Teachers rally outside on first day of statewide walkout

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FAIRMONT, W.Va (WDTV)- This morning, teachers in Marion County gathered at their normal work time, but did not report to the classroom. This marks the first day of the statewide teacher walkout.

All 55 counties in West Virginia canceled school Thursday. Educators, state employees, and even families lined up to continue their fight for change.

Walkouts are scheduled to continue Friday and classes are set to resume on Monday. However, Fairmont teachers say this could pour into another week if nothing changes in Charleston over the weekend.

One Fairmont teacher said everyone attending a recent meeting immediately agreed to extend the strike if needed.

"We are willing to fight for what everybody needs, everybody wants," Joe Gerarde said. "We're not happy."

Gerarde said many parents have shown support, but they have also received push back for bringing kids into the crossfire. In response, he says this is much bigger than a day off school. It is about all state employees.

Gerarde said it may be selfish, but it will help things in the long run. "All in all, I think for the future of West Virginians a few days here and there will be beneficial for our future."

5 News will be live on Facebook at different schools throughout the day. Stay with us for full coverage of the statewide teacher walkout throughout the week.