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While Justice coaches, others react to walkout ending

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice rushed out of a press conference regard the end of the education work stoppage in order to go to a high school girls basketball game at George Washington High School.

Justice was not attending the game as a fan, but rather as the head coach of the visiting Greenbrier East High School team.

Minutes before tip-off, Justice announced a proposal that would increase teacher salaries next year by 5 percent and the salaries of other state employees by 3 percent, bringing an end to statewide action in the process.

Kanawha County students, including George Washington High School freshman Michael Hughes, have spent the last week catching up on other school work or preparing for other activities.

“I’m on the football team, so I’ve been working out with them,” he said.

Fellow freshman Emma Nicol said she spent the past week working on her golf game for this year’s season. She said while she enjoyed her time off, she is happy the work stoppage is ending.

“They keep adding days to out summer,” she said. “I’m ready to be out.”

May 24 was the original last day of class for schools in Kanawha County, but classes will be held May 25 and 29 because of the strike.

David Darnell, a parent of two George Washington High School juniors, said the strike did not affect his family too much. He said both of his daughters are old enough to stay on their own without the need for adult supervision.

“I think the teachers deserve everything they can get,” he said. “They’re with our kids all day long. They deserve something.’

Barbara Stowers has two grandchildren who are students at Brookview Elementary School in Foster.

“I drove by their school to see what the teachers were doing as far as a walkout so they could understand when I talked about it,” she said. “They want to go back to school. They’re bored.”

Classes will resume across the state Thursday, in which Wednesday will serve as a cooling-off day.

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