Educator drafts open letter to state government outlining concerns around the reopening of schools

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – An Upshur County educator created an open letter to the state government outlining the concerns teachers have about reopening schools. 

Wilson Harvey from has been an outspoken educator throughout the pandemic. In June he he started a petition for the governor to create a mask mandate. That petition got more than 1000 signatures in just a few days. Now, he’s created an open letter to the state government that outlines some concerns and ideas for schools reopening. So far, hundreds of educators have signed the letter. 

“I certainly don’t claim to speak for all educators. I think there’s differences in opinion within our profession about going back, but there’s very valid concerns that many have raised,” Harvey said.

One of the biggest points outlined in the letter is the suggestion to keep schools at a lower capacity. The idea is that it’s incredibly difficult to get kids to social distance, and many classrooms are physically unable to space desks six feet apart and still have 20-30 kids in class.

“We don’t believe until there’s a vaccine or very strong and widely available treatment for COVID-19 that schools should be above 50% capacity.”

Harvey also believes that there is a lot of debate on how to best open schools. Closing schools down entirely would set back children’s educations, but not having any or limited protections is likely not a good idea. 

“We truly believe that one student, one teacher, one administrator, one grandparent that raises a kid losing their life would be too many.”

According to Harvey, many counties are doing a great job at drafting plans for the new school year, but the issue is the lack of conformity and planning from the state government. He plans to send the open letter to the government in a few days time.

So far more than 300 educators from 48 counties have signed the open letter to the state government. It can be viewed here.