Judge weighs legal arguments in lawsuit by teachers union over opening Florida schools

As thousands of children return to classrooms throughout Florida, local school officials, teachers and doctors spent Wednesday picking apart a state mandate requiring schools to resume in-person instruction this month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have no business opening schools by a certain deadline, and certainly not by Aug. 31,” Orlando pediatrician Annette Nielsen said during a daylong video hearing in a legal challenge to an emergency order by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran requiring schools to reopen five days a week in August. “We’re simply not ready. We don’t have the things in place to open.”

The Florida Education Association statewide teachers union last month filed a lawsuit alleging that Corcoran’s July 6 order violates the state Constitution, which guarantees Floridians the right to “safe” and “secure” public schools. The Orange County teachers union filed a similar legal complaint, and Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson consolidated the cases.


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Judge, Yankees discuss gesture against racial injustice

NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge knows San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler took a knee along with several of his players, and the New York Yankees star wants to talk with his teammates about whether they want to make a gesture against racial injustice before Major League Baseball’s season opener.

”That’s the beauty of America, is freedom of speech and freedom to express yourself,” Judge said Tuesday. ”We got a special platform being athletes and being able to speak our mind and speak what’s going on in this world. Some people express it online. Some people express it with words. Some people kneel.”

Kapler and his team made the gestures before Monday night’s exhibition game against Oakland. Judge and the Yankees open the pandemic-delayed season Wednesday at the World Series champion Washington Nationals.

”I think whatever message that we try to give out here is we want to try to

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Michigan Judge Refuses To Free Teen Jailed After Skipping Schoolwork

A Michigan judge has refused to release a 15-year-old Black high school student who was incarcerated after failing to complete her online schoolwork, which the judge said violated her probation.

Oakland County Circuit Judge Mary Ellen Brennan, who denied the motion for early release on Monday, said the teen was benefiting from a residential treatment program and it would be in her best interest to complete it, Michigan Radio reported. 

The teen, identified only by her middle name Grace, has been in juvenile detention at Oakland County’s Children’s Village since mid-May, according to a ProPublica report published last week that sparked local protests and widespread outrage over racial inequity in the education and criminal justice systems. As noted by ProPublica, Grace is a member of a predominantly white community in a county where a disproportionate number of Black youth have been involved with the juvenile justice system. 

Grace told the

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A Black teen didn’t do her online schoolwork during the pandemic. A judge sent her to juvenile detention.

juvenile detention
juvenile detention


This story was originally published by ProPublica.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

This story was co-published with the Detroit Free Press and Bridge Magazine.

  • Grace, 15, was sentenced to juvenile detention in May for not completing her school work, which was deemed a violation of her probation.

  • The Michigan teenager was put on probation in November after stealing a cell phone and getting into an altercation with her mother.

  • Grace, a student with special needs, said she needed “time to adjust” to the virtual education model.

  • In March, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order discouraging the sentencing of young people unless they posed a “substantial and immediate safety risk.”

PONTIAC, Mich. — One afternoon in mid-June, Charisse* drove up to the checkpoint at the Children’s Village juvenile

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Raleigh mayor tells McClatchy bankruptcy judge that NC needs N&O’s public service

As a bankruptcy auction takes place to determine who will own McClatchy, the parent company of The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun, Raleigh mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin is appealing to the federal judge in the case to consider “the public good” in his decision.

McClatchy, the nation’s second largest news company, entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February. Until that time, the Sacramento, Calif.-based company had been under the control of the McClatchy family for 163 years.

After the Friday auction, the judge in the case will sign off on a sale on July 24. The known bidders are hedge funds Chatham Asset Management, McClatchy’s largest creditor, and Alden Capital Group, which owns the Media News Group chain and a third of the Tribune Company.

In a letter dated July 9, Baldwin told Judge Michael E. Wiles of the Southern District of New York that “The News & Observer was founded

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