Florida teacher writes her own obituary before returning to school during pandemic

National and World News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida public school teacher has written her own obituary amid growing concerns from teachers who fear returning to the classroom during the coronavirus pandemic, WJAX reported.

“With profound sadness, I announce the passing of Whitney Leigh Reddick,” the Jacksonville, Florida, teacher wrote in her obituary posted on Facebook on Tuesday. “A loving and devoted teacher, mother, daughter, wife, aunt, and friend to all whose lives she touched, on August 7th, 2020. She left us while alone in isolation and on a ventilator at a Duval County hospital in Jacksonville, Florida.”

“She returned to work, did her best to handle all the roles placed on her shoulders; educator, COVID-security guard, human shield, firefighter, social worker, nurse, and caregiver but the workload weakened her, and the virus took hold,” Reddick continued.

Reddick and her husband, Evan, welcomed their first child in June. In her obituary, she talks about the birth of her son and how he would forget about her.

“Being so young his memories of her will fade and he will only have those that were captured in film,” Reddick wrote.

She asked readers to send their condolences to Gov. Ron DeSantis, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and the Duval County School Board and superintendent.

She later told WJAX that her post was her “way of protesting the reopening of schools with brick and mortar education.”

Reddick said she would rather see a 100% virtual start to school in Duval County.

The obituary comes amid growing concerns from Florida teachers who say they fear returning to the classroom during the pandemic. Last month, a local law firm said it would provide living wills or advance directives for free to “teachers involuntarily forced to return to the classroom.”

This week, the state’s largest teacher union, the Florida Education Association, filed a lawsuit against DeSantis to give school districts the authority to decide when schools can reopen. DeSantis has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

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