Statewide strike ends, kids back in school Wednesday

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va (WDTV)- If you drive along the streets of West Virginia Wednesday, you may notice a change of scenery from the past two weeks. School buses are back in route and children were walking into the school building.

School service personnel are off of the picket lines and back in the classroom, following nine consecutive days of canceled school. The walkout ended after lawmakers voted to give educators and other state employees a five percent pay raise.

Although many students say they enjoyed the nice break from schoolwork, they are thrilled to be back with their teachers and are eager to learn new material. Parents, of course, could not agree more.

One local grandparent said her grandchildren were excited for the few days of break, but after three days told her they were ready to go back to school.

"When we got the call Wednesday, they yelled 'yay!'" Vickie Rice said. "James, who is in Pre-K said 'Mamaw I love school, I want to go back.'"

Although Rice says her kids were ready to be back, her family supported the teachers every step of the way.

Although it has been a long nine days, teachers say the community support has meant the world.

"It was a real tiring experience," Adamston Elementary teacher Tammy Carpenter said. "But when the people went by with their thumbs up or honking their horns, it really made us realize they have our backs."

Teachers in Harrison County were outside greeting each of their students, and said they could not express how happy they were to be back at school.

"It is a blessed day to be back," Adamston Elementary counselor Kelley Davisson said. "We are so excited, our kids are so excited. They have smiles on their faces and we are cheering and hugging them."