Back in 2002, a law was passed saying that public schools in Florida could convert over to public charter schools instead. However, until recently, not a single one had tried to do that. The events that transpired when some of the staff started looking into the idea have now led to another ruling, seeing as how allegations were made that those staff members were intimidated.
Specifically, they were told that they could face repercussions — which were not directly defined — if they tried to convert the school. Though nothing specific was stated, this was definitely viewed as a threat.
Representatives for the Miami-Dade County Public School District also allegedly approached the staff to remind them who they worked for. This was also taken as a threat. In the wake of this, new employees showed up to represent the district as a whole.
All of this happened after a vote was taken about whether or not the school should convert. The vote involved parents who would be impacted, important members of the local community and some of the staff from the school. The vote was in favor of the conversion.
The newest ruling may change things. A judge determined that the school district should not have sought to stop the faculty and even said that the law was broken when they did.
Stories like this are important for teachers, principles and other members of the Florida school system to know about, as the laws have been changing lately and employee rights may be changing with them. All employees should know what their rights are, rather than assuming that those in charge have freedom to do anything that they desire.
Source: CBS Miami, “Ruling May Chill School Districts Efforts To Challenge Charter School Conversions” Jilda Unruh, Jul. 09, 2014