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‘They just don’t care’: Boone County school employees rally


Charleston Gazette-Mail

Boone County teachers and supporters encourage a passing coal truck driver to blow his horn as he drives by Scott High School. Teachers joined others in all 55 counties in walking out of schools on Thursday and Friday ate protest rising insurance prices and stagnant salaries.
(Gazette-Mail photo by F. Brian Ferguson)

MADISON, W.Va.  — As she was studying at Marshall University to be a teacher three years ago, Kelli Vance’s professors told her and her classmates that in the first few years of their careers, they would probably see a teachers’ strike.

“They said, ‘not sure when, but you guys are going to see a strike soon. It’s coming,’ ” said Vance, now in her second year as a teacher at Scott High School.

Still, she didn’t foresee teachers in all 55 counties walking out so soon in her career. It’s been a bit overwhelming, she said, but she knows what they’re doing is crucial to securing a future for other new teachers like her.

“These are issues we [teachers] have wanted to address for a while now. Especially with it being statewide action, it goes to show it’s a bigger deal to us than [legislators] thought,” Vance said.

She and other Boone teachers and school workers still showed up to their schools Thursday, but they stood outside with signs and waved as cars honked and drove by.

“Our Legislature does not care for the working people of West Virginia — they just don’t care,” said Heather Ritter, a librarian and facilitator for online Spanish classes at Scott High. “They care about their friends, their corporate buddies and everyone with money — but not us.”

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