Duval 1st Day Of School; School & Stress; Murder Capital; COVID Football Precautions

Aug 20, 2020



Students in Duval County Public Schools started the 2020-2021 school year Thursday, both in person and online.

Meanwhile, Mayor Lenny Curry and Superintendent Diana Greene announced Wednesday that they are working to provide rapid COVID-19 testing to school employees. The program will cost $1.5 million. 

Newly re-elected school board member Lori Hershey spoke to us from Crown Point Elementary School about how the first day was going.

Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

School and Stress


This school year’s “new normal” is proving challenging, prompting parents to seek strategies to help their children navigate the emotional and mental stressors of education during the pandemic.

We spoke to Brain Health Expert and Founder and CEO of the SoulPhysio Foundation, Aneesh Chaudhry, about how to protect students’ and families’ mental health. Chaudhry addressed warning signs of anxiety and stress in children, ideas for family connection, and the connection between focus, fear, and the brain.

Murder Capital: 8 Stories


Florida author and historian Tim Gilmore is releasing his 20th book this week. Murder Capital: 8 Stories examines Jacksonville’s history as Florida’s murder capital and its present day violence. Gilmore joined us on the program to talk about the stories featured in his book, ranging from Cuban Revolutionaries, serial killers, white supremacists, and more. He will be signing copies at a socially-distanced reading at the Southlight Gallery Thursday evening..

COVID-19 and Football


WJCT’s Sky Lebron reported that Mayor Lenny Curry has confirmed that Jacksonville will host the Florida-Georgia game this year. Curry Tweeted that the game is scheduled for November 7th, noting that it has been a part of Jacksonville’s community since 1933.

The following day, the Jacksonville Jaguars are scheduled to play a home game. Plans are still in the works to determine the best way to clean the stadium between games. 

In other NFL news, the league announced Thursday that sideline reporters, cheerleaders and mascots will not be allowed on the sidelines this season, as some teams are still deciding what to do about fans. 


Meanwhile, school sports are resuming in Duval County Public Schools. The Florida High School Athletic Association has approved practice to begin August 24th with games starting in early September.


Megan Weigel


First Coast nurse, Megan Weigel won the 2020 Nightingale Award for her work with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients. She works through a new integrative program that includes yoga, art, music, nutrition, and conventional western medicine. Weigel will use her grant to expand her innovative work. She spoke to us about her plans to improve the quality of life for people with MS.


Katherine Hobbs can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.