Florida Teacher Fired for Pro-BLM Classroom That Violated State Education Standards, Files Lawsuit Claiming Protected Speech

A public school teacher in Florida is suing her district after they terminated her for decorating her classroom as a kind of memorial to Black Lives Matter.

Amy Donofrio, a language arts teacher at Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, Florida, filed a lawsuit against Duval County Public Schools and high school superintendent Scott Schneider, claiming they violated her right to free speech.

“Defendants DCPS and Mr. Schneider have targeted, harassed, humiliated, and effectively ended the meaningful employment of Ms. Donofrio, a 13-year veteran teacher who was removed from her teaching job at Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, Florida, in retaliation for her protected speech, her complaints about discrimination, and, more broadly, her support of Black students’ lives,” the complaint reads.

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said that Donofrio’s pro-BLM classroom amounts to a violation of the state’s education standards.

“I have fired or terminated numerous teachers for doing that. I’m getting sued right now in Duval County, which is Jacksonville, because there was an entire classroom memorialized to Black Lives Matter and we made sure that she was terminated,” he said during a talk at a Hillsdale College event.

Donofrio’s refusal to remove the BLM memorialization from her classroom ostensibly violates Rule 6A-10.081 of the Florida Administrative Code. The rule is titled “Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida.” Teachers are obligated to “not intentionally expose a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement” and to “not harass or discriminate against any student on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition, sexual orientation, or social and family background.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently vowed to take stronger action against Critical Race Theory indoctrination in his state’s schools, saying that it teaches kids “to hate their country and to hate each other.”

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