ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Teachers in Orange County protested on Tuesday after all Florida schools were ordered to reopen to students in August.
Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued that order on Monday. Per the new executive order, all public schools and charter schools must open their buildings for students at least five days per week.
Districts that want to continue to offer distance learning in addition to in-person learning will be required to submit their plan to the state. The Department of Education order states that if distance learning is to occur, students need to have live engagement with their teachers and classmates for the same amount of time as in-person students.
Some teachers who spoke with FOX 35 on Monday said it’s a bad idea, citing that they are concerned about their safety and the safety of their students.
"I think it’s irresponsible and dangerous considering the surge of cases we’re seeing. Not just the state but, Orange County specifically," said Wendy Doromal, Orange County Classroom Teacher's President.
The local teachers union president says there are many issues with reopening and raises some questions: Will schools be provided with enough personal protection equipment and
will there be enough teachers and substitute teachers?
She added that given the surge in cases during this pandemic, it goes against their contracts to force teachers to work, citing "it’s against our contract to work in unsafe conditions and we believe in following medical advice and CDC guidelines."
Then on Tuesday, teachers protested at the Orange County Public Schools Administration Building against the state’s decision to reopen schools next month.
Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest coronavirus news.