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Judge rules in favor of Florida’s largest teachers union in lawsuit filed against the state

Judge rules in favor of teachers union regarding reopening brick and mortar schools executive...
Judge rules in favor of teachers union regarding reopening brick and mortar schools executive order.(WWSB)
Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 8:41 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A Florida judge has ruled in favor of the state’s largest teachers union on Monday afternoon. In a lawsuit filed against the state, they claimed forcing districts to reopen classrooms during a pandemic is unsafe. The judge’s ruling states that what the state did with the executive order was unconstitutional.

The judge’s ruling against the state, blocks the executive order requiring brick and mortar schools to reopen. Teachers union officials say school districts should have the choice over how and when to reopen. This decision comes after a legal battle that has been going on for many weeks between the teachers union and the state.

“It’s good news when teachers and staff are upset and worried about what’s going to happen in their future,” said Pat Gardner, President of the Sarasota Classified Teachers Association. “I’m telling them to not get too excited because it really is just going to the state, taking it to the district court of appeals.”

“As of right now, it doesn’t change anything that we’re doing” said Michael Barber, Director of Communications for the Manatee County School District. “If some kind of directive came down from the state or the Florida Department of Education that could impact what we’re doing. We started school a week ago, we’re off to a good start.”

Florida’s education commissioner Richard Corcoran says the state will appeal this decision. Here’s a statement that ABC7 had received from Corcoran late Monday afternoon: “We’ve said it all along, and we will say it one million times – we are 100% confident we will win this lawsuit. This fight has been, and will continue to be, about giving every parent, every teacher and every student a choice, regardless of what educational option they choose. If you are one of the 1.6 million students who have chosen to return to the classroom, a parent, or a classroom teacher that wanted to educate their student in person, we strongly encourage you to call the Florida Education Association and tell them to drop this frivolous lawsuit.”

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