‘Fighting Stage 3 breast cancer’: Cy-Fair ISD teacher’s health concerns about returning to classroom

HOUSTON – Gabriela Kulp has a dilemma. She loves her job as a chemistry teacher at Cypress Ranch High School but she says it is too unsafe for her to go inside the building.

“During the day when the building is occupied, we are on 100% recirculated air,” Kulp said. “And we don’t have any filtration within the building.”

Kulp has been fighting Stage 3 breast cancer since being diagnosed June of last year. For the past several weeks, as her classroom sits empty waiting for students to return, she’s been sitting outside at a table, taking part in mandatory staff development training for teachers.

She said because of her radiation and chemo treatments her body just isn’t able to handle the effects of COVID-19.

“My body does not have the resources to fight the virus,” Kulp said. “That’s the problem.”

Kulp said she was told Monday by Cy-Fair ISD she could no longer sit outside for the training. She claims she also was told that if she didn’t enter the building her options were taking unpaid medical leave or resigning.

“My principal and my director of instruction came to me and said, ‘Well. Gabby you either have to go in the classroom or you have to go home,” Kulp claimed.

The district has responded to Kulp’s claims.

In a statement to KPRC 2, a spokesperson said in part, “Multiple staff members have engaged in protracted, interactive dialogue in an effort to accommodate the employee. Any inference that the District has failed to offer accommodations and limited this employee (or any employee) to only utilizing unpaid leave is patently false.”

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