Wood County teachers react; statewide walkouts are over

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - In Wood County, signs on the informational picket lines changed throughout Tuesday, from calling for action, to thanking the community.

Greg Merrit, President of the Wood County Federation of Teachers says, "People are energized, and positive, we want to be back to school, we want to see our students.”

Teachers across Wood County all agreed that they are thankful for the support they got from this community during the nine day work stoppage. From donated food at the pickets, to free lunch for students, in need, they say even the car horns were appreciated.

“The community has been amazing. I can't even tell you the outpour of love and support for our students, for our teachers for community members. It's just been, that's one of the best thing to come out of this is to see that the community can really come together and work towards something.” Says Jessica Robinson, a Wood County teacher.

And Merrit adds, “To thank the community who have been so supportive, so many local businesses so many individuals have been amazing during these past few days.”

Teachers said all they've wanted to do was get back in the classroom and they were excited to hear that they would be able to do that soon.

Linda Hindman is a 10th grade English teacher at Parkersburg High School. She says, “I know that every single one of these teachers on the line is completely excited that we're going to be going back to school. That's basically what we've been wanting all along. Unbelievably we've all been talking about how we're going to be getting our classes back together and making our plans and how we're going to pull it all together.”

While the nine day walkout is over, teachers still aren't happy with how long it took.

Robinson says “It's just been really frustrating for teachers to if you go to Charleston and you're talking to your legislatures, not all of them, but many of them and you just can see that they're not listening and you're screaming at the top of your lungs basically that we want to be back in our classrooms and as you can see our communities are saying the same things and their just not listening and it’s very frustrating.”

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