Police officers, firefighters serve as substitutes so teachers c - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Police officers, firefighters serve as substitutes so teachers can attend colleague’s funeral

Jennifer Nelms (Source: WHO-TV) Jennifer Nelms (Source: WHO-TV)
(WWBT) -

Police officers and firefighters in one Arkansas town gave a helping hand to the school district in their community Wednesday, serving as substitute teachers at the middle school so staff members could attend a co-worker’s funeral.

According to NBC affiliate WHO-TV, 32-year-old Jennifer Nelms taught fifth graders at East Hills Middle School in Greenwood, Arkansas. Colleague Karen Benjamin shared a classroom with Nelms.

“She just I think took whatever she was thrown and just spun it positively,” Benjamin said to KFSM.

She said Nelms wasn’t feeling well on Friday and left school early.

“So she thought, ‘I'm gonna go home; I'm gonna sleep. I'm gonna clean my house and I'll see you Monday morning.’ That's what she said Friday when she left,” Benjamin explained.

Tragically, Nelms died Saturday from complications associated with Lupus. Co-workers told KFSM she was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease about two years ago.

On Wednesday, 15 Greenwood police officers, as well as the police and fire chiefs acted as substitute teachers so Nelms’ fellow teachers could attend her funeral.

“Ms. Nelms was a supporter of the fire and police department,” Fire Chief Stewart Bryan said to KFSM. “She`s been a supporter of us for many years.  Now that the school`s in need, we wanted to help the school out. We wanted to make sure all the teachers were available to attend the funeral.”

The school’s parent-teacher organization also made the police officers and staff members lunch Wednesday after they returned from the funeral service.

“It's certainly an honor to be in the class that she taught in, and she was a great person, obviously loved by a lot of people and students, and she's gonna be greatly missed,” Police Chief William Dawson said to KFSM.

Nelms leaves behind a husband and two young sons.

Copyright 2016 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved

Report an Error or Submit a Tip to NBC12

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Thousands sing 'Happy Birthday' to Queen Elizabeth II

    Thousands sing 'Happy Birthday' to Queen Elizabeth II

    Saturday, April 21 2018 6:54 AM EDT2018-04-21 10:54:10 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 6:07 AM EDT2018-04-22 10:07:01 GMT
    (Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP). Britain's Queen Elizabeth raises her glass during speeches at The Queen's Dinner, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace in London, Thursday, April 19, 2018.(Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP). Britain's Queen Elizabeth raises her glass during speeches at The Queen's Dinner, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace in London, Thursday, April 19, 2018.

    Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 92nd birthday with a star-studded concert in London.

    More >>

    Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 92nd birthday with a star-studded concert in London.

    More >>
  • Laughter, tears as former first lady Barbara Bush remembered

    Laughter, tears as former first lady Barbara Bush remembered

    Saturday, April 21 2018 12:04 AM EDT2018-04-21 04:04:04 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 6:05 AM EDT2018-04-22 10:05:47 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>
  • Syracuse fraternity permanently expelled over racist video

    Syracuse fraternity permanently expelled over racist video

    Saturday, April 21 2018 5:46 PM EDT2018-04-21 21:46:07 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:58 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:58:05 GMT
    Syracuse University permanently expels fraternity for "extremely racist" video. (Source: WSYR/CNN)Syracuse University permanently expels fraternity for "extremely racist" video. (Source: WSYR/CNN)

    Syracuse University has permanently expelled a fraternity over an offensive video that fraternity members say was intended as satire.

    More >>

    Syracuse University has permanently expelled a fraternity over an offensive video that fraternity members say was intended as satire.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly