CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia’s largest teachers union says it will file an injunction challenging the state’s color-coded school re-opening maps within the next few days.
“Our members have watched the constant manipulation of the map,” stated West Virginia Education Association (WVEA) President Dale Lee, in announcing their intentions to sue the state. “As each rendition failed to provide the desired results sought by our state leaders, additional changes were made. The map manipulation has gone on long enough.”
The injunction, which has yet to be filed in Kanawha County Circuit Court, challenges the changes made from the original map metrics and whether it has compromised the safety of the students and employees in the state’s public schools.
“Listening to the comments from the governor and his health advisors, ” continued Lee “the focus has clearly been on getting teams back on the playing field and getting students in school.”
The union, along with the West Virginia chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, has been critical of the state’s plan to re-open schools since early August when they first voiced concerns they were not being included in the re-opening planning process.
Governor Jim Justice said in August the teachers were being consulted by the State Department of Education on formulating the plan. He has also said repeatedly that any changes to the map are made with the input of the West Virginia Departments of Education and Health and Human Resources.
The union says the only way to restore confidence in the process is to adopt a new system from independent experts, such as the original color-coded map from Harvard.