Gwinnett County, Georgia, Forces Teachers With Health Problems to Work in Classrooms Despite COVID-19
Georgia teacher Samantha Mbozi hasn’t even entered a grocery store in the last six months. The 51-year-old just finished chemotherapy a year ago and is taking immunosuppressive drugs for two other illnesses. Her doctor told her strict quarantine could be a matter of life or death.
But late last month, the Gwinnett County School District gave her an ultimatum: Return to the classroom to teach in person, or stop teaching altogether.
“I said, ‘It’s not like I don’t want to work. I’m a single parent, I don’t know where my paychecks are coming from after this month,’” said Mbozi, an immigrant from Guyana and a single mother of two. “They said, ‘There’s no work-from-home options. If you’re not in the building, you take leave.’”
As the school year begins, Georgia teachers with potentially life-threatening medical conditions are being denied the ability to work from home—even in districts where the majority