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Leon Schools' Rocky Hanna Willing To Shut Down Schools If Coronavirus Situation Worsens

Close up of a hand from a high school or university student holding pencil while writing on a paper notebook.
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Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna says he wants to give parents the chance to send their students to brick and mortar classes. However, if officials deem it's unsafe to do so, Hanna says he's willing to shutdown in-person classes.

If the Re-Open Leon Schools Task Force determines in-person classes are no longer safe, Superintendent Rocky Hanna says he will shutter schools even if that means losing funding.

Hanna says he's been getting mixed messages from Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and state health officials:

"The state department of education says, 'if [health department officials] say it's not safe, then it's not safe,' and then I'm hearing from the health officials, 'we don't give recommendations.'"

Hanna is talking about an order from the state department of education requiring schools to offer in-person classes this fall. It says schools should follow guidance from local health officials, but those officials are demurring. Hanna says if contact tracing and quarantine measures for staff fall behind, he's willing to close schools even if that means losing federal dollars for things like free reduced lunch programs.

"We'll take them to court. I mean, we'll fight tooth and nail and go to court and say, 'no, I'm sorry we tried and we couldn't. You know, it went south,'" Hanna says.

He explains officials won't know what the situation is like until schools reopen.