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Safety Lawsuit Against Duval County School District Rejected; Plaintiffs Plan To Refile

Duval County Public Schools headquarters

A lawsuit brought by Jacksonville parents against the Duval County School District for hiring so-called “safety assistants” was rejected Tuesday on technical grounds.  

The assistants are armed staffers who patrol schools in response to a new state law passed after the Parkland shooting.

Related: Lawsuit Filed Against Duval Public Schools For Arming Safety Assistants

Bacardi Jackson, the parents’ attorney, said the court called for a correction in the suit’s filing without addressing the merits of the case.

“Nothing about the Court Clerk’s correction address the merits of the case,” she said. “We intend to move forward with the complaint once this issue is resolved.”

Jackson said the holdup was caused in part because they had sought to protect the identities of the plaintiffs, since the case involve minors.

“We sought to protect their identities by using initials for the children and their parents as has been done in some other Florida cases,” she said.

See also: Florida Coastal Dean Weighs In On Lawsuit Against Duval County School District

At a Duval School Board workshop Tuesday, members said they can’t comment on pending litigation — plus, Board Chair Lori Hershey said, there is nothing to comment on yet.  

“The threat of the lawsuit has been made, but nothing has been filed,” Hershey said. “So to this day the district has not been served.”

The suit alleges the Safety Assistant Program not only puts students at risk - it also violates a state law that prohibits carrying guns in schools by anyone who’s not a police officer.


The League of Women Voters is a co-plaintiff in the case.

Contact Abukar Adan at 904-358-6319, or on Twitter at @abukaradan17

Abukar Adan is a former WJCT reporter who left the station for other pursuits in August 2019.