OFFICIAL: NO IN-PERSON SCHOOL IF NOT SAFE, ORDER OR NOT
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The Florida Executive Order requiring schools to open for in-person, five day a week education, starting in August, may be met with legal challenges. School Districts were apparently blindsided by the order released late Monday. Immediate reaction suggests that the order may be ignored.
Area school administrators say they are focused on one sentence in the order:
“The day-to-day decision to open or close a school must always rest locally with the board or executive most closely associated with a school, the superintendent or school board.”
That led Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie to tweet this:
In Palm Beach County, a senior administrative official told BocaNewsNow.com that parents should not be worried, at this point, that their children will be forced back to school.
“The last thing we want is to alarm parents,” said the senior official. ”The Health Advisory Committee is not going to recommend sending students to school if it is not safe.”
“The last thing we want is to alarm parents,” said the senior Palm Beach County School District official. ”The Health Advisory Committee is not going to recommend sending students to school if it is not safe.”
Unofficial comments from teachers and teacher union representatives suggest legal options are being reviewed. Even without litigation, teacher opposition makes any order like this unenforceable. If teachers stage a sick-out to protest, there’s no way to open school.
The order, which was first locally reported by BocaNewsNow.com Monday afternoon, was first revealed during a private Broward County teacher’s union meeting. The announcement of the pending order, according to sources familiar with the mid-day call, led to stunned reactions.
BocaNewsNow.com reached out to Florida Dept. of Education Communications Director Taryn Fenske after sources told us of the Broward announcement.
“I want to emphasize that the state has a moral imperative to do our absolute best to return our schools to full operation by August,” said Fenske. ”We simply cannot give into fear of the unknown and just stop trying. Our children’s education, the comprehensive health of our families — mental health and stability in homes — and our economy are all depending on us to make every effort to reopen our school campuses.”
School administrators in Palm Beach County say parents should not assume that schools are opening for in-person education in August, despite the order.
“We will only do what’s safe,” said an official.
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