By: Alyssa Wilson
After being suspended for refusing to remove a Black Lives Matter flag from outside her classroom, a Florida teacher learned she was fired in a YouTube video.
According to The Florida Times-Union, Amy Donofrio, a teacher at Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, was watching a video of Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. The commissioner was speaking at Hillsdale College in Michigan about curriculum oversight and critical race theory. In his comments, he used Donofrio as an example and announced he fired her.
Corcoran said, “We made sure she was terminated, and now we’re being sued by every one of the liberal left groups who say it’s a freedom of speech issue.” Despite his comments, Duval County Public Schools said the teacher is still an employee performing “non-teaching duties.”
In March, the school district announced Donofrio would be removed from the classroom while an investigation into “several allegations” was conducted. The district did not tell the Times-Union what the allegations against Donofrio were.
The following month, the Southern Poverty Law Center announced it would sue Duval Schools on behalf of Donofrio. A spokesperson said, “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.”
In March, I was removed from my classroom at Robert E. Lee HS & placed under investigation by DCPS after I refused to take down a Black Lives Matter flag hanging above my classroom. Today I filed a lawsuit against Duval County Public Schools. I hope it will set a needed precedent pic.twitter.com/WXQNvZ24XY
— Amy Donofrio (@amyedonofrio) April 16, 2021
Corcoran’s office said his use of the word “terminate” referred to Donofrio’s removal from teaching duties. They released a statement saying, “The Commissioner possesses significant authority to ensure every child has access to a world-class education free from indoctrination.”