Award-winning teacher axed after refusing to return to school over Covid fears

An award-winning teacher has been fired from her job after refusing to teach a class of 24 children over fears she’d contract coronavirus. Shunta Davis was dismissed from her job at Brookhaven, Mississippi, earlier this month after warning bosses it would be impossible to maintain social distancing in her classroom.

She called to say she would not be in school for the first day of in-person learning on September 14. Davis was then sent a written warning from her principal and deputy superintendent telling her that because she did not have underlying health conditions, she would be fired if she did not return.

They followed through with the threat after she still refused to return. Speaking after her dismissal, Davis told WJTV: ‘I was basically told that’s what they have desk shields for. That’s what they wear their masks for. And this is how it’s going to be.

‘Every class is going to be an average of 25 because it’s a large 6th grade group.’ The stricken teacher blasted her old bosses for failing to try and compromise, saying: ‘I was not even offered the opportunity to teach them virtually through Canvas or through a Zoom call.

‘It was basically you don’t want to come back to the classroom with 24 students, you’re gone. We don’t want you.’

Davis was axed despite being named teacher of the year three times, having a top AAA rating on her teaching license, and being nominated for a teaching award by local TV station 12 News.

Her employer has refused to comment on her dismissal.

Scientists believe most children are not seriously affected by Covid-19. But teachers and other school workers fear being in such close contact with so many other people could increase their chances of contracting coronavirus, and potentially lead to them infecting a vulnerable loved-one at home.

The US has seen 6.86 million coronavirus cases, and almost 200,000 deaths.

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