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“They’re not following the guidelines, by any means.” Former Seminole County School nurse speaks out after dismissal

Published: Nov. 2, 2020 at 3:54 PM CST
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DONALSONVILLE, Ga. (WTVY) - Courtney Parker had been the Seminole County Middle School nurse since 2016.

On top of her normal responsibilities, the pandemic has created a nightmare.

“It’s like two jobs right now,” Parker said. "I mean it really is, it’s overwhelming. And then when you don’t have administration to support you, it makes it almost impossible.”

Parker was fired from her job last week, after she says she was trying to keep the students and staff safe through CDC and health department guidelines.

Parker said she worked with the local and state health departments, and would report potential cases and send students who could have been exposed through contract tracing back home.

She says the school principal wasn’t happy.

“He told me to turn a blind eye,” Parker said. "I said I can’t do that. I have a conscience, but I also have a legal obligation. As nurses, we can’t do that. That’s everything we are taught.”

By Wednesday, October 28th, Parker had been fired.

I reached out to the superintendent through the phone to get some answers. He told me he could not comment publicly on personnel issues within the school.

Parker says her separation papers stated she was fired for social media posts.

“Never once have I posted to social media,” Parker said. “There’ve been two complaints of text messages. And then there was one time that my husband said something in a barber shop. I can’t control what my husband does.”

When asking the superintendent if he could comment on the school systems social media policy, he gave the same answer as before.

Parker says she doesn’t hold grudges against the school, but wants everyone to obey the rules and be safe.

“Health should come first.,” Parker said. "I want my students to do well in education. I want them to grow up and be doctors and lawyers, whatever they want to do.”

I also reached out to the Seminole County Public Health Department about the requirements for school nurses and specifically, who from the Seminole County School system reports cases, as well as any issues they’ve seen.

We heard back from Georgia state health officials, who tell us they can only go by what school systems report to them, and that its mostly, but not always, the school nurses who report cases.

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