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Lawyers of Veteran Educator Amy Donofrio Respond to Education Commissioner’s Announcement of Decision to Terminate Her

DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. – During a recent speaking engagement at Hillsdale College, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran discussed the ongoing litigation involving Amy Donofrio, a Jacksonville teacher who was placed on administrative leave for refusing to remove a Black Lives Matter flag from her classroom door after school officials failed to provide a policy that the flag violated. In his remarks, the Commissioner made disturbing statements about the case, Ms. Donofrio's employment status, and the censorship of free speech in schools. The following statement is by the lawyers at the Southern Poverty Law Center and Scott • Wagner and Associates, P.A. representing Ms. Donofrio:

“Ms. Donofrio was devastated to learn from Commissioner Corcoran’s public statements of the decision to terminate her employment even though Duval County Public Schools still refuses to provide Ms. Donofrio with any details of the ‘alleged misconduct’ for which she was told she was being investigated. That this decision has been made by those at the highest level of Florida’s Department of Education before the DCPS investigation is even completed shows the depth of the retaliation and deprivation of due process and free speech upon which Ms. Donofrio’s lawsuit against the District is based. According to Corcoran, a classroom that teaches Black Lives Matter or what Corcoran has labeled ‘crazy liberal stuff’ justifies censorship and the firing of teachers.”

The following is a statement from Ms. Donofrio: 

“While I am heartbroken that the retaliation against me continues, I will not stop fighting for my rights so that other teachers do not have to endure the retaliation, harassment, and humiliation that I have as a result of co-creating a safe learning environment with and for Black students.”