And not one penny of hazard pay.

Courtesy of the AP:

A South Carolina third grade teacher who was last in her classroom less than two weeks ago has died from COVID-19, officials at the Richland 2 School District said Wednesday.

Demetria “Demi” Bannister, 28, was diagnosed with the virus on Friday and died Monday, school district spokeswoman Libby Roof said in a news release.

Bannister was a third grade teacher starting her fifth year of teaching at Windsor Elementary School in Columbia, officials said.

She was at the school on Aug. 28, during a week of teacher workdays before the school year began. She started teaching the following week from home, officials said. The district said it is tracing anyone who had close contact with Bannister and instructed custodians to deeply clean the school.

28 years old, so much for the virus only targeting older people. 

And this lady is not the only one either.

Courtesy of Kansas City Star

Teachers in at least three states have died after bouts with the coronavirus since the dawn of the new school year, and a teachers’ union leader worries that the return to in-person classes will have a deadly impact across the U.S. if proper precautions aren’t taken.

AshLee DeMarinis was just 34 when she died Sunday after three weeks in the hospital. She taught social skills and special education at John Evans Middle School in Potosi, Missouri, about 70 miles (115 kilometers) southwest of St. Louis.

A third-grade teacher died Monday in South Carolina, and two other educators died recently in Mississippi. It’s unclear how many teachers in the U.S. have become ill with COVID-19 since the new school year began, but Mississippi alone has reported 604 cases among school teachers and staff.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said schools need guidelines such as mandatory face coverings and strict social distancing rules to reopen safely.

“If community spread is too high as it is in Missouri and Mississippi, if you don’t have the infrastructure of testing, and if you don’t have the safeguards that prevent the spread of viruses in the school, we believe that you cannot reopen in person,” Weingarten said.

I do know how much more evidence that these school districts have to see before they realize that reopening their schools is a death sentence for many of their teachers and students. 

I was on a phone call with a school administrator up here in Alaska concerning one of my clients, and they suddenly started talking about “when the schools reopen at the semester.”

I stopped them right there and sais “No they won’t.” 

And then I said that even if they did reopen after the holidays that they would almost immediately start closing schools down again as Coronavirus cases were identified within the school and that it would not only help to spread the virus but also further disrupt the education of their students.

“Why would you even consider doing that?” I asked. 

And they really did not have a good answer. 

To be honest I think that most of the public school educators up here in Anchorage realize that school will not reopen this year, and I actually find that gratifying. 

I only hope that other school districts in other states will make similar choices.