Lawsuit over Florida School System Reopening Headed to
Tuesday, September, 8, 2020
Whether or not Florida public schools will be open for in-person schooling remains to be seen and will likely be determined through mediation. The state has ordered schools to reopen, but the Florida Education Association’s teachers union is demanding virtual schooling amidst continuing COVID-19 fears. A judge recently denied a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and stated the complaint by the union deserve to be aired, while also encouraging the two sides to come up with an answer to the dispute on their own.
According to the judge, “This is a case that cries out for the parties to come together and come up with a resolution at mediation. I am confident that if you work hard you can do that.”
The two sides were then ordered to attempt mediation while continuing to prepare for a potential court appearance if mediation is not successful. According to lawyers, both sides have reached out to one another and discussed scheduling the mediation and determining who will serve as a mediator.
In addition to concerns about schools re-opening, there is debate over how much power the court system has to make a determination about the situation. Lawyers are also asking that the court determine if the governor and education commissioner were ignoring the constitutional requirement for a safe and secure school environment when they promoted re-opening. Additionally, there are issues about funding and whether or not parents who have an opinion about re-opening and whether or not it should occur should be included as plaintiffs or defendants in the lawsuit.