NewsGetting Back to School


Former teacher feels like she sent her kids to school to get COVID-19

Jacqueline d’Estries kids
Posted at 3:18 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 21:41:43-04

A former teacher and Valley mom says she is upset in the handling of the pandemic at some Valley schools.

“Oh there’s so much guilt, and anger, and fear and shame, and all of those feelings, some are more rational than others, but it’s like I sent my kids to go get sick, that’s what I did,” said mother of two Jacqueline d’Estries.

d’Estries quit her fourth-grade teaching job last year after she felt employees and students weren’t being properly protected.

“They made a slew of decisions that really didn’t give me a choice,” said d’Estries.

She now sees those decisions playing out at campuses across the Valley thanks to a ban on mask mandates.

For d’Estries the writing was on the wall. She knew there would be no masks and little social distancing.

Sure enough, just two weeks into the school year, both her children have COVID-19.

“My son let me know he started feeling really crummy on Friday while he was at school, just really lethargic and runny nose, that kind of stuff,” said d’Estries.

By Monday, her 9-year-old daughter Belle and 11-year-old son Lincoln were running fevers and are now quarantined at home for 10 days.

“You just kind of assume that other people have the same concerns as you do as a parent, but they don’t,” said d’Estries.

She says that became clear during meet the teacher night prior to the school year at San Tan Elementary. She says besides her family, very few others were wearing masks, something ABC15 observed at the school Friday.

“They had the entire school, same day, same time come on to campus, it was horrifying, I came home so angry and upset and I just couldn’t believe what I saw,” said d’Estries.

Her children seem to be recovering but, she says choosing between their physical or mental health and their education is a burden no parent should face.

“There’s no reason to make a law against protecting our kids, it’s a horrific thing to put on parents,” said d’Estries.