EVAC Founder and teacher files lawsuit with SPLC against DCPS

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Amy Donofrio, a teacher who was “administratively reassigned” after reportedly refusing to take down a “Black Lives Matter” flag that was hanging outside her classroom, is now suing the school district.

Donofrio is also the founder of the nationally-recognized, youth-based EVAC movement.

Donofrio posted on her Facebook that she filed a lawsuit against Duval Public Schools today.

“For years, I’ve faced relentless retaliation and violation of my rights to free speech and expression. Enough is enough,” Donofrio posted on Facebook. “I hope this case will set a needed precedent. Teachers should not be punished for supporting their students’ humanity. Our students matter, and as educators, we will no longer tolerate them being systemically damaged, silenced, and failed. To our Black students: we see you, we stand with you, and YOU MATTER. Period.”

Today I filed a lawsuit against Duval County Public Schools. In March, I was removed from my classroom at Robert E. Lee...

Posted by Amy Donofrio on Friday, April 16, 2021

The lawsuit states that Donofrio is suing the Duval County Schools and High School Regional Director Scott Schneider as they “have targeted, harassed, humiliated, and effectively ended the meaningful employment of Ms. Donofrio, a 13-year veteran teacher who was removed from her teaching job at Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, Florida, in retaliation for her protected speech, her complaints about discrimination, and, more broadly, her support of Black students’ lives.”

The lawsuit states that Donofrio seeks the following:

  • Returned to her position as a teacher
  • A dismissal of all past investigations against her and have removal of these items from her personnel file
  • A dismissal of current investigations pending against Donofrio
  • Removal of all past investigations and disciplinary actions against Donofrio where there was no wrongdoing found or discipline ultimately imposed
  • Removal of all documents from Donofrio’s personnel file relating to DCPS’ retaliatory investigations and false allegations against her
  • Reinstatement of the EVAC Movement as a class
  • Striking as void DCPS’ policies that are retaliatory or discriminatory, including any policies that prevent teachers and faculty from engaging in free speech about non-political social movements

Donofrio is being represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center and says that this lawsuit is not just for her, but to make sure all teachers, faculty, and staff have freedom of speech.

WOKV has reached out to DCPS for a statement, but have not received a response at the time of publishing this article.

Hannah Lee

Hannah Lee

Hannah Lee is a General Assignment Reporter for 104.5 WOKV.