Fight over the Hungerford School continues as judge declines to throw out critical lawsuit
A circuit court judge declined to throw out a lawsuit against Orange County Schools regarding the Hungerford School property in Eatonville.
Instead, he’s asked the school district and Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community to submit additional written arguments.
Judge Vincent Falcone has ordered lawyers for Orange County Schools and the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community to submit proposed orders.
Falcone will review these written arguments and set another hearing date in October to decide whether or not to throw out a lawsuit against the district over the Hungerford School.
Kirsten Anderson of the Southern Poverty Law Center is representing the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community and Robert Hungerford’s descendent Bea Hatler.
“We’re asking the court to allow this case to move forward to allow us to fully investigate the claims and present our arguments to the court and they’re arguing to get the case dismissed," said Anderson.
Director of the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community N.Y. Nathiri says she was encouraged by the action the judge took on Thursday.
“As a layperson, just sitting and listening and having the references to the Florida statutes," said Nathiri. "It was really a wonderful civics lesson, to tell you the truth, and to actually, to hear how the parties engaged, and frankly, to hear how engaged the judge was.”
Nathiri wants the site of the former school returned to the township of Eatonville to be turned into a cultural complex.
Orange County Schools says it won’t return the land.
Read more about the fight for the Hungerford School here.The school was the first for Black students in Central Florida.