Students Mourn Loss of ‘Hugging Teacher’ Zelene Blancas

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Published on January 5, 2021 by

She became known as the “hugging teacher” after a video of her students hugging each other went viral. First grade teacher Zelene Blancas posted the video in November 2018 with the simple caption “what a nice way to end the week!” But today, Blanca’s students at her elementary school in El Paso, Texas are in mourning after losing their beloved teacher to COVID-19. In October, the 35-year-old tested positive for COVID-19, and spent nine weeks in the ICU before succumbing to the virus.

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