CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Under intense pressure from student athletes, parents and school officials the West Virginia Superintendent of Schools has ruled that student athletes in Logan county will be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities this weekend, September 18-20, 2020.
The decision comes after school officials and parents sent letters protesting the county’s exclusion from after school activities to Governor Jim Justice and Superintendent W. Clayton Burch.
“Everything is open to some capacity, except for sports and schools,” Lisa Atwood told 13 News on Tuesday evening. She has several students in the school district.
“They really felt they had been treated unfairly by the metric and how the state guidance had played out,” said Jeremy Farley, president of the Logan County Board of Education told 13 News Reporter Cassidy Wood at the time.
In making his announcement Burch says the Department of Education and the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission at the district’s status on the department’s school metric system.
“Although the county is gold according to the latest West Virginia Department of Education’s (WVDE) School Alert System map, the local board of education decided to not return to in-person instruction this week,” stated Burch. “Under the existing protocols, the county should have returned to school on Monday, September 21, and would have been permitted to hold contests in-county, or with other gold counties. Due to the local board’s decision, students are prevented from participating in extracurricular contests until Monday, September 28, 2020.”
After reviewing the numbers, says Burch “(t)hese student athletes have diligently and faithfully been practicing in hopes of participating in extracurricular activities, and Governor Justice does not believe the opportunity to play this weekend should be withheld solely due to the Logan County Board of Education’s decisions which were contrary to the existing WVDE map.”
Burch added that the schools must continue to follow best public health practices at the after school activities in order to allow schools to return to full operations.