A Florida teacher wrote an obituary and posted it to her Facebook this week as educators prepare for the reopening of schools in the state amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Whitney Reddick, a Jacksonville public school teacher, posted her obituary to the social media site Tuesday to protest returning to the classroom because she doesn’t believe it’s safe, she told Action News Jax. Reddick said returning to school virtually is a better idea.
“With profound sadness, I announce the passing of Whitney Leigh Reddick,” the teacher wrote in the obituary. “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.”
Reddick went on to talk about the birth of her son, and how he’ll barely remember her.
“Being so young his memories of her will fade and he will only have those that were captured in film,” Reddick wrote.
She also wrote about “dying” from COVID-19.
“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 wrote. “Whitney was taken from us… Please send your condolences to Governor Ron DeSantis, Mayor Lenny Curry, and finally the Duval County School Board and Superintendent.”
Reddick isn’t the only teacher in the state who has serious concerns about returning to school. In July, the Florida Education Association sued top state officials over a mandate to return to in-person schooling five days of the week in the fall, and said they can’t require teachers to do so without first shrinking class sizes and giving teachers the protective gear they need.
“Governor DeSantis needs a reality check, and we are attempting to provide one,” FEA President Fedrick Ingram previously told the Associated Press. “The governor needs to accept the reality of the situation here in Florida, where the virus is surging out of control.”
Governor DeSantis filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit this week, and a hearing is being held Thursday on the matter.