ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Opinions on how Orange County Public Schools should provide education for the 2020-2021 school year has become divided among parents, teachers, and health experts.
“I choose to go face-to-face let us have that choice too,” OCPS parent Renee Williams said.
The mother of four said it’s time for a return to normalcy for her family despite the health risks.
“My husband has an autoimmune disease, so I know very well what it’s like to dodge a virus,” Williams said.
President of the Florida Education Association Fedrick Ingram said the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has caused a legal fight over the timetable of reopening Florida schools safely.
“We were reckless with beaches, we were reckless with restaurants and now we want to be reckless with our public schools? We simply cannot do that,” Ingram said.
The lawsuit filed by the largest teacher’s union is against Gov. Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, and multiple others.
“What we are asking for is grace and compassion in ensuring that we can keep people healthy, keep them out of the hospital and keep them alive,” Ingram said.
Orange County school board members have turned to an 11 member medical advisory committee for guidance on a safe reopening.
On Thursday, the school board called for a special meeting on Aug. 17, just days before 30% of OCPS students return for in-person instruction.
“Now we’re at the ninth hour and we’re going to change it again on these parents and teachers,” Williams said.