Marion BOE holds special meeting amid work stoppage

FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WDTV)-- It was a packed house at the Marion County Board of Education as dozens filled the room to hear an update about the ongoing work stoppage.

"The date to return to work seems pretty uncertain," said Gary Price, Superintendent of Marion County Schools.

The board said picketing has been peaceful and they have received no complaints so far.

Public employees said they are willing to make this strike worth its while, no matter how long this stretches out.

"We're fighting not only for just teachers, we're fighting for our students and all state employees," said Chelsie Allen, teacher.

Parents of public employees also filled the streets, voicing their concerns.

"When they talk about working 180 days a year, trust me, that is not it. They work 24/7 through the summer and everything just preparing and planning for the kids," said Kay West, parent of public employee.

"I've always told my kids that you've got to stand up for what you believe and we believe what they are doing for the teachers is wrong," said Linda Shelosky, parent of public employee.

Price said he plans to continue to close school as long as he is given the opportunity. However, he said the longer this continues, it will create issues.

"It's going to get to be an issue for everybody the longer it goes. Obviously, there will get to be a pinch point at some time where how late into the summer are people willing to go and how late into the summer are parents willing? One thing you have done, and I don't know how you have done it, but you've done a marvelous job at getting the public to support you," said Price.

As for extracurricular activities, they will continue as scheduled.

"Those opportunities can't be made up. The academics, we may not be crazy about going to school in June, but we will do it and they will be made up," said Price.

School will be closed in Marion County on Tuesday, February 27. Students will be going to school until at least June 13.

Price said as long as he is aware of a planned stoppage by at least the day before, he will announce the closing of school as soon as possible. He said if he is only made aware the day of, he may be unable to cancel.