Empty desks: Coronavirus robs U.S. classrooms of teachers

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MISSION, Kan. — In July, fourth-grade teacher Susanne Michael was ecstatic as she celebrated the adoption of a former student from a troubled home and two of the girl’s brothers. For the festivities, Michael dressed them and her other children in matching T-shirts that read “Gotcha FOREVER.”
By October, the 47-year-old Jonesboro, Arkansas, woman was dead – one of an estimated nearly 300 school employees killed by the coronavirus in the U.S. since the outbreak took hold. All together, the U.S. had more than 250,000 confirmed virus deaths as of Wednesday.
“She just basically would eat, sleep and drink teaching. She loved it,” said her husband, Keith Michael, who is now left to raise the three new additions, ages 3, 8 and 13, along with the couple’s two other children, 16 and 22.
Keith Michael, left, poses with his children, from left, Jessica, Hunter, Houston, Sara and Holly, outside their home last Friday in Jonesboro, Ark. Among the victims of the coronavirus is Michael’s wife, fourth-grade teacher Susanne Michael, who died less than three months after celebrating the adoption of three of the children. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz)
Across the U.S., the deaths of educators have torn at the fabric of the school …

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