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Duval Public Schools To Pay $300K In Terminated Teacher’s Civil Rights Settlement

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Amy Donofrio
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Amy Donofrio

Duval County Public Schools is paying $300,000 dollars to terminated employee Amy Donofrio, according to a settlement agreement. In exchange, Donofrio agrees to release her charges against the district. 

A former high school teacher, Donofrio sued the school district in the United States District Court’s Middle District of Florida, alleging retaliation and violation of First Amendment rights, particularly related to her support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Donofrio was removed from teaching duties and reassigned to work in a warehouse after she refused to take down a Black Lives Matter flag that had been hanging outside her Riverside High School classroom. 

The school board approved the settlement 6-1 at its August 3 board meeting. The details of the settlement were made public via public records requests by WJCT News, News4Jax and others. 

Donofrio agreed to dismiss her civil action without prejudice, withdraw her discrimination charges with the Office of the Inspector General, and cancel any public records requests she may have made to the district. 

Donofrio’s contract with the district was not renewed, meaning she can no longer work for the district. Disciplinary investigations into her conduct as a teacher may continue. 

Donofrio was a co-creator of the EVAC Movement, a youth group that received national acclaim and earned audiences with then-President Barack Obama and the late civil rights legend Sen.  John Lewis. 

Donofrio was represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, as well as civil rights firm Scott Wagner & Associates, which will receive $60,000 of Donofrio’s payout. 

Contact Sydney Boles at sboles@wjct.org, or on Twitter at @sydneyboles.