Mississippi teacher fired after refusing to work in crowded class over virus concerns

Published 11:06 am Saturday, September 19, 2020

A Mississippi teacher says she was fired after refusing to teach in a crowded classroom amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shunta Davis told WJTV that it would be impossible to social distance with the 24 or so students she was supposed to teach at Lipsey Middle School in Brookhaven.

“It’s not so much the traditional setting. Because I’m okay with us coming back every day but with a reasonable amount of students in the classroom,” Davis told the station.

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After missing the first day, Davis said the principal and deputy superintendent delivered a letter to her. The letter stated that she doesn’t have any underlying medical conditions and if she didn’t come back, she would be fired.

Davis’ four children are taking part in virtual learning. The district has allowed the option for students for the first nine weeks, but Davis is concerned about teachers. She’s afraid of transmitting coronavirus to her mother, who has health issues of her own.

Davis was a three-time teacher of the year, earned a AAA endorsement on her teaching license and was nominated for a 12 News’ Cool Schools highlight, the station reported.

The station said the superintendent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.