There are folks who may still think the coronavirus pandemic is overblown, but a multitude of Iowa teachers are not among them.

Educators are clearly concerned about returning to school after many districts created "Return to Learn" plans that in many cases were later overridden by Governor Kim Reynolds' requirement to provide at least 50 percent in-person instruction for students this fall.

They are so concerned that, as we told you a couple of weeks back, some started writing their own obituaries to make a point to Reynolds about their frustration. Now, Iowa's News Now reports that an area attorney is offering a free legal aid session to school employees this weekend, essentially to help them develop their living will.

Here are the details of the event:

  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020
  • Bever Pavilion in Bever Park, 2700 Bever Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Teachers are asked to bring a badge or other proof of employment
  • To help protect everyone’s health, face masks and social distancing are required

The event will be free, outdoors, and socially-distanced with face masks required for all who attend. You should bring proof of employment with a Linn County school district, and services are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis. No advance registration is required, but individuals seeking documents will need to be present in-person.

Scott Shoemaker of Shoemaker and Associates is the lawyer providing this service on Sunday. His wife Amy is a teacher and he says the event is not only for teachers, but support staff, administrators, or anyone who works in a school building in Linn County, in hopes of at least "easing their fears" as the school year starts.

Shoemaker will provide legal paperwork including a healthcare power of attorney, a living will, and a HIPPA waiver.

While it never hurts to have these processes taken care of anyway, the thought of them suddenly being closer to the front-burner is a little upsetting among nervous education providers. The only certainty is the vital need for the safety of the students as the countdown begins to a new world in their classroom, created by a pandemic that still has a lot of unknowns.

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