Teachers group blasts Republicans for bringing convention to Florida
VyStar Credit Union Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville. Photo via Drew Dixon

Florida Education Association called the move "reckless."

One of Florida’s most prominent education labor organization leaders is warning the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville poses a major health threat considering the coronavirus pandemic is far from over.

Fredrick Ingram, president of the Florida Education Association, issued a statement Friday calling the decision “reckless.” Officials announced Frida significant portions of the RNC and President Donald Trump’s nomination to Jacksonville. The initial phases of the convention will be held in Charlotte, N.C. between Aug. 23-27.

“Holding a party convention with large events is an unnecessary health risk to our community and poses a real threat to Florida’s students and their families,” Ingram said.

Trump wanted portions of the convention in Jacksonville because North Carolina’s continued social distancing measures would have thinned the crowd in Charlotte. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry pitched the idea of moving the convention to his city.

Friday, Curry promised there would be a “full arena” at the city’s VyStar Credit Union Veterans Memorial Arena when Trump arrives in town, though he said circumstances could. change.

Republican Party officials have promised detailed scanning including temperature checks to ensure  public health.

Ingram said August is when children are returning to school classrooms for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak shut down campuses in March. Now is not the time to risk further spread of the illness, he said.

“We’re not over this. Coronavirus cases in Florida have been increasing since the statewide stay at home order was lifted in May, up 67% in Duval County alone; hospitalizations also are up,” Ingram said.

“The RNC tells us they will put in temperature checks and safety protocols in hotels and convention venues. Good luck,” Ingram said. “It’s hard to believe that anyone would think that it’s a good idea to bring tens of thousands of people to Jacksonville from every corner of America just as Florida’s schools are reopening in August.”

The Florida Education Association represents several teachers unions across the state with about 137,000 members.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected]


  • Sonja Fitch

    June 12, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    Cause looting Lenny could not steal the schools money. Looting Lenny does not care! This convention is just a distraction from the JEA crimes Hey Fired JEA tell on looting Lenny!!! Looting Lenny is just another white man goptrump cult jerk!

  • TeachingNolthingAtAll

    June 12, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    Here we go. It is now ok to use race against whites, but not against blacks? This racism by poops like Sonja Fitch, are stupid and not helpful.

    Where was the teacher’s union when protests and riots were going on in Florida, and all over the land?

    The Anti-Trumpsters are off base, and want to have it both ways.

    I hope Trump kicks your asses this November.

  • Robert S.

    June 12, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    If these people were “educators” as they like to be called, they wouldn’t be in a union. Those with skills do not need mob-type organizations to fight their battles for them. They succeed upon their own merits.

  • martin

    June 13, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    Nothing but silence and cricket chirps were heard for the past two weeks as hundreds and thousands took to the streets to “protest”, and loot.

    The media also said nothing, while business’s burned. Talk about calling the kettle black.

    The teachers union needs to learn their role, and shut their collective mouths, if the topic does not concern education.

Comments are closed.


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