Judge strikes down Florida’s schools reopening order as unconstitutional

A circuit judge in Tallahassee has ruled that Florida’s schools reopening order, requiring “brick and mortar” schools to be open, is unconstitutional.

Circuit Judge Charles Dodson on Monday granted a request for a court order to bar enforcement of the directive from Gov. Ron DeSantis and state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. 

Dodson wrote in his decision that the Florida Education Association established that irreparable harm would be caused if schools were to reopen while the coronavirus pandemic continues. 

He cites the World Health Organization’s benchmark of a 5% positivity rate in processed tests for the virus as a safe standard. 

Lawyers for the FEA had argued last week no Florida county currently achieves that mark. 

Dobson’s ruling also says that the plaintiffs “have also shown that a temporary injunction will serve the public interest.” 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

James Call is a member of the USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida Capital Bureau. He can be reached at jcall@tallahassee.com. Follow on him Twitter: @CallTallahassee

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