Orange County

Orange County teachers balk at plan that would have brought them back to classrooms by Monday

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County schools are giving some of their schools’ campuses a deep cleaning after Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered classes not to resume until April 15.

But while students won’t return until then, teachers said they were asked to return to campus Monday, which had the teachers union threatening a lawsuit.

“To mandate that teachers go in is not acceptable,” said Wendy Doromal with the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association.

Doromal said teachers are willing to work from home, but are concerned about the safety of all of them returning to campus giving current CDC guidelines.

The union and the district came to an agreement Wednesday evening that teachers may return to campuses to pick up necessary supplies, but are not required to. The agreement states teachers are expected to be available at least three hours each work day for students via email or online.

The district said it already started cleaning schools over spring break but is now doing a deep cleaning, which Channel 9 got to see at Whetherbee Elementary.

The deep cleaning involves all horizontal surfaces, tabletops and areas where people would frequently touch.

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The schools have a special spray machine that makes sure the cleaning chemical covers the entire surface.

The deep cleaning started over the weekend and the district expects to finish up around 97 schools today.

“By today, end of the day, we’re looking at moving to the other schools that were closed and start the same process in there," said Director of Custodial Services Kevin Ballinger. “Trying to meet the time frame of teachers returning on Monday.”

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The county will then focus on the other 199 schools in the county.

Michael Lopardi

Michael Lopardi

Michael Lopardi joined Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter in April 2015.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.