much. It’s just really shameful.

ANDY SHEEHAN: We contacted the school district for an interview, but instead Superintendent Hamlet made a statement that he had gone to Florida to see his mother undergoing treatment for bone cancer. He said he did not apologize and was determined to get the students back to school.

Quote: “The man who took care of his mother is the same man who takes care of your children. And one of the worst things we could do now is add to the problem by turning away from our shared priorities . ” our schools, families and students. I focus on priorities that are important. “

The story goes on

But the nature of this controversy is not new to Hamlet. As early as 2019, we first reported that he and his top administrators had taken an unauthorized junket trip to Cuba with a district vendor, which included hotels, restaurants, snorkeling, and cave diving. Previously, we had also uncovered the many trips Hamlet had made at the district’s expense, several times a month on average, to cities across the country. Murtazashvili calls his term of office here scandalous.

Jennifer Murtazashvili: There was a plagiarism scandal. There was a travel scandal. There was a contract scandal. I mean, how many more scandals do we have to endure?

ANDY SHEEHAN: Now the district is saying this was a private trip and the district did not pay for it. But parents say these images send the wrong message while the district is in crisis. Students are expected to return in phases in April. Live coverage in Oakland, Andy Sheehan, KDKA News.

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