WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gauley River first-grader Sophie Mullins says all she does is “work, work, work” at school so she sent a letter to U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin asking for relief.

Dear Sir,

My name is Sophie Mullins. I live in Craigsville, West Virginia. I am in the first grade at Gauley River Grade School. All we do is work, work, work. I need a break. Can you please help?



The senator responded with a phone call Wednesday afternoon. Manchin congratulated Sophie on her work effort and urged her to keep studying hard.



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  • PMQ

    Nice camera op BloJoe, you are a TOOL. Guess you finally found someone on your same intellectual level....a first grader. Please just go away.

  • ThatGuyOverThere

    I don't care much for Joe Manchin...But that was a pretty nice gesture calling that girl. Who knows, it may have a positive impact on her entire life...I know if when I was her age a senator took time to call me, I would have never forgotten that day.

    • C.Hoffman

      I agree TGOT but it would have been a nice gesture if he did it on the QT. No, instead it's a huge PR campaign in an attempt to bolster his image after collaborating with the soetoro administration in the healthcare fiasco and attempts at unconstitutional gun control authoritarians are so fond of just to name a few major issues he has been on the wrong side of.

  • Larry

    Channel 8 had an interview with the girl and her mother, her mother said on there that her dad told her she needed to write her senator, so as I figured, they were behind it. I am shocked how much attention this got in the news.

  • wvman75

    He needs to start paying attention and respond to the people of actual voting age. It was a nice political gesture, and I'm sure the student appreciated it. We need a break from progressive democrats. The voters will make that happen on our own.

  • C. F. T.

    What is news worthy about a NoJoe calling a grade school student? NoJoe pandering has already cost him the next election and this child will still be to young to vote.

  • Truth

    Keep up the great work Joe! True West Virginians are grateful to have you. God Bless!

  • Don Jr.

    I am recommending an introduction of a bill by Senator Manchin to eliminate obamacare altogether. I see this as his only chance (slim chance) for a political career in WV extending beyond his current term, same recommedation for Congressman Rahall. What would it take to get a recall election held?

    • Ragweed

      For whom, Manchin, Rahall or Obama? How about all three.

      • Andrew

        Federal officials, including Senators and Congressmen, are not subject to recall elections. Neither is POTUS.

  • DWL

    I'm sure NO SHOW JOE had the perfect answer - Become a politician and you can LIE - CHEAT - STEAL for a "legal" living while doing NOTHING!

  • thornton

    Shame to see parents use their child much like a hammer.

    Shame to see Manchin remain the vote-courting politician.

  • a concerned educator

    As a former educator, and current parent of two children in WV public schools, I can attest to the ridiculous amount of work students have. My one child spends hours each night, and on weekends, completing homework. Much of this work is worthless drivel that has no importance whatsoever to real life.

    Children need to be outside playing, not sitting at home behind a desk working on homework each night. I am not saying that there should be no homework, but the amount should not be what my children constantly have. It is no wonder students do not like school or that the dropout rate is so high in many counties.

    I loved school, but I bet if I was a kid today, I would hate it! Education is no longer relevant to most students. It is shear drudgery where every kid has to take the same classes in high school in 9th and 10th grade. If students had more options, they would be more satisfied, thus more interested.

    Why is it that many workers in this country work 40 hour weeks, but we expect students to go to school all day and then come home at night and complete hours of homework? It doesn't seem like much of a life to me.

    • Bill Hill

      Why is it that many workers in this country work 40 hour weeks, but we expect students to go to school all day and then come home at night and complete hours of homework?

      Because politicians, Union hacks, and bureaucrats are doing running the education system. A lot of what kids do in school is worthless not to mention indoctrinational in nature. Also parents have quit being parents and turned their kids over to the nanny state. That's why!!!

    • Tom

      Hopefully your child will spend enough time in school to learn the word is "sheer" and not "shear." Are you sure you are a former educator?

      • a concerned educator


        It was just a spelling error. Relax. We all make mistakes, even educators.

    • Don Jr.

      I agree. A good parent would have more worthwhile information to teach a child after school than filling the time with all this drudgery homework. Kid's need more time to play, work, and learn from activities their parents.

  • Tim C

    I'm surprised he didn't offer a government check.

  • Larry

    This really sounds like something her parents orchestrated completely!

  • jojo

    What a waste of time....she needs to do work. This is just what is wrong with today's youth. Whine, Whine , Whine !!!!!

    • a realistic teacher

      I am the wife of "A Concerned Educator" who responded earlier in this article. I teach first graders. I know what I am required to teach in math and reading every year. I rarely have the time to complete my weekly lessons I have planned on the required math and reading due to the additional requirements of technology integration in the school, as well as many other requirements. I know how mentally and physically exhausted my students are by 2:00.

      I give maybe 15 minutes of homework only 2-3 days per week. Throughout their public school careers, students have too many concepts thrown at them too soon. For example, the new testing requirements in WV are asking 3rd graders to answer math questions that most of the teachers in an in service training we attended could not answer. What does that tell you? In addition, I offered the same question to an individual who has a PhD in Engineering and who was a university professor in one of the top engineering schools in the country. This individual ALSO MISSED the question! What does that tell you?

      Our students are not getting dumber, the curriculum is developmentally inappropriate and a set up for doom by many students. This is especially true for those students who have many other discouraging factors in their lives.

      • wvtotx

        It tells me that either a) teachers can't handle math and simply use the text to grade, thus the failing mathematics scores in the US or b) you are using Common Core and C-Scope to teach.

        Either way it isn't a great outlook for students in WV.

      • thornton

        Ok...a third shame....shame to see teachers co-op this set-up letter as a way to promote their own agenda.....that is a true "discouraging factor".

        • a realistic teacher

          You spend one week in a public school classroom, and then we will talk about agenda, state policy, and discouraging. My post had NOTHING to do with an agenda. It was about the FACTS of the Education System and the Children, alone.

          I am NOT a member of any teacher's union, and I do not support many of the tenets they support. However, in the long run, it is all about the students and their needs. This is something you are not seeing.

          Again, I ask you to spend one week, even one day, volunteering at your local school. Your eyes will be opened.

          • thornton

            To a degree every topic is fair game for a comment running it's periphery....in this case and imo, the use of a child as a vehicle to complain, justly or not, is pretty low shelf.

            Widening the response past that use of a child to comment on education matters themselves does seem to downplay where I place the greatest mistake...of the immediate moment. As such, I remain discouraged.

          • a concerned educator


            When something is near and dear to your heart, you stand up for what you believe in. My family is very involved in the education system, and we are concerned about the direction it is going. I just spent the day with the WV Department of Education, and I was not pleased with the ideas they have about the future of education. It is only more work on our students, teachers, and principals, and less time actually being able to teach.

            I will always stand up and argue for what is right, and an appropriate education is just that. I am proud of my profession, and I spend enough time working in the field to know what is going on. If no one ever speaks out, the system will continue its downward trend. In the end, it is the students who truly suffer the most.

          • thornton

            I haven't...my wife has and volunteered in the schools for more than I week....running a nature study program at one point. She also sat quietly in the teacher's lounge....Do that math.

            Children are the important ones...in this issue here, it seems clear to me that the parents directed the 6 year-old's words to a high degree and a politico fed off the positive image resulting. Going beyond that clarity to harping upon how hard children work in school and their "discouraging other factors" elicited my comment to yours.

            You and hubby need to ease up when any "school" matter is posted...you are far too birdy...to chirp.

          • Hillbilly

            I know your job is demanding... I would not do well as a teacher. You keep up the good work. If anyone knows how to get students to learn, it is you, the teacher, not some bureaucrat who decides the curriculum for you. Thanks for all you do.

  • RogerD

    It's nice that Senator Manchin engages in dialogue with 3rd graders. I wish he would have more town hall meetings and communicate with adult voters and taxpayers as well.

  • lifetimehunter

    What a guy...a group of wv state employees went to his office and ask to speak to him a few years back. His response: 3 state troopers. He is a power hungry P.O.S.