AFT-Fayette calls on Fayette County Schools to delay reopening

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – The Fayette County American Federation of Teachers releases survey results and statements on Fayette County School re-entry.

In a letter addressed to the Fayette County Board of Education and Superintendent Garry Hough, a survey was conducted from 900 participants in less than 24 hours.

The results found that 69% do not feel comfortable with Fayette County bringing back students for in-person learning starting tomorrow. Additionally, 63% of respondents indicated zero to little confidence in yesterday’s revised metric system by Gov. Justice to adequately reflect re-entry safety.  26% of respondents indicated confidence, while 11% were neutral.

Of those that responded, 47% were parents, 38% were school personnel, 11% were community members, and 4% were students.

“In light of these results, AFT-Fayette calls on the Fayette County Board of Education to revisit their school re-entry plan.  Several issues are problematic, including the fact that in a matter of just 5 days, out daily case average has grown from 12,80 to 21.22, and our own health department has been shuttered due to staff exposure issues.”

We urge the Fayette County Board of Education and superintendent Garry Hough to delay the Thursday student start date and relay on local health data to determine whether in-person, blended, or remote instruction is the safest option for students and staff, and to mitigate the spread of the disease into our community.  While we acknowledge there are challenges with remote learning, the health and safety of our students and staff must come first.”

– from Tega Toney, President, AFT-Fayette #4865

On Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice changed the color code scale by adding a new gold color, which Fayette County was in.  The new gold color would allow the school to be done in-person.  Superintendent Garry Hough told WOAY that students would return to the classroom on Thursday and Friday based on the student’s last name.

RELATED: Fayette County moves back to orange a day after dropping into the new gold color

Earlier this morning, new data showed that the case count in Fayette County continues to worsen, which took the county back up to the orange color code.  If a county is orange when the map is released on Saturday at 5 pm, it would not allow the county to start back up school the next week until they can get back to gold, yellow, or green color.  If a county goes back orange in the middle of the week, schools can continue with in-person classes for the rest of that week.

RELATED: Students in Fayette County return to class Thursday, Friday

A full copy of the letter can be viewed below:

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com