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Teachers protest Corcoran’s rush to reopen schools in Miami-Dade, Broward

MIAMI – Thomas Fiori was among a small group of teachers who met in front of the Miami-Dade School Board building in Miami to protest a push to reopen schools during the coronavirus pandemic.

Fiori, who teaches history at Miami Beach Senior High School, said the decisions about reopening need to be made by the local officials and not by Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran or by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

“We elected our school board here, locally, and [Corcoran] is disregarding not only local conditions but local democratic processes,” Fiori said.

Corcoran sent a letter to school boards and superintendents in Miami-Dade and Broward counties saying that they must reopen physical classrooms by Oct. 5th. Both school boards recently agreed to start a staggered approach on Oct. 14th.

Nicole Guerrero is worried about her kids. She said that when she read the letter she felt like the local school boards are being bullied into reopening earlier without time to prepare. She decided to start the “Commissioner Corcoran Respect the wishes of Miami-Dade Parents and Teachers” Change.org petition.

In the three-page letter, Corcoran is asking the districts to evaluate individual schools' needs and submit amended plans regarding delays for their reopening by Friday.

“We see that they’re trying to impose you know what their will is without taking into account everything that we have fought for as a community," said Karla Hernandez-Mats, Miami-Dade teacher union president.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.