Former Park School athletic director says not getting the COVID vaccine cost him his job

Local News

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — Marcus Hutchins, the athletic director at The Park School of Buffalo is out of a job after deciding not to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Park School instituted a policy requiring all school staff to get a COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to “protect its students and staff while offering on campus instruction during the COVID-19 emergency.”

The former athletic director decided to not get the shot and is no longer employed at the school. Hutchins had served as director of athletics and physical education since 2015 at the Amherst private school.

He says he had shared concern and reluctance about the vaccine with the head of the Amherst school.

“I will maintain that I was fired, I didn’t walkway, I’m never going to walk away from people that are depending on me. But, I just couldn’t allow, first of all, my rights to be violated number one. And I just don’t have enough confidence – I looked at the evidence on both sides for vaccination and against vaccination and for me, I didn’t have enough confidence to take the vaccination. If someone feels confident in it, by all means, it’s their right,” said Hutchins.

“It’s just been a tough process, we’re working through it. My family is working through it, it’s a change and it’s an unfortunate change,” he added.

A school spokesperson says Hutchins’ decision was “for personal reasons” and “regretfully, respects and accepts Mr. Hutchins’ decision.” They add Hutchins “transformed” athletics at Park and made a positive impact.

“As part of its effort to protect its students and staff while offering on campus instruction during the COVID-19 emergency, The Park School implemented a mandatory vaccine policy for all staff in August 2021. The school’s athletic director, Mr. Marcus Hutchins, decided, for personal reasons, that he could not comply with the policy. The school, regretfully, respects and accepts Mr. Hutchins’ decision as well his privacy and the privacy of his family. Mr. Hutchins permanently transformed Park School athletics, positively impacting generations of scholar-athletes. Park School is committed to the long-standing athletic values for which it is known.”

The Park School of Buffalo

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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