Drive Carefully Around Pickets

It may sound strange to urge motorists to exercise extreme caution in school zones when children are not present, but such a warning seems merited this week.

Public schools throughout West Virginia are closed today and Friday, because of a walkout organized by the state’s two teachers’ unions. At schools we checked, groups of teachers were on sidewalks picketing to draw attention to their concerns.

During just a few minutes at one school this morning, we witnessed a near collision between two cars. At another school, some motorists stopped on the highway near the pickets, creating the potential for an accident.

Why is this situation more hazardous than any school day with children present? For two reasons: First, many motorists are slowing down, sometimes stopping, out of curiosity about the pickets or to express support — and in some cases, perhaps, opposition to them. Second, the rainy weather is a factor.

Picketing teachers certainly want those passing by to see their signs. Obviously, they want drivers to be careful, too.

So please, do so. It is expected the teachers will be picketing at their schools again Friday. And yes, more rain is forecast.

Be careful.