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Justice: will move on despite legal challenge

WVEA challenges COVID-19 map in court
Published: Oct. 5, 2020 at 4:49 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WTAP) - Governor Jim Justice is denouncing as “politics” an expected legal challenge to West Virginia’s color-coded map from the state’s largest teacher organization.

As announced last week, the West Virginia Education Association filed the legal action Monday.

In its filing, the WVEA wants a new map, compiled by independent health experts, saying the current map does not look out for the safety of teachers and students.

The governor says the actions is no more than “special interests casting stones” at a system that’s now working.

“I’m going to continue on trying to do the right thing; I’m not going to do the next political hit job, whatever it may be," Justice said Monday. "If they sue, they sue. We’ll let the lawyers fight that out.”

The system used to make up the map, which determines in-person learning and extra-curricular activities, including sports, has had several changes since it was first introduced during the summer.

Much of those changes were demanded by parents and students concerned because the color system led to the cancellation of football games and other sports in their schools. Opponents, including Republican Justice’s Democratic rival in the November election, Ben Salango, says politics has influenced the system.

Largely under the changes, which included the addition of a “gold” coding to the map, most of West Virginia’s 55 school systems are now offering some form of classroom learning. The state’s largest county, Kanawha County, began in-person classes Monday for the first time since the beginning of the school year September 8.

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