BROWARD SCHOOL DISTRICT BEING SUED BY TEACHERS
While the spread of COVID-19 among Floridians, especially those in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, the Broward school district is obliging teachers and students back into the classrooms. However, the Broward Teacher’s Union says, No Way, Jose!
The Broward Teacher’s Union, which represents some 18,000 teachers, social workers, mental health professionals, counselors, and other staff. is suing the Broward Public School District on the grounds that it is unconstitutional for the district to order teachers and staff back into the classrooms while COVID-19 continues to kill people in Florida. In the meantime, there is an arbitrational lockdown between the Broward Teachers Union (BTU) and the Broward Public School System.
On January 7th, the Broward Teacher’s Union attorneys presented the lawsuit at the 17th Judicial Circuit Court in Broward County, based on the grounds that the school district’s decision for teachers to return to the classrooms amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, jeopardizes the well-being of its high-risk faculty members and staff. Furthermore, the suit claims that the order to return to school is in direct violation of the teacher’s due-process rights according to the Florida constitution.
The union considers the measures taken by the school district as a direct violation of a memorandum of understanding previously agreed upon, which aims to allow teachers the option to teach remotely as long as the coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten the lives of individuals.
Meanwhile, the school district’s superintendent, Robert Runcie, stated that the COVID-19 preventive and safety measures put into practice in October, have been effective, adding that remote learning is an ineffective way to obtain positive academic result from Broward County’s student body. Furthermore, he stated that Broward school teachers were well aware of the January 8th expiration of the coronavirus remote learning program. An injunction is expected shortly. Carol Herz, a Broward County Teacher union’s spokeswoman, stated that a court decision must be taken within 24 hours once the arbitration period expires.
According to the Broward School Districts most recent order, campuses can take it upon themselves to offer teachers the chance to hold classes remotely, however, that should not have the teacher’s health condition as the focal point of the decision to teach remotely.
The lawsuit also states that the mandate is unreasonable, lacks consistency, arbitrary, stubborn, and should considered as a violation of the constitution.
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