Grieving mother pleads with Va. school board to take COVID seriously after daughter's death

Masked schoolkids
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One day after burying her 10-year-old daughter, a Virginia schoolteacher pleaded for more serious COVID protocols and chastised other parents for underestimating the effect the virus can have on children.

“My message for you and all that are listening is that COVID is not over. No matter what people who have been standing up here have said,” Nicole Sperry said at the board meeting for Chesapeake Public Schools.

“During the last meeting, there were parents or concerned citizens that voiced misinformation to you. They said that COVID was basically over and that healthy people do not die. When they were sharing this information, their opinions, the fact was, I was sitting next to my healthy daughter’s deathbed."

Sperry stressed that adults need to set the example for children regarding how to properly wear masks and avoiding risky behaviors, sharing how her family avoided crowded spaces with their daughter as the virus continued to move through their community.

“COVID is real, and our wish is that people take it more seriously,” Sperry said, alleging that a teacher at Hillpoint Elementary School made her healthy daughter Teresa walk sick children down to the nurse’s office. Teresa Sperry would later test positive for COVID-19. She died from the virus on September 27.

The school is investigating the claim, according to multiple reports.

COVID-19’s recent surge, fueled by the Delta variant, has proportionately affected more children than previous waves of the virus, thanks in part to the prevalence of vaccines for everyone over the age of 12, and pediatric hospitalizations increased in each of the last two months.