TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Teachers from across Florida marched on the Governor's Mansion on Saturday over school reopenings.
A delegation of teachers from Duval County left from the school board parking lot just after noon for the 4 p.m. rally in Tallahassee.
The teachers want schools to continue with virtual-only instruction until they feel it is safe to return to campus.
“We’ve called upon the mayor and local officials to return us to Phase 1 due to the increase in COVID-19 deaths,” teacher Alex Ingram said. “We have called upon the school board to close schools. We’ve called on the health department to close schools. Now we’re calling on the governor to close schools.”
Saturday marked the final day of the "Six Days of Action" teachers across the state have participated in this week.
Earlier this week, teachers were encouraged to contact their state and local leadership, to organize local protests and even to write their own obituaries.
In Northeast Florida, Baker and Bradford counties are set to begin school Monday and Union County will begin school on Wednesday.
In the meantime, teachers and lawyers continue their efforts to kill the statewide emergency order that requires all schools to reopen five days a week for in-person learning.
The Florida Education Association, which is the largest teachers union in the state, and five other plaintiffs are asking a judge to halt the order through a temporary injunction and allow districts to move to full-virtual learning until they deem it safe to reopen.
Gov. Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran have repeatedly promoted the order as a means of opening the door for districts and families to have much-needed options.
Teachers said everyone will wear masks and social distance as much as possible at the protest.