Ohio County Superintendent Miller: Schools Will Close Thursday-Friday to “Support Teachers and Personnel.”

WHEELING — Public schools throughout West Virginia will be closed Thursday and Friday if teachers and service personnel conduct a work stoppage, Ohio County School Superintendent Kimberly Miller said this afternoon.

Speaking to the Rotary Club of Wheeling, Miller said the decision was made to close schools those days “to support the teachers and personnel.”

She said school superintendents from across West Virginia met in Charleston Monday and decided school closures will occur unless a work stoppage is averted through action in the Legislature.

“There is a possiblity of a work stoppage. They (teachers) have been told it is illegal to strike,” she said, adding that officials anticipate teachers will be “picketing and fighting for higher wages and benefits.”

By closing schools, administrators ensure that teachers and service personnel will not be breaking any laws and also that teacher attendance bonuses such as those given in Ohio County will not be lost.

If schools in Ohio County do close, Miller said students would make up those days. She also noted that athletic events such as the state wrestling tournament will go on as scheduled.

“Instructional days will be made up. Other events will be put on hold,” she said.

Asked about teachers’ pay during a work stoppage, the superintendent said, “They are paid days, but they will be responsible for making those days up.”

Ohio County schools plan to reopen Monday. However, Miller added, “School will be canceled if it puts our children in harm’s way.”