Calm Passions Stirred by Strike

It should come as no surprise that tensions have grown steadily worse as the strike by public school employees has stretched into, now, 13 days. The potential for violence has reared its ugly head.

In Moundsville, school employees in a group of pickets reported someone in a vehicle waved a gun at them Monday. In Parkersburg, police were summoned when a man began harassing picketers verbally. There may have been other unpleasant incidents elsewhere in the state.

This is unacceptable.

A few hotheads should not be permitted to change what thus far has amounted to a spirited but peaceful difference of opinions into a confrontation in which someone could get hurt.

Picketing school employees should not allow themselves to be used that way. And law enforcement officers should act swiftly and decisively against anyone threatening the peace.

We West Virginians disagree about any number of things. But we are better people than to allow any dispute to degenerate into a potentially dangerous situation.