PASCO COUNTY, Fla. -- Pasco County's School Reopening Plan has been approved by the Florida Department of Education but the United School Employees of Pasco said it still plans to seek a court injunction to stop it.

What You Need To Know

  • Pasco teachers calling on district to go all virtual 

  • Pasco Schools' Reopening Plan has been approved by the state

  • Pasco teachers union to seek court injuction to stop state school reopening order

  • More Pasco County News 

More than 50 teachers and their supporters protested outside Tuesday's School Board meeting. They are calling on the district to go all virtual until the number of COVID-19 cases goes down.

"I've taught all across the country for 15 years and I've never felt like my life has been in so much danger. Even through all the school shootings and safety drills, this time I really am fearing for my life," said Amanda Nissen.

Some teachers at the rally said they've asked to teach online but claim they've been told with about 67% of students planning to return to classes in Pasco County, eLearning positions could be limited.

"I don't have any qualifying disabilities so I can either risk dying or I can risk homelessness if I take a leave of absence," said Alexis Parker.  "My son and I are the only family members. He's got no father and I've got no family so if I were to get sick, there's nobody to watch him. I'm terrified and I only have about 2 months of money in the bank and then I would be out of my home."

Superintendent Kurt Browning said the DOE has been very clear about requiring a "brick and mortar" reopening and he said state funding is at stake.

"If we do not get funding from the state, our teachers do not get paid, our bus drivers do not get paid, staff does not get paid. It's going to be hard to keep the lights on," Browning said.

"I really feel like the district should just say "You know what DeSantis, we're not going to do it. We don't care. We don't want your money. Stop trying to bully us," said Parker. "I don't want it to be political. I want it to be based on our lives. We're not numbers. We're people."

Board members said they can sympathize with teachers who are concerned but also said they have to look at the big picture.

"As a former teacher, I feel anxiety. We're following the Executive Order. I'm too nervous to lose funding. That's people's paychecks and livelihoods," said board member Megan Harding.

Board members didn't change anything about the current reopening plan.