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Lawsuit Aims To Stop Orange Brick-And-Mortar Schools From Reopening

Orange County Public Schools is facing a lawsuit aimed at preventing brick-and-mortar schools from reopening next month for the start of the academic year. 

The lawsuit claims that reopening the schools would violate teachers’, students’ and staff members’ right to health and security guaranteed under the Florida constitution. 

The suit claims that’s because Orange County Public Schools has failed to provide a back-to-school plan that includes adequate safeguards against the coronavirus. 

The district is offering three options involving face-to-face and virtual learning. For face-to-face learners the district acknowledges it can provide social distancing only where feasible.

The lawsuit was filed by Kathryn Hammond, a middle school teacher, and Monique Bellefleur, a parent with three children in Orange County Public Schools. 

Also named as defendants are Gov. Ron DeSantis, Education Secretary Richard Corcoran, School Board Chairwoman Teresa Jacobs and Superintendent Barbara Jenkins, among others. 

Orange County Public Schools said it does not comment on pending litigation. 


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »