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Florida School District Pays Teacher Who Was Reassigned After Refusing To Remove Black Lives Matter Flag $300,000

A Florida school board is paying a former teacher $300,000 to settle a lawsuit she brought against the school district after she was temporarily reassigned when she refused to remove a Black Lives Matter flag from above her classroom door. 

Former Riverside High School teacher, Amy Donofrio, said the district violated her right to free speech when she was unfairly removed from her teaching position in March. Donofrio said administrators told her to remove a Black Lives Matter flag from above her classroom door. When she refused to take the flag down, Donofrio was removed from teaching duties and reassigned to warehouse operations. 

Donofrio’s attorney said the school district reassigned her as an act of retaliation against the teacher for refusing to take down the flag and in doing so violated her First Amendment rights.

The Duval School Board reached a settlement with Donofrio in which the school board agreed to pay $300,000 with $240,000 going to Donofrio and the remaining $60,000 to her attorneys. 

The board has not renewed Donofrio’s teaching contract and, as part of the agreement, she cannot apply for reemployment with the Duval Schools. 

Donofrio said she is “devastated” to not be able to return to the classroom. She’s been teaching for over a decade and was well known for her work with the EVAC Movement — a group she co-founded that works primarily with at-risk students.

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