Historic step for W.Va. education employees

Dear Editor:

Back in 1990, West Virginia made historic steps by participating in the first statewide teacher strike that lasted for 11 days.

Here we are 28 years later and West Virginia made history again by staging a work stoppage for all education employees. You read about school districts striking or a business or trade striking, but an entire state of education employees; history was made.

The other historic event was the public support that we had received by many in our county, not only on the picket lines, but via email, texts, social media posts and by US mail. Other states in the US and people from other countries showed support in our endeavors. Each day the amount of food, drinks, hand warmers and other donations were amazing.

We were supported at our picket areas by our county staff and administrators, building principals, retired teachers, students, parents, grandparents, alumni, and other visitors. The support by area businesses, business owners, and other area union leaders was unbelievable. Historic to say the least!

Words written on a page cannot express how much we appreciated all that we received from everyone. We hope that the 2018 work stoppage was able to teach a civics lesson. All classrooms have tried to teach the words of famous leaders and how they stood up for what they have believed in during history. Education employees can now be included with those historic leaders and hope our students took note of how W.Va. teachers and service personnel stood up for what we believe and remained “55 United.”

Again, thanks to those for the support, donations and good wishes received. We are proud to be West Virginia education employees that stood “55 United” and will always be “55 Strong.”

Melanie Donofe

president, Hancock County Education Association

Jeff Plimpton

president, Hancock County School Service Personnel Association