As teachers and school employees prepare to head back to the classrooms this fall, there is a lot anxiety and nervousness about the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Sunday at Bever Park in Cedar Rapids dozens of educators lined up around the park pavilion to prepare living wills.
The service was offered at no cost by the Cedar Rapids law firm Scott Shoemaker & Associates. “To make sure that if something happens to an individual, then they’ve empowered the people that they care about, that they’ve chosen, to make healthcare decisions on their behalf,” Scott Shoemaker, an estate planning attorney, told KCRG-TV 9.
Jessica Bolar is a first-grade teacher and says she wasn’t surprised to see so many of her fellow educators there. “That’s why I came early because I knew this was going to be what it was going to be,” she said. “We’re all affected by this.”
Shoemaker said around 45 teachers took him up on his offer Sunday to get a living will, healthcare power of attorney and HIPAA release. They left the park with a set of documents that were notarized, witnessed, and legally enforceable.
“I think a lot of people, they just don’t think about it,” Shoemaker says. “It’s something that you hope you don’t have to worry about, and so they put it off. But it’s sort of been forced on people.”
Shoemaker, whose wife is a teacher, said he wanted to provide some peace of mind to educators and school staff as they head into an unprecedented school year.
“I’m in a position where I can help kind of take that one little thing off the plate of these individuals and allow them to focus their energy to serving students and being better teachers and employees,” he tells KCRG-TV 9.