West Virginia schools close for teacher strike

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LEWISBURG, W.Va. (WDBJ7) Schools are closed tomorrow in West Virginia, not because of snow but because of a teachers’ strike.

The teachers are staging the walkout Thursday and Friday after being presented a take-it-or-leave-it proposal from the state legislature.

In Greenbrier County, just over the state line, there was celebration after lunch at Greenbrier East High. The wrestling team was headed to the West Virginia state championship, cheered on by the student body.

But Thursday, the classrooms will be empty due to a statewide teachers’ strike.

“The schools will shut down. They will not be providing any services at all," said Jeff Bryant, the county School Superintendent. "Their doors will be closed.”

In West Virginia, negotiations on teachers’ salaries and benefits aren’t done at the local school board, but at the state capitol in Charleston.

“So yes," Bryant explained. "Everything is decided there at the state level, and we just wait for a decision to be made.”

That leaves, with the negotiations still not settled, the halls quiet on Thursday and Friday.

“Out of respect to all the stakeholders – to the parents, to the children, to our teachers and to our community – if we can’t have schools staffed, then therefore it’s not the right thing to do,” Bryant said.

Talks are expected to continue.