After a meeting this morning with our attorney, AFT-WV intends to file injunctive action against the WV Board of Education, the West Virginia Department of Education and several county boards of education in order to protect the health and safety of school employees.
The union applauds the Berkeley County Board of Education for their bold leadership and encourages other boards to follow suit and exercise their legal right to make decisions for their counties.
Additionally, AFT-WV will file an amicus brief in support of any county board of education that continues to assert their legal right to govern their school system and make locally-based decisions to protect students, staff and their community.
Our attorney is in the process of drafting the filing and will be filing it as soon as it is complete, likely early next week.
Appointed policymakers issuing in-person learning mandates to local boards, who are duly elected by the citizens of their communities to govern their local schools, is an incredible overstepping of authority. To make such a decision while meeting virtually and behind closed doors is astoundingly tone deaf.
With vaccine distribution under way, county boards who planned to have all willing employees vaccinated prior to a full return to in-person learning were exhibiting responsible leadership in protecting the health and safety of their staff and communities. These are reasonable decisions and should not be usurped by an appointed body with no accountability to voters.