Over 1,800 educators fill growing Twitter feed tracking heavy COVID toll

Curator says his feed is certainly an undercount of school personnel deaths
By: | October 1, 2021
The "School Personnel Lost To Covid" Twitter feed marked the Sept. 25 death of Denise Coats, a teacher’s assistant at Castle Hayne Elementary School in New Hanover County Schools, North Carolina.The "School Personnel Lost To Covid" Twitter feed marked the Sept. 25 death of Denise Coats, a teacher’s assistant at Castle Hayne Elementary School in New Hanover County Schools, North Carolina.

The human faces of the grim toll COVID’s has taken on teachers and school staffers are being shared daily on a Twitter feed called “School Personnel Lost To Covid.”

Among its most recent posts is Linda Sundey, a 61-year-old school bus driver from Polk County, Florida, who died on Sept. 23. She was the 12th adult connected to the district to pass away from COVID and among about 90 school personnel lost so far in Florida.

As of Thursday, the feed, which launched in October 2020, listed 1,820 educators, coaches, bus drivers and others who have died of the virus. Nearly 360 of those had succumbed to COVID since July 1.

Its curator told District Administration that deaths are tracked as they are reported by local news outlets, social media, district websites, funeral homes and other sources.

“It’s been very important for me from a credibility standpoint that all deaths are sourced (confirming Covid) and people posted are actively working in school/coaching/youth mentoring role,” the curator told DA in a Tweet.

Another Polk County staff member, elementary school teacher Lourdes Courson, 51, died on Sept. 19.

The feed has not captured all deaths that have occurred among school personnel as details are not available for all individuals, the curator Tweeted. For instance, he has counted seven deaths in Polk County Schools while another researcher lists 16.

Kaylee Dabe, 25, an art teacher at Montgomery Preparatory Academy in Dayton, Ohio, is among the youngest on the list.

The feed also marked the recent deaths of a 28-year-old science teacher and volleyball coach and a 23-year-old first-year teacher.

 

The feed has counted 13 deaths in Alabama, including teacher Pamela Owen of Tarrant City Schools.

Among the administrators listed is Javier Castaneda, principal and superintendent of Heritage Community Charter School in Idaho.

Another listing, for a school resource officer from Connecticut, says not getting vaccinated was he and his wife’s “greatest regret.”

The site also marked the death of a teacher and football and wrestling coach from Georgia whom reports said was fully-vaccinated.


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