Va. officials probe whether girl who died escorted kids to school nurse

Sperry family photo
Posted at 3:29 PM, Oct 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-05 15:29:10-04

SUFFOLK, Va. (AP) - School administrators in Virginia are investigating whether a fifth-grader who died of coronavirus complications last week was asked to escort sick students to the nurse.

Suffolk Public Schools spokeswoman Anthonette Ward said the school's rule state that only adults accompany children with COVID-19 symptoms, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

It’s unclear where 10-year-old Teresa Sperry was exposed to the virus and schools officials have been working with the Virginia Department of Health to do contact tracing. The Hillpoint Elementary School student died Sept. 27 at a Norfolk hospital.

Her symptoms began five days earlier with a headache, but escalated quickly, her parents Nicole and Jeff Sperry said.

The Sperrys have said Teresa told them the week before she died that a teacher gave her the job of walking students to the nurse and gathering sick students' belongings if they were sent home.

The school division is looking into it, Ward said.

“The protocol at Hillpoint Elementary School is for the classroom teacher or any adult to contact the main office with a Code ‘C.’ When this occurs, one of the administrators or school nurse will come to the classroom to pick up the student,” she said in an email. “We are still investigating to ensure that this process was followed with fidelity.”