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Florida Educators File Lawsuit to Protect Health, Well-Being of Students, Educators and Communities

Mike Lawson • News • July 22, 2020

The Florida Education Association (FEA), as well as educators and parents, filed suit Monday (July 19) against Gov. Ron DeSantis, Commissioner Richard Corcoran, the Florida Department of Education, the Florida State Board of Education and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to protect the health and well-being of public school students, educators, and the community.

The FEA lawsuit has been filed in state circuit court in Miami, in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida.

The lawsuit intends to stop the reopening of public school campuses as coronavirus infections surge throughout Florida. It also “contends that ordering an unsafe return to onsite instruction at public schools is a violation of Florida’s Constitution, which requires the provision of a ‘safe’ and ‘secure’ schools, and requests a declaration that the state defendants’ actions and inactions are unconstitutional. In a second count, the suit seeks a declaration from the court that the state defendants are putting arbitrary and capricious demands on public schools through the education commissioner’s unfunded emergency order,” as a statement from the FEA explains.

“Gov. DeSantis needs a reality check, and we are attempting to provide one,” said FEA president Fedrick Ingram. “The governor needs to accept the reality of the situation here in Florida, where the virus is surging out of control. He needs to accept the evolving science. It now appears that kids 10 and older may pass along the coronavirus as easily as adults. Everyone wants schools to reopen, but we don’t want to begin in-person teaching, face an explosion of cases and sickness, then be forced to return to distance learning. Florida’s Constitution demands that public schools be safe. Teachers and parents want our schools to meet that basic standard.”

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