Florida teachers are suing the state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, and education commissioner over a decision to reopen schools despite a troubling rise in coronavirus cases.
In a lawsuit filed in Miami on Monday, the Florida Education Association said the state government is violating the state constitution by forcing millions of public school employees and students to return despite the threat to public health, safety and welfare.
The teachers union is requesting emergency relief from the court to prevent the reopening of face-to-face operations within the coming weeks in the state, which it calls an “international epicenter” of the virus.
According to the lawsuit, as of July 9 the Florida Department of Health reported over 17,000 confirmed cases in children under the age of 18, including 213 hospitalizations and four deaths.
The Florida Education Association represents more than 140,000 education employees.
In a video posted to his Twitter account Monday, DeSantis said it is important for parents to “have the ability to make a choice.”
A spokesperson for the governor did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for comment.
The Florida Department of Education said the union misunderstood the content of the executive order.
“This E.O. did not order any new directives regarding the requirements of schools to be open, it simply created new innovative options for families to have the CHOICE to decide what works best for the health and safety of their student and family,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
On Monday, Florida reported 10,000 new confirmed cases for the sixth consecutive day.