Jacksonville teacher writes her own obituary before return to classroom

Jacksonville, Fla. — Jacksonville public school teacher, Whitney Reddick, posted her own obituary to Facebook early Tuesday morning.

Reddick tells Action News Jax it’s her way of protesting the reopening of schools with brick and mortar education.

Reddick says she’ll be returning to the classroom, though she does not believe it is safe for teachers to do so, and would rather see a 100% virtual start in Duval County.

”With profound sadness, I announce the passing of Whitney Leigh Reddick.

A loving and devoted teacher, mother, daughter, wife, aunt, and friend to all whose lives she touched, on August 7th, 2020.

She left us while alone in isolation and on a ventilator at a Duval county hospital in Jacksonville, Florida.

She was in her 33rd year. Whitney was born on February 21st, 1987 in Jacksonville, Florida to Charles and Fay Reddick, whom she is survived.

She and her husband, Evan met in elementary school, sharing multiple of the same teachers and continued their education together through middle and high school.

Though Whitney and Evan never dated in high school they rekindled their friendship in January of 2013 and wed in June of the following year.

Whitney and Evan welcomed their first, and only child in June of 2019.

Talon Charles Peterson was born at 4:10 am on June 3rd. Talon and Whitney share many character traits.

He loves to share toys, pre-chewed food, and half drank sippy cups.

Talon turned 14 months the month his mother passed. Being so young his memories of her will fade and he will only have those that were captured in film.

He will have a hole only a few children bear. However, more now than ever before.

Whitney was a lover however, that may not have always seemed her motive, but you knew that was the only force by the passion in her voice.

She fought with vigor for things she believed in.

She stood up to injustice, embraced those who differed from her, and truly listened when spoken to.

Whitney never took the easy path, she was assertive, strong-willed, and bossy, she loved that word because, to her, it meant female leadership.

She invested the time and dedication in improving and honing her passions to give them a voice, to not cower because she seemed too loud, too aggressive, or uneducated.

She was introspective and when an adversary arose, she listened, therefore, to become better equipped in leaving the adversary unarmed and better informed.

However, even though she shouted from the rooftops, attempted to be unemotional, and educated herself in facts and science, she succumbed to the ignorance of those in power.

She returned to work, did her best to handle all the roles placed on her shoulders; educator, COVID-security guard, human shield, firefighter, social worker, nurse, and caregiver but the workload weakened her, and the virus took hold.

Whitney was taken from us. Yes, of course too soon, but we are the ones left with holes in our hearts, missing how big hers was.

The next time you stub your toe and curse like a sailor you know those words were taken from her soul and flown straight to your lips.

We all have a little ‘Whitney’ in us.

Please send your condolences to Governor Ron DeSantis, Mayor Lenny Curry, and finally the Duval County School Board and Superintendent.

Whitney asks that donations be made in lieu of flowers to Making Strides For Autism in her honor.”