Pocahontas students walk-out of classrooms to protest proposed academic cuts

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV

On Monday morning just after 9am, the students at Pocahontas County High School walked out of their classrooms and assembled outside the school. They held signs saying, “Hand off my education”, “Education matters”, “No education=no students”, and “Stop the RIF.” 

The students are protesting proposed budget cuts which could eliminate academic teaching positions within the county. Specifically, the students believe several math and science positions are being considered for elimination. 

RealWV interviewed student Riley Grey about the student walkout. 

RealWV: Why are you concerned about the loss of teaching positions? 

Riley Grey: I am concerned about the loss of teaching positions because not only does this mean losing valuable and great people as our staff but as well as numerous courses and opportunities that have been gifted to our school.

RealWV: How did this walkout come about? 

Riley Grey: This walk out came about when a group of students were discussing this matter and we felt as if we were not being heard. In conclusion we have decided to respond by not giving up our classes nor teachers, by performing a walk out.

RealWV: What do you hope to accomplish? 

Riley Grey: With the walkout, Pocahontas County High School’s student body hopes to shed light onto the community and school districts that we care about our future and are determined to not give up any opportunities to that we have now.

RealWV: What’s your message to the school board? 

Riley Grey: I feel as if the board came up with a thought and ran with it, without thinking thoroughly. This is a big deal to many and is heartbreaking to most.

RealWV: What if you face disciplinary action for walking out of class? 

Riley Grey: if disciplinary action is taken, we will accept because we are passionate about this situation. From the walkout we want to shine light on how important the small bit of opportunities that we do have, really are. 

Grey expects the walkout to last all day today. A live video from student Trenton Brock showed student representatives meeting with administrators earlier this morning. The audio was too muffled, however, to make out the content of the meeting. 

The Pocahontas County Board of Education meets Tuesday night. The agenda has not been posted on the website. 

This is a developing story and will be updated. 

READ MORE:

Pocahontas Students suspended for protesting academic cuts

Pocahontas leaders change student suspensions to unexcused absences

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