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Jordan Byrd's mother dies from COVID-19, 3rd connected to Fort Braden

Posted at 6:21 PM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 23:11:55-04

FORT BRADEN, Fla. (WTXL) — The Fort Braden community is reeling after a former faculty member, Jordan Byrd's 55-year-old mother has died from the coronavirus.

Jacqueline Shaw Byrd lost her battle with the coronavirus late Sunday night.

Jacqueline Shaw Byrd's son, Jordan Byrd died from complications with the coronavirus in late July along with Fort Braden Elementary School teacher Karen Bradwell.

Jacqueline Shaw Byrd was admitted to the hospital on July 5, around the same time as her son.

The Tallahassee Community Action Committee, parents, teachers, and students have protested Florida's mandatory reopening on August 31 and those still on the fence have expressed their fear about returning to brick and mortar.

Tuesday night board members starting off their meeting honoring the life of both Jordan Byrd and his mother Jacqueline. Both succumbed to COVID-19.

"A moment of silence please," said DeeDee Rasmussen, the chair of the Leon County School Board.

Jacqueline Byrd is the third death connected to Fort Braden School.

"Another member of our family who has succumbed to COVID-19, Jacqueline Byrd, and the mother of our former employee," Rasmussen said.

Her loss has the Fort Braden community mourning again.

"I've known her since I was in Kindergarten," said Elana Tober.

Tober says Byrd was always there for her when she was a student.

Byrd last worked at Fort Braden School in 2015, her son Jordan was a custodian for the school before his untimely death.

"She's always helped me personally and shes always talked to me about what's going on at home and she really did care about all of her students," Tober said.

This tragedy is causing more unrest as students and teachers prepare to return to schools in less than a month.

"I'm here first and foremost to honor the Byrd family and Ms. Bradwell," said Max Epstein. "Three black lives that have already been taken from us before school even started."

The community and those who knew Jacqueline Byrd, Jordan Byrd, and Karen Bradwell are looking to comfort those families.

"Their family really needs a lot of support," Epstein said.

This is the fourth known coronavirus case at Fort Braden School Principal and county commissioner Jimbo Jackson was also sick with the virus, He recently tested negative and is recovering.