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Tue Sep 14, 2021, 02:10 PM

8 Tennessee public school employees dead from COVID in first month of school [View all]

8 Tennessee public school employees dead from COVID in first month of school
No government or private agency is keeping comprehensive count of deaths


By: Anita Wadhwani - September 9, 2021 5:00 am

Just before she went to bed on Tuesday, Tennessee Education Association president Beth Brown got word of yet another public school teacher who died this week as a result of COVID-19. Brown returned to what has now become a painful but familiar ritual since the pandemic first began.

“One of the very last things I did last night was write a note of sympathy,” Brown said Wednesday. “Unless we get more mitigation measures in place, this is going to keep happening.”

At least eight Tennessee public school employees – three elementary school teachers, one pre-k assistant, a cafeteria worker, a bus driver and two high school teachers – have died since the school year began after contracting COVID-19. The total is an imperfect tally of a grim statistic that no one government agency or private entity is currently monitoring in a systematic way.

The state Department of Education does not keep track of COVID-19 deaths of school employees, according to spokesman Brian Blackley. The Tennessee Education Association does not keep a formal count either. ........................

A spokesperson for Gov. Bill Lee, sent a list of the deceased employees and asked for the comment about what the deaths meant to the governor, did not respond Wednesday.

Since last weekend, Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, has been posting on social media local news reports of teachers’ deaths as a result of complications from COVID-19 with urgent messages about the need for universal masking in schools and vaccinations among eligible Tennesseans......................................

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Reply 8 Tennessee public school employees dead from COVID in first month of school [View all]
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