Student Athlete files lawsuit as Berkeley schools are on remote instruction for third straight week

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A senior student athlete has joined a county-wide push in Berkeley County to get athletes back on the field and court this fall.  Berkeley County student athlete and Martinsburg High School senior Emily Beck filed an injunction yesterday against the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission seeking a temporary restraining order.  The move follows an attempt by parents in the county to get as many healthy people as possible tested for COVID-19 in order to get the infection rate looking better.

Patrick Murphy

It’s an effort to get kids back in the classroom and back into their extra-curricular activities. Berkeley County is currently on its third week of remote instruction.

Berkeley County Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick K. Murphy said Monday while the district is also encouraging people to get tested, it’s about getting students back to class and back to a routine.

“I didn’t make the rules up here of how the virus is functioning and I need to play by these rules to get out kids back in school,” Murphy said during an appearance on MetroNews “Talkline.” “I’m well aware of the criticism but at the end of the day by priority is to get our kids back in school.”

Murphy said the jumping back and forth from in-person to remote instruction is the most difficult.

“I think our teachers continue to do a great job and parents are being very supportive as well but I think get us back to that routine and those programs we had outlined both brick and click,” he said.

Testing is being offered in multiple sites throughout the week across the Eastern Panhandle. Murphy said testing is the best way to determine the unknown.

Emily Beck’s injuntion says she is “seeking a temporary restraining order and an injunction prohibiting the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission (“WVSSAC”) from conducting the state AAA girls and boys soccer playoffs and tournament until after
access to free COVID-19 testing has been made available to residents of Berkeley County in a manner equal to residence of other counties in the state, or, in the alternative, until the WVSSAC adjusts the criteria for participation in secondary school activities to account for the gross disparity in public access to free COVID-19 testing between Berkeley County and other counties in the state.”

A hearing is scheduled Wednesday.

Nearby Morgan County is back on “orange” for this week, after being “gold” on last week’s school map. Jefferson County is “gold” for the week.

The color metrics mean that a majority of sports teams in the Eastern Panhandle are once again altering their competition schedules.

One health official told The Panhandle News Network that the testing of asymptomatic residents is actually revealing some hidden infections.


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