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WVEA not in favor of possible decisions made by Gov. Justice

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 5:22 PM EST
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Gov. Jim Justice announced that students will return to the classroom Tuesday, Jan. 19., but the West Virginia Education Association is saying to hold off a little longer.

“It’s just not safe and it’s the wrong thing to do in our opinion,” the President of WVEA Dale Lee said in response to the governor’s announcement.

Gov. Justice says that he based his decision off of medical expert’s opinions.

“Our medical experts believe with all in them that the exposure for going back to school is extremely minimal,” said Gov. Justice.

Gov. Justice also stated during his briefing that they are considering expanding the orange zone on the DHHR Covid-19 map which will allow the flexibility to still have in person classes while orange.

“For four months we’ve said if you’re in the orange or the red it’s not safe to return to school. I don’t think you can suddenly say, ‘oh no we are kidding, it’s safe to return,” said Lee.

Lee also shared survey results from more than 3,000 of their members. About 33% of them said they were fearful to return to school, while 85% said they would not be comfortable with a five day in-person learning model.

Participants said the number of positive cases in their county and the lack of space to social distance in classrooms were their biggest concerns.

“We believe there should be guidelines. The health officials are the ones who should decide if it’s safe and what those parameters are. To manipulate and constantly manipulate the system is the wrong thing to do,” continued Lee.

Lee said that he will be in attendance for the virtual West Virginia board of education meeting that will take place Wednesday...And although Lee doesn’t believe students will be learning remotely for the remainder of the school year... he says being in classrooms right now isn’t worth the risk. In Clarksburg Veronica Ogbe 5 news.

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