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Raleigh County, WV, teachers, school employees rally (With video and photos)

By Jordan Nelson

The Register-Herald of Beckley

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Those driving down Raleigh County roads couldn’t travel more than two miles Friday without spotting teachers and other school employees as they took on day two of rallying during a statewide walkout – the first in nearly 28 years.

Aunt and niece duo Shelley Atkins and Emma Anderson stood roadside in Beckley urging for honks from drivers as they went by. Atkins is a teacher’s aide at Maxwell Hill Elementary and Anderson, her niece, has a dream of going into education — if she can afford it, that is.

Education is a family business,” Anderson, a senior at Woodrow Wilson High School, explained. “Almost everyone in my immediate family has a job in the education system, and to me it was important to come out and support them, but give the students a voice as well.”

She said it is especially important for the students of teachers rallying to know they are doing it for them and fighting for them to have a good future.

According to Anderson, students won’t achieve a quality education if things don’t change. “Our education is on the line,” she added. “If things don’t change, then our teachers will cross state borders, and the students will be left with uneducated and unqualified teachers.”

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