WVa teachers union sues county over COVID-19 school policies

WINFIELD, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia teachers union is suing a county board of education over its COVID-19 policies.

The West Virginia Education Association filed the lawsuit Monday against the Putnam County Board of Education. The lawsuit, which seeks a preliminary injunction, claims the board’s policies on contact tracing, masks, quarantines and seating charts violate state reportable disease rules.

Putnam County schools Superintendent John Hudson didn’t immediately return a telephone message Tuesday.

Under the policy, face coverings are optional for students and staff. Masks will become mandatory for at least five days if 25% of a high school’s students test positive or if 15% of an elementary or middle school’s students test positive.

Union President Dale Lee said in a statement that the board “is not willing to make any changes in order to comply with the regulations. WVEA is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment at school for our students and employees.”