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Union president defends teacher absences

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By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The president of a West Virginia teachers union is defending educators who use days off that they’ve earned.

“Teachers get sick too,” West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee said during a Monday appearance on MetroNews “Talkline.”

Lee said those teachers have responsibilities at home like other residents.

“Many of them have aging parents they are caring for. They (WV teachers) are 70 percent female so when they have a baby they are going to have to miss,” Lee said.

Numbers released last week by the state Department of Education, which didn’t include maternity leave, showed 53 percent of teachers missed more than 10 days of work last year while 11 percent missed more than 20 days. It’s the latter number that Lee said he wants to get a closer look at.

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