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Press Release

NAACP joins FEA lawsuit; mediation in suit underway today

TALLAHASSEE — The NAACP and the NAACP Florida State Conference (NAACP-FL) have joined the Florida Education Association (FEA) lawsuit as plaintiffs. The parties in Florida Education Association et al v. Ron DeSantis, as Governor of the State of Florida et al are in court-ordered mediation today through midnight. If mediation fails, hearings resume Wednesday.

The nation’s oldest civil rights organization and its Florida conference now stand with FEA, educators and parents in the lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, the Florida Department of Education and the Florida State Board of Education. The suit seeks to allow local districts to make the best and safest decisions on reopening physical campuses, without the threat of funds being withheld by the state.

“The reckless endangerment of our children across Florida is wholly unacceptable and irresponsible,” said Adora Obi Nweze, president of the NAACP Florida State Conference. “We must send a message to Gov. DeSantis that we will not allow children, families and communities to be unnecessarily exposed to Covid-19. Now, more than ever, we need to ensure the wellbeing of our future generations.”

“We thank the NAACP for standing with us in this fight,” said FEA President Fedrick Ingram. “NAACP leaders fully understand the urgency of this situation, where an administration is making political choices that will have life and death consequences. Those consequences will fall particularly hard on communities of color.”

Florida Education Association et al v. Ron DeSantis, as Governor of the State of Florida et al is in the Second Judicial Circuit, Leon County, before Circuit Judge Charles Dodson. The court case number is 2020-CA-001450.

Mediation is taking place today and must conclude by midnight. If the parties do not reach an agreement, a hearing is to begin at 8:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday to consider the FEA’s motion for temporary injunctive relief against Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran’s emergency order for districts to reopen physical school campuses in August or face financial penalties.

The hearing will be livestreamed on YouTube when proceedings begin. The court asks that members of the press and the public find the livestream link at http://2ndcircuit.leoncountyfl.gov/. Click on “YouTube Live” on the red navigation bar. The hearing is to be streamed on the court’s YouTube channel.

CONTACT: Joni Branch, joni.branch@floridaea.org, (850) 201-3223

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The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest association of professional employees, with 150,000 members. FEA represents PreK-12 teachers, higher education faculty, educational staff professionals, students at our colleges and universities preparing to become teachers and retired education employees.

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