Northeast Florida school systems react to judge siding with FEA

Districts on the First Coast respond to how the ruling will affect them.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Monday, a judge in Tallahassee sided with Florida’s teachers, ruling the state’s school reopening order is unconstitutional.

The state’s reopening order required all schools to reopen brick-and-mortar. The judge wrote in his ruling the order “disregards safety.” The ruling means school boards don’t have to get reopening plans approved by the Florida Department of Education and gives local districts the decision how and when to reopen.

First Coast News reached out to the St. Johns County school system, set to reopen next week, and did not hear back. Michelle Dillon, the president of the St. Johns Education Association, said as of Monday night, she hadn’t heard of any changes. 

“Right now, the status quo, moving forward with Au. 31, but I’m glad that we have the ability to change our minds if we need to,” Dillon said.

Dillon said she wanted to make it clear that teachers do want to return and see their students but want to do so safely.

A spokesperson for Clay County Schools said the ruling won’t affect its reopening Tuesday. Those with Duval County Public Schools said the ruling hasn’t had an impact yet, but they’re monitoring the case, and wouldn’t explain further.

The Florida Department of Education appealed the decision Monday.

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