Nassau Teacher’s Association blasts school district for calling teachers to work
Image via AP

empty classroom
The union argues teachers, teacher assistants and secretaries can work from home.

The Nassau Teacher’s Association (NTA) blasted that county’s school district Friday over its decision to call in teachers to work at school

The association of unions and education interest groups highlighted President Donald Trump and the national health officials’ guidance that people to stay home as much as possible and to avoid being in locations with 10 or more people. But during a Thursday board meeting Nassau County School District Superintendent Kathy Burns and the board confirmed teachers would still return to work.

“Nassau County is not equipped to flip a switch and go digital,” Burns said.

But NTA president Chris Pagel said the district is providing 6th through 12th grade students with electronic devices and will receive instructional material through videos, Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams. However, there are not enough devices to distribute to elementary school students, who will be receiving eight weeks’ worth of assignments.

“These are very unique circumstances we find ourselves in,” Pagel said. “We should be working together to find a reasonable approach to the challenges we face, while ensuring the health of our students, our families and our school district employees.”

The association recommends teachers, teacher assistants and secretaries can communicate with parents and students virtually, by email or on the phone. Asking them to work from school puts employees in harm’s way, it argues.

While Gov. Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran have closed school campuses, they have left staffing decisions up to individual school districts. Students statewide will return April 15 at the earliest unless districts offer their own decision.

Baker, Clay, Columbia, Duval and St. Johns county school districts have asked teachers to work from home. NTA has sent a demand to bargain to the school board members and is awaiting a response.

Nassau County has six confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to the Florida Department of Health. Those infected range from 50 to 73 years old.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at r[email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • Sonja Fitch

    March 27, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    Nassau County take those damn dollars and buy computers. Teachers go on strike for your health and safety and good God the children lives!!!

  • Mary

    March 28, 2020 at 7:00 am

    Sorry Dr. Burns, but this is as easy as flipping a switch if you are concerned about your employees and students. If Duval County figured out how to keep 8,300 teachers safe with their program why can’t Nassau County adopt the same system for its 700 teachers? The CDC and all other officials recommend that employees work from home if possible to curb the spread of Covid19. What could possibly be the valid reason to bring these professionals into the school when there are no students? Go To Meeting, or some other program could be used by teachers and administration to meet virtually to check in, share ideas, ask questions and generally report how the online learning process is progressing. It seems punitive, not to mention foolhardy to have the teachers come to the school when staying home in a safe environment is the best course of action during this pandemic. Shame on the Nassau County Board of Education and the Teacher’s Union for not pushing this issue and keeping their teachers safe.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn