SUFFOLK, VA – Virginia school officials in the Hampton Roads area are investigating allegations that a 10-year-old girl died of complications from COVID-19 after an elementary school teacher asked the student to accompany sick students to the school nurse.
The girl, who parents identified as Teresa Sperry, died last Monday in a hospital after suffering from symptoms that started with a headache and quickly worsened. Teresa attended Hillpoint Primary School in the Suffolk Public School District.
Teresa’s parents have said on social media and in interviews that their daughter told them the week before her death from COVID-19 that a teacher made her responsible for escorting sick students to the nurse from school.
“It was his classroom job,” his father told the Virginian-Pilot last week.
“And she said if the kids were sick and had to go home, she had to go get their schoolbag and bring it back,” Teresa’s mother added.
According to authorities, this is the 12th and 13th death of minors in the state since the start of the pandemic. More than 1,000 children in Virginia have been hospitalized with the coronavirus.
Nicole Sperry has said she attributes her daughter’s death to parents allowing their sick children to go to school. Suffolk Public Schools Superintendent John B. Gordon III announced Teresa’s death in a letter to the community on Tuesday, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
All Kindergarten to Grade 12 students are required to wear a mask in Virginia schools.
“My beautiful daughter was taken from me because people are too selfish to care about what might happen to others,” Nicole Sperry wrote on Facebook. “We wore our mask because there are too many in our tribe who are in danger. My daughter was not in danger. And now she is gone.”
Teresa Sperry’s funeral will be at Altmeyer – Southside Chapel Funeral Home in Virginia Beach on Sunday October 10 at 1:30 pm Teresa will be buried in Holly Lawn Cemetery after the service at approximately 4:00 pm.
“In her brief 10 years on this Earth, Teresa has been a ray of light and positivity to many,” reads an online obituary from Teresa. “She was friends with everyone, even those who intimidated her. Teresa enjoyed the arts. She loved to draw, dance around the house and sing.”