In July 2020, after a second employee who worked at Florida principal Jimbo Jackson’s school died of COVID, he fought back against Gov. Ron DeSantis’ push to reopen schools for in-person classes.
Jackson, who was the head of Fort Braden School and a Leon County commissioner, had also just recently tested positive for COVID himself.
Now, nearly two years later, Jackson has died after suffering complications from long COVID, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. He was 55.
In the summer of 2020, DeSantis’ directive to reopen schools and call teachers back to work in-person sparked controversy, considering the alarming rate of COVID cases in his state.
“As a school leader, I cannot continue to see my school family mourn our friends and then tell them that ‘I can keep you safe when you come to school.’ That would certainly be a lie and a slap in the face to the Byrd and Bradwell families as they grieve and plan memorial services for angels gone too soon,” Jackson said at the time.
“With what the Fort Braden School community has already endured, I cannot support a return to brick and mortar school and respectfully call on our state leaders to postpone the return of students to school buildings until such time as it is reasonably safe for all members of our school communities. Our students, staff, and personnel are not a gamble I am willing to take when lives hang in the balance.”