Teacher pay battle continues with walk-ins in Lewis County

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JANE LEW, W.Va (WDTV)- The teacher rallies continue, this time in Lewis County. Educators and state employees gathered at various schools Friday morning to voice their concerns on what is happening in Charleston.

Supporters lined the sidewalks and parking lots around 7 a.m., equipped with posters and chants. Hundreds of drivers showed their support with loud honks as they passed.

Once it came time for the teachers to report for their normal workday, all staff members walked into the building in a united front. The purpose of the walk-in is to ensure students' learning is not interrupted.

Those in attendance say their rallies are not just about the recent battle for higher pay and better benefits, but also the future of West Virginia schools and their students.

"We want them to be able to come to school to learn and this is a great way for them to learn," Jane Lew Elementary Pre-K teacher Brenda Riffle says. She feels these peaceful protests are actually a lesson for the students.

"We are setting an example that you do not have to take everything that comes down from the government," Riffle added. "We live in a democracy and we want our students to learn how to use that in a peaceful way."

Riffle believes this is comparable to the Rosa Parks era and she wants to teach her students empowerment and the meaning of unity.

Many teachers say they do not want to walk out on their schools and students, but they will do what they have to until the state listens to what they have to say.