ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — As they prepare to return to school, some teachers are working on their last wills and testaments, according to Andrea Clark. Going back to the classroom during the pandemic is that scary for them.
Clark is a 5th-grade teacher in St. Johns County. She is also the teachers union representative for her school, so she hears from a lot of teachers.
"They are so concerned about returning to school that they are updating their wills or making their wills," Clark said. "Some teachers have underlying health concerns where they feel fairly certain that if they caught COVID-19, it would be a bad outcome, possibly fatal."
This is coming from teachers around the county.
"It truly is happening," Clark said. "I stopped counting at ten teachers."
"I think teachers feeling like they are on the front line," St. Johns County Schools Superintendent Tim Forson said. "I can’t deny that. I understand that thought and concern."
Parents can choose from four options when it comes to their children learning for the upcoming school year. They can choose to have their children learn at a brick and mortar schools or from home.
"My commitment to them is this; I am going to do everything in my power, put everything I can in place to minimize or eliminate risks," Forson said.
On Tuesday, parents and teachers peppered the school board and superintendent with questions about how schools can reopen safely this fall. The district posted a list of frequently asked questions and answers on its website. The school spokesperson said it will be updated as need.
Meanwhile, Clark is making some of her own decisions.
"My children will not be going back to brick and mortar," she said. "My mother-in-law is elderly. She drops off the kids at school and picks them up. She is high risk."
However, going back to the school building herself, means Clark won't be able to see her mother in law.
"I’m not sure how we’re going to handle things at home," she said.
And so the uncertainty with this coming school year continues.