A 10-year-old Virginia girl is dead from Covid-19, and her parents say her teacher willfully exposed her to the virus by tasking her with escorting sick students.
Teresa Sperry, a fifth-grader at Hillpoint Elementary School in Suffolk, Virginia, died just five days after she first began experiencing symptoms of Covid with a headache. She was given the job of a nurse in her class and was required to walk sick students to the nurses' office.
Sperry was Forced to be Class Nurse
Authorities at Suffolk Public Schools are now investigating the claim made by the parents. Anthonette Ward, a spokesperson for the school district, told The Virginian-Pilot that, if true, the move would be a violation of school policy. The school has a rule in place for only adults to walk children with Covid-19 symptoms to the nurse's office, she said.
Sperry Died of Coronavirus Complications
Sperry developed the first symptoms of the coronavirus infection on Sept. 22. But just four days later on Sept. 26, she began experiencing a cough so severe that her mother brought her to the emergency room, CNN reported. She was tested for strep throat and Covid-19, but was sent home to wait for the results.
"Her lungs were perfect, beautiful. They didn't seem concerned," her mother, Nicole told the outlet.
But within a day, she stopped breathing and was brought to a local hospital before being transferred to Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters, where she died.
After her death, her family was notified that she had tested positive for the virus.
'Covid is Real and it Doesn't Care who it Takes'
"We are home. But we left a huge piece of our hearts at CHKD [Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters]. It hurts so much to not have her here," Nicole said in a Facebook post.
She continued, "And I want to explain by complications that her heart just gave up. Our daughter was perfectly healthy. And would have continued to be here if people would have stopped sending their sick kids to school. Her teacher at Hillpoint gave her the job of "nurse". She was required to walk all sick students in her class to the nurses office."
"We did everything we could have done and now we've lost a part of our hearts. Covid is real and it doesn't care who it takes," she said.
School Officials have Responded to the Family's Allegation
"The protocol at Hillpoint Elementary School is for the classroom teacher or any adult to contact the main office with a Code 'C.' When this occurs, one of the administrators or school nurse will come to the classroom to pick up the student," Ward, the spokesperson, was quoted telling the Pilot. "We are still investigating to ensure that this process was followed with fidelity."