CHARLESTON – West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee addressed the West Virginia State Board of Education this morning during a special meeting to discuss in-person instruction options following Governor Jim Justice’s executive order for full-time in-person instruction to resume in elementary and middle schools. High school in-person instruction continues to be determined by the COVID-19 map color.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic barreled into our lives, our driving concern has been and continues to be the safety of our students, their families and educators. West Virginia educators have done the impossible to reach each student even with the lack of technology and broadband, all the while caring for their own families. It is imperative you do the right thing for our students and our public schools and maintain the flexible, blended learning model. Respect educators’ professional judgment in safely teaching our students.”
He cited a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CD) report that warned students and educators could indeed transmitters of COVID-19 if safety measures, such as wearing masks and social distancing, were not followed. Lee shared with board members photos of classrooms where educators worked hard to maintain a safe, social distanced classroom and where safety was impossible because of the size of the room and the numbers of students crammed into each classroom. He reiterated his invitation for State Board members to visit classrooms to “to see for yourselves the teaching and learning conditions our students and educators are living with every day. And ask yourself – is this a safe situation in the midst of this pandemic?”
Lee reminded state board members that educators “must remain a priority in getting vaccinated so they can feel safe as they work with our students. That promise must be kept.”
The West Virginia Education Association is the largest teacher organization in the state and is an affiliate of the 3-million member National Education Association (NEA).
WVEA represents teachers, education support professionals, higher education professionals and classified staff, retirees and college students pursuing a career in education.