100 educators hold protest after 2 Cobb County teachers die within hours of each other

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — It was an emotional night Thursday for Cobb County educators who lost two of their own in just one day.

Around 100 protested outside the Cobb County school board meeting with one message: they just want to prevent any more deaths, because it’s not safe to return to the classroom.

“I know virtual isn’t the best option but I also know that students having a teacher die or them themselves die or their grandparent dying is far from the safest or best option,” said Dr. Brandy Judkins.

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Many held signs saying, “One team, one goal… staying alive.” Another sign read, “How many must die?”

Kemp Elementary teacher Dana Johnson died Thursday. She was hospitalized with COVID-19 in December. And Cynthia Lindsey, a paraprofessional at Sedalia Park Elementary School, also died Thursday.

Lindsey spent the last 12 days on a ventilator with coronavirus and pneumonia.

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“It breaks my heart. Employees shouldn’t have to die to do their job,” Judkins said.

A school board member said it warmed his heart to see teachers making their voices heard.

“I have a heart and soul and I know that this is heartbreaking and there are no words that could make everything okay. I want them to know I’m a praying man. I’m praying and I’m also a man of action. We’re gonna do the work, whatever it takes,” said school board member Jaha Howard.

As of right now, the district is all virtual this week but next week they are back to face-to-face learning.

A third Cobb County teacher, Hendricks Elementary School teacher Patrick Key, died on Christmas Day after contracting the virus.

Friends have set up a GoFundMe for Johnson’s family HERE.

The GoFundMe for Lindsey is HERE.

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