Who is Jenny Gillis? Teacher compares lack of mask mandate to 'mass shooting' waiting to happen
With schools opening around the country, teachers on both sides of the mask mandate debate are having a hard time. The latest is a Texas teacher who filmed herself tearing up over the lack of a mask mandate in the school where she teaches. Comparing the situation to an impending school shooting, the teacher - identified as Jenny Gillis - has since gone viral for her TikTok video.
Gillis's tearful, impassioned speech against the lack of a mandate comes amidst teachers resigning or be being penalized for anti-mask opinions.
Kansas City math teacher Josiah Enyart was fined $1000 for quitting ahead of his contractual deadline to protest the school district's renewal of its mask mandate and Critical Race Theory training. Virginia teacher Laura Morris also went viral after she tearfully quit her job at a school board meeting over CRT lessons. Meanwhile teachers like Megan Gaha from Iowa have been heavily slammed online for going on TikTok rants about breaking the law to teach CRT in her school.
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Who is Jenny Gillis?
The high school English teacher from just north of Austin, Texas expressed concern through tears over her school not mandating wearing masks. Gillis told the camera that this year she has had her "regular back to school anxieties,” but “this year there is this overshadowing apprehension.” She worried who will be taking care of her children if she died, or how she would pay the bills should she get hospitalized.
Gillis also worried about how she would live with the knowledge if she ever gave the coronavirus to her students, or even her own kids, and they died.
“It is like we are trying to protect our students from a mass shooting that we know is coming but cannot do anything about,” the teacher said in the TikTok video. “Except we can do something about it, it’s just that not everyone agrees that wearing a mask will stop the onslaught of students and staff who are likely to become sick and that makes me sick.”
She claimed teachers at her school were allegedly looking for affordable attorneys to have their wills in order, in case they died from the virus. “We are wondering what legal rights we have,” she said about the mask mandates. “We’re tired of fighting parents who feel like mask mandates violate rights,” she said, assuring parents that “we would step in front of a bullet and die for your child.” A user called Gillis's fear exaggerated, writing: “My son spent all of last year in school 5 days a week with no mask mandate. Yes, there were cases. Nothing serious. No death. No hospitalization." To that, she replied: “Maybe your son is the one who killed my friend Fawn who died in ICU from COVID in July,” Gillis replied.
Gillis also replied that she was vaccinated when her video was shared on the platform when users tweeted: "Is this teacher vaccinated? If so, her fears of death or hospitalization are grossly over-exaggerated."
"Yes, my entire family is fully vaccinated. I know I won’t die,” she wrote in a tweet.
Is this teacher vaccinated? If so, her fears of death or hospitalization are grossly over-exaggerated.— Sam Smith (@SSS_music) August 15, 2021