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Judge Blocks State Order Requiring Schools To Reopen Campuses

A hearing on August 21st, 2020 for the FEA's lawsuit to stop schools reopening physical campuses despite the pandemic. Zoom screenshot / 2nd Judicial Circuit of Florida YouTube page.

A district judge in Leon County has blocked a state order that required schools to open for on-campus learning this month despite the pandemic.

The temporary injunction is a win for the Florida Education Association, NAACP, and individual teachers and parents who sued Gov. Ron DeSantis and the commissioner of education.

Judge Charles Dodson said the state order is unconstitutional to the extent it “arbitrarily disregards safety,” denies local school boards their authority and conditions funding on a plan to reopen in August.

FEA President Fedrick Ingram and other union leaders say the ruling affirms the importance of safety over politics.

“Shame on our governor and our commissioner of education who have recklessly told us we had to have a brick and mortar option for every school district no matter what. Hell or high water, this is what you had to do,” said Ingram. 

Most districts in Florida have already opened their brick-and-mortar schools, including several districts that opened today.

Lawyers for the FEA argue this ruling returns decision-making on whether to stay open to local school boards.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.