Kentucky teacher resigns amid Ebola scare

A teacher at St. Margaret Mary Catholic School in Louisville, Ky., resigned after she was put on leave over fears of Ebola.


An elementary school teacher in Louisville, Kentucky, has left her job after being put on paid "precautionary leave" for 21 days over fears of Ebola - even though she'd never been to a country affected by the Ebola outbreak.

The teacher, Susan Sherman, resigned from St. Margaret Mary Catholic School after being put on leave following a mission trip to Kenya.

Sherman told CBS Louisville station WLKY the school asked her to stay out of the classroom because of concerns from students, parents and parishoners. She blamed the decision on ignorance.

Sherman, a registered nurse, and her husband, Paul, a retired surgeon, had gone to Kenya on a medical mission with a faith-based volunteer group called Kenya Relief, the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper reported.

"We don't have Ebola in Kenya," Steve James, the founder of Kenya Relief, told the paper.

The Louisville archdiocese acknowledged that the Kenyan village where Sherman went was located "in Eastern Africa, thousands of miles from West Africa, where the main outbreak of the virus is located." But the school said it was moving ahead with plans to replace her.

This is not the first case of misplaced Ebola fears impacting people who had no apparent risk of exposure to the disease.

Last week, a family in Milford, Connecticut, filed a federal lawsuit after their daughter was barred from third grade when she returned from attending a relative's wedding in Nigeria.

The girl, Ikeoluwa Opayemi, was told to stay home from Meadowside Elementary School for 21 days "due to concern from certain parents and teachers that she could transmit Ebola to other children," according to the lawsuit. The virus has a three-week incubation period.

Nigeria, like Kenya, currently has no known cases of Ebola. In July, a man from Liberia - which does have a serious outbreak - flew into Nigeria, developed Ebola symptoms and died, infecting several health care workers in the process. But the World Health Organization says there have been no new cases in Nigeria in months and that the outbreak there was successfully stopped.

In the Bronx, two middle school boys originally from Senegal - which is also officially Ebola-free - said students have been harassing them with Ebola taunts.

The only actual Ebola case known in the U.S. right now is that of Dr. Craig Spencer, a doctor in New York City who was infected while treating patients in Guinea. He is listed in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital.