Press Release

Educators React to Latest Proceedings in Florida Case on School Reopening

For Release: 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Contact:

Oriana Korin
202-374-6103
Oriana.Korin@aft.org
Joni Branch
FEA
(850) 544-7055

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Ahead of tomorrow’s hearing on the motion to dismiss a case against Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Florida officials on the constitutionality of a statewide mandate to physically reopen schools amid surging COVID-19 cases, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Florida Education Association President Fedrick Ingram issued the statement below. At the hearing, the judge set a schedule for the case to move forward, including a date for mediation if needed. Further information on the details of the hearing will be released later today.

“It’s telling that a hearing about schools reopening safely is being done remotely because it’s unsafe for this many people to be in a courtroom together. Twelve people were on screen remotely debating the health and safety of our students and educators because COVID-19 cases are surging across Florida. Yet DeSantis is pushing to reopen schools in person, likening it to the dangerousness of taking down Osama bin Laden. We can hold court hearings remotely but have to put our kids and teachers at risk? The logic is baffling—and dangerous.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.