Osceola County father starts petition to keep schools closed

Osceola County father starts online petition to keep schools closed

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — An Osceola County man, whose own high-risk son has been hospitalized by the Coronavirus, has launched an online petition urging the state to keep schools closed.

Davy Finnigan is 51 years old, has cerebral palsy, and is now trying to fight off the Coronavirus.

His father, Dave, is by his side in the COVID-19 ward at AdventHealth Celebration.

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“It’s very disturbing to think that this didn’t have to happen,” Finnigan said over the phone.

Even before Davy tested positive, Finnigan had been questioning the rush to reopen schools.

“I think everybody, within their family, has someone who is vulnerable who they don’t want to lose,” he said.

So in early June, Finnigan started this petition seeking signatures from people who agree schools should remain closed in favor of full remote instruction.

Finnigan has a background in public health and has spent decades teaching a motivational program at schools across the globe.

“I have been in 2,000 schools…and I know that none of the schools that I went to would be ready to reopen,” he said.

Within days, the petition had thousands of signatures, but also within days, Finnigan tested positive for COVID-19 himself.

“It took a week and by then I had infected my wife and my son,” Finnigan said.

He says he’s not sure how he got the virus and worries that problem will carry over into classrooms as well.

Finnigan says he’s sharing his story now because he wants people to see the toll the virus can take.