Fedrick Ingram, president of the Florida Education Association, on Tuesday said teachers might simply not show up if schools open as planned for in-person learning next month amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Nothing is off the table,” Mr. Ingram said on NBC’s “Today” show. “I don’t know. I think teachers are making those decisions right now.”
He indicated that some teachers are weighing whether they should retire or change professions right now.
“Or I’m simply just … not going to work at all until I believe that our schools are safe,” Mr. Ingram said. “We should not be fearing for our own lives going back into a school building.”
Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran had issued an emergency order mandating that K-12 schools in the state open for at least five days per week starting next month.
The FEA, backed by national teachers unions, filed a lawsuit on Monday that seeks to invalidate the order and ensure that schools have access to protective equipment and plans for reduced class sizes before they reopen.
President Trump has been leading the charge to try to get K-12 schools, colleges and universities to open for in-person learning.
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, had said the CDC planned to put out supplementary guidance on how schools can safely reopen.
Mr. Trump had criticized CDC guidelines, which include recommendations on social distancing and mask-wearing, as too costly and cumbersome.