Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis, and the state's education officials have been sued by a teacher's union in order to halt the reopening of schools next month, as the state has became a global epicenter of the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
Filed in a state circuit court in Miami by the Florida Education Association (FEA) on Monday, the lawsuit called for the challenging of the governor's order petitioning schools across the state to open for in-person learning for days a week, beginning from August.
FEA President Fedrick Ingram said, "Governor DeSantis needs a reality check, and we are attempting to provide one. The governor needs to accept the reality of the situation here in Florida, where the virus is surging out of control."
State Education Officials Named as Defendants
The lawsuit intends to stop the reckless and unsafe reopening of public school campuses as coronavirus infections surge statewide, according to the FEA, reported Xinhua news agency. It is supported by the affiliates of the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.
In addition to the Republican Governor, the suit also listed Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran, Florida Department of Education, Florida Board of Education and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez as defendants.
Florida- The New Global Epicenter
With cases - now more than 355,000 in total - increasing by over 10,000 daily for the last six consecutive days and death toll topping 5,000, Florida has emerged as a new global epicenter of the contagion.
It is against this backdrop that Governor DeSantis, on July 6, ordered schools to reopen, doubling down on his request in the following days. Ingram added that while reopening schools is a common aspiration, Florida teachers "don't want to begin in-person teaching, face an explosion of cases and sickness, then be forced to return to distance learning".
(With inputs from agencies)