Two teachers and a teacher's assistant from Broward County Public Schools have died within 24 hours of each other from COVID-19, the teachers union president confirmed.
One female teacher and one female teacher assistant from an elementary school, ages 48 and 49; and one female teacher from an elementary school, age 48, died, Broward Teachers Union president Anna Fusco said in a statement Friday.
All three were unvaccinated.
A graduate of Broward Schools had also died from COVID-19, Fusco said. That person had close ties to the district through her job.
Schools and COVID
"We grieve their losses along with their families and the school communities they left behind," the union said in a statement.
Fusco said those teachers were on summer break when they got the virus.
Their colleagues learned of the sad news on Wednesday when teachers returned to their classrooms to prepare for the kids' return to school next week.
“It really hits because we've been in this conversation about masking up in schools; our own elected governor acting like masks are not necessary,” said Fusco.
She also told NBC 6 that there is a teacher assistant currently in the hospital battling COVID.
Just this week, the Broward County Public Schools board voted to require masks in school and defy Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban on mask mandates.
The sad news of these recent teacher deaths, Fusco says, just underscores the importance of that decision.
“It’s right here in our face. We know people. We're seeing it. We're feeling it. We're living it. You can’t say anything else than say this is real and we still all have to do our part to curb the spread,” said Fusco.
Editor's Note, Aug. 13, 2021: We have updated this story to clarify the number of Broward educators who passed from COVID-19. On Thursday, union president Anna Fusco said three teachers and a teacher's assistant died. Fusco clarified on Friday that two teachers and a teacher's assistant had died, and the fourth death was a Broward Schools graduate.