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Ft. Braden School mourns faculty members lost to COVID-19 as principal opposes brick and mortar reopen

Posted at 6:35 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 18:35:44-04

FORT BRADEN, Fla. (WTXL) — Tragedy at Ft. Braden has community leaders speaking up about plans to reopen Leon County Schools.

The Fort Braden community is mourning the loss of two faculty members due to COVID-19.

Ft. Braden's mentorship program manager, 53-year-old Karen Bradwell, died Saturday and 19-year-old custodian Jordan Byrd died last week.

Principal Jimbo Jackson, who also serves as a county commissioner and is recovering from COVID-19 himself, says these events make reopening brick and mortar schools difficult to support.

"If that is what is the plan for us to follow is, then I will find a way to create as safe an atmosphere as possible," said Jackson. "But at this time no I'm not in support of returning to brick and mortar schools in August because I don't think that we will have enough data to show that the spread has lessened by that time."

Leon County Schools pushed its school year start date back a week, with plans for face masks, and social distancing in classrooms, but teachers are fearful about going back into environments where their safety cannot be guaranteed.