Former teacher who won $300K in lawsuit against DCPS is fighting for a chance to resume teaching in Florida

A former Duval County teacher who is banned from working for the district will fight for the chance to continue teaching in Florida.

Education Commissioner Manny Diaz filed a complaint against Amy Donofrio in 2022, a year after Duval County Public Schools settled a civil rights case with the English teacher.

If a judge rules against her, Donofrio could be blocked from teaching in the state ever again.

A rally is scheduled to take place at 8 a.m. Wednesday ahead of the 9 a.m. court hearing, where Donofrio’s attorneys are expected to argue that she should be back in the classroom.

RELATED: Teacher who hung BLM flag outside class offered extra credit for activism, DCPS investigation finds

Here’s the timeline of how we got to this point:

Donofrio, who co-founded the nationally recognized EVAC Movement in 2016, was reassigned to non-teaching duties in 2021 one day after Lee High School administrators removed a Black Lives Matter flag from her classroom doorway when she refused to remove it on their instructions. According to DCPS, the flag was a breach of district policy, which bans teachers from advocating for social causes.

Donofrio did not receive a re-appointment to her previously assigned school, now named Riverside High School.

RELATED: Education commissioner says a Duval teacher who hung BLM flag was fired. She wasn’t.

Donofrio filed a lawsuit saying the district retaliated against her and violated her free speech, and the Duval County School Board paid $300,000 to settle the lawsuit

Details of the settlement obtained by News4JAX showed Donofrio would receive a $240,000 settlement payment and $60,000 to cover attorney fees.

In a press release sent out ahead of the court hearing, Donofrio’s supporters mentioned how Florida’s former Education Commissioner, Richard Corcoran, gave a speech at Hillsdale College saying he “made sure” Donofrio was fired. That wasn’t true at the time he made that comment. She was still employed by the district, but not working in a classroom.

The release says after she settled with the district, an investigation into her licensure started.

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